Why Must I Consistently Compare Myself?
Photography: Fraser Taylor
I’ve been trying to get better, but I need to admit my faults.
I think it’s so hard not to constantly compare yourself to others with the amount of social media that is bombarded in our faces. But i’ve talked about that before, and i’m not going to get into that too much today. Instead I want to talk about my own personal battle with comparison and the little green eyed monster, because I need to figure out a better way to not constantly compare myself. I want to blame my career choice, but I know it’s hard for people who aren’t bloggers, too.
Why am I comparing?
I’m having a bit of a rough patch work wise at the minute, i’m worrying about getting older, my hair looking crap, my skin wrinkling up and generally not being as cool as I once was. I’m the wrong side of nearly-30 and i’m stressing that the youthful spark I once had in my blog is gone, and i’ve been replaced all over the internet with other teenagers with bright vibrant hair and that refreshed look on the world. I had that too, once, that little jump of excitement you get when you move to a new city, and you discover yourself. You see, I think part of the reason why some bloggers are so successful is because you’re essentially watching them grow up on the internet. I’ve kinda done that now, and i’m coming to terms with it, which is quite hard. I started my blog seven years ago, and I often think about things that happened like they were yesterday, when they weren’t at all. Saying i’m old though is a cop out choice, even though it’s one of the roots of why i’m worrying so much about myself at the moment. I mean, i’m kinda scared of getting old if i’m totally honest with you, and I do worry about my life flashing in front of my eyes before I know it.
My personal style is all over the place, too.
Look i’ll never stop being that little scrambly punk kid. Never. But my style is growing up with the world around me and I don’t know, i’m moving away from it a bit. But then I see this mental studded choker and this insane Green Day t shirt and I just have to have them. I feel like i’m torn between wanting to dress more stylish and more refined, and then like a grunger. I often feel like i’m losing a bit of a grip on who I am trying to change to the surroundings and the life around me, and I know this in part is definitely leading to why i’m comparing myself to others. I see my friends looking so cool and so cute in their style, their individual grunge punk style, and I adore it and remember why I’ve always been an alt kid. But then I think about it more and I think; “but they’re 19, and I was like that when I was 19, too. I’m too old for that now, surely?” Then I remember that that is ridiculous, but I still can’t shake those feelings of worry. Honestly this reads like a huge thing about getting old but i’m honestly stressing about it so much it brings tears to my eyes just typing it now. I know it’s inevitable i’m going to get older, but it doesn’t mean I want to.
I’ve not been kind on my reflection lately.
I’ve been having some really awful moments where i’ve honestly hated my reflection now for weeks. Actually just this morning I cried for a good 20 minutes about how much I hated my hair right now. I know I need to get better at this, but I find it so hard when I really am bombarded with photos of beautiful women all over my instagram and social feeds. The same girls, the gorgeous grungers and the beautiful alt girls I just adore, all have beautiful faces and cute features. I don’t really have any of those – by the way this blog isn’t a pity party but more of a fact gathering, not looking for sympathy on my looks here – and in the past I was fine, because I was one of the only bloggers with the hair niche. I’m really not at all anymore and I find myself trying with so much exasperation to fight against these beautiful girls, younger, less wrinkled, more cool and in tune with 2017 social media, with hair the colour of the rainbow – and I won’t lie, i’m struggling with it. I know that i’m me and that’s cool and all, but I can’t help but wish I was as beautiful as them, too. I feel like my channel and my blog would have grown so much quicker if I was. Brutal, but true.
I just don’t know where to go from here.
I know realistically it will pass, but I feel like right now it’s really effecting my mental health state more than i’ve ever felt before. I’ve usually felt pretty good in my own skin, and i’ve managed to overcome blips as an awkward teenager and then again in my early 20s, but right now I feel like i’ve hit a wall. I don’t know how to make myself feel better about myself, and i’ve gotten into a rather downward spiral of staying up at night comparing myself to others who are smashing it with huge success and haven’t been left behind like the old toy at the bottom of the toy box, which is how I feel. I don’t know how to be the shiny new toy again, and in relation to my career here on the internet, I know I never will be. I’m old news now as far as blogging is concerned, and there’s nothing I can do to change that. What I am trying to desperately do behind the scenes is not re-invent myself, but Bowie myself into a new gen, a converted style for a new era. I’m finding it hard without that much self-love going on around here, and if i’m again, brutally honest with you, I can see myself taking the plunge into fixing the parts of myself I don’t like nor feel confident about anymore. Not to keep up with anyone else, mind, but for my own sanity and my own happiness.
I often wonder why we have to feel jealousy.
I think it’s such a horrible emotion to have embedded into our receptors, jealousy. It can totally consume people. It doesn’t consume me and it doesn’t take up all my days, but instead it just makes me sad about myself even more. I think to myself; ‘Zoe you are so useless you can’t even do that, or you weren’t pretty enough to be chosen for that job, or why are you not invited to that event?” and I spiral into hating myself even more and wanting to resent those who are living my dreams. I will always work hard to achieve my dreams, but when it’s been two months and you’re not getting any work at all because you are losing out to the others, you start to think, why do I even bother at all? I’m really hoping in six months time I can look back at this and think, bless your honesty, but things really perked up from there. I would hate to think i’d still be this sad at the end of the year. I think that can really be one of the worst parts of blogging, the part you really aren’t told about when you sign up for a free Blogger account. The sheer self loathing it can make you feel on an almost daily basis. While I feel so free and so joyful to be able to create videos that I dream about – just making those videos doesn’t pay the bills, and I feel constant pressure to earn money. When i’m losing out jobs to those younger, cuter, spark filled bloggers, i’m stressing that i’m not earning money. For me I think 2017 is going to be my most testing year yet, and I have to really very truly consider just how much longer I have in this creator career left.
I know you usually enjoy my Sunday posts as being a bit of a fresh revamp to the week ahead, and usually I feel like that. But this blog is so much more to me than just dollar signs and bragging rights, it is my true heart and soul. It is my diary. This week I don’t feel empowered, or brave, or confident. I feel sad, disheartened and ugly. I can’t just hide that for the sake of keeping up an appearance, it wouldn’t be true to myself. I have to write down these feelings or they would just get lost, lost in the inner realms of my brain, buried for another time when I can’t get out of bed to face reality, or block out my mirror with fabric (which I have done in the bedroom at the moment, I just can’t bear my reflection.) What a beautiful bitter ironic juxtaposition that these photographs my dear friend Fraser took of me and my reflection just happen to be the most beautiful i’ve ever seen taken of me ever.
I look forward to my spark of self love coming back in the next couple of weeks. I know the show must go on and once again I will need to take photos of my body and face to continue business as normal over here, but I just wanted you to know that often behind the smile i’m feeling pretty low in confidence and sad on the inside. My next steps are to book in for a new tattoo to cover up a scar that I hate, to get my hair cut and dyed and honestly? Really really brutally honestly? I need to get my teeth fixed. I am due in for the moulds on my invisalgn in the next few weeks too. I’m hoping that will really bring me the joy I need.
If you enjoyed this photoset, please let us know in the comments. Fraser is a stupidly talented photographer and I often think he can’t see it as much as other people can – so if you’re reading this Fraser, trust us! Thanks for all the love over the past couple of weeks on my blog, you’ve made this old gal feel special. <3