Monday, August 13, 2007

In Comparison

Image Source: Amy Guip

There are certain pet peeves that each person hates having to confront.
I hate being lied to –
It's an insult and a waste of real time before the truth comes up.
I hate being continually interrupted –
It shows disrespect for what I have to say and provokes equal disinterest.
I hate being compared to other people.

When I was younger I hated being compared to my older cousins:
“Your cousin already knows how to make her own bed…”
“Why can't you ride your bicycle without side wheels like your cousin…”
“If so and so can do it, why can't you?”

My parents didn't realise that comparisons such as these had the opposite effect if their intent was to motivate me.
Feelings of failure and worthlessness only cause resentment.
It took me a long time to finally convince myself that the only person that I have anything to prove to is me.
The race is only with myself.
Once you've got this figured out, it becomes easier to ignore these kinds of comments be they from your friends, family or even your boss…
There's only one person's criticism that will always get you down no matter how much you fight it – your own.

Isn't it strange how you can be both your best friend and your worst enemy?
That at the same time that you pick yourself up, you bring yourself down…
That to quieten your own voice in your head is practically mission impossible.

This weekend, I faced one of the hardest comparisons I've yet had to compare myself with… the ex.
And although it seems easy enough to say “She’s the past, I'm the future” the truth is you find yourself magnifying all your flaws against her apparent perfection.
Crazy, but inevitable… because you want to measure up, because you want to be the better choice, worthy of his love.
On her territory, at an event of meaning, at a critical moment you realise that you can't compete with all the past moments they've shared.
There are just things that don't happen twice, those “first moments” that are only “first” once.
And although his friends tell you that you are the better choice, at a distance you wonder if they tell her the same.

Just as my head began to ache from the internal arguments that I repeatedly told myself were futile… I felt his hand beneath the table.
He put it in its usual place upon his leg and put his hand over it.
Even if he hadn't said a word the look in his eyes told me that he too had been taking his own measurements and was certain of the choice he’d made.
Over and over I was told in the smallest gestures that I'm the one…
It was in the way he looked at me;
The way he appreciated me from the corner of his eye;
How he held me to him on the dance floor;
It was in his kiss.

And it was his love that made all comparisons futile… because if he loves me for all that I am then it doesn't matter how I compare to anyone else.
He silenced all doubts when he said “I feel as if you were made for me.”

5 comments:

Luis Sardinha said...

I usually say: "There is always someone better"
Ones better at work and for how much you try he is always a step ahead.
Others in beauty and you see he gets all the nice girls.
But with time I realize that we are unique just like we are (although we can work on it)
If you ask at two persons which one is better probably they will answer differently because each person have it's priorities and tastes.
I chose You because the mix of "features" suits me like a glove and it's with you I want to be with.
If my friends say that you are a better choice, believe them ;)

Quicha said...

One word came in my head when I finished reading this blog: "Sweet!". Hehe!!

Soph!a said...

well...when its perfect..its perfect!!! ;)

Anonymous said...

Painful thoughts are one of our rights that don’t bring a lot of positive things. In the majority of cases, they stink on ice and lead us into insecurity about ourselves. The only good thing about them is that when you doubt your abilities, you are half way to getting better because you’ve identified something about which you aren’t completely content.

I could approach each point of your post, but one jumps out that I find most interesting. “She’s the past, I'm the future”: In my most humble opinion, no one is the Future, simply because the Future is not ours to see. At best, you are the Present, and if you live in the Present instead of the Future, you will be able to count your blessings and enjoy them.

I used to know a certain Sunshine once, made of steel. Strong and shinny, but as all tough materials, the right blow that provoked a specific frequency could shatter her. These days I hope that the basis of her foundations as a person remain the same. My guess is these words were from fright of losing what you have waited for so long to enter your life. You are living in the Future, thinking “what if tomorrow he won’t be around anymore?” I don’t have to tell you that kind of attitude is probably the biggest mistake you can make in a relationship. If you doubt yourself, why shouldn’t he doubt you? If you have a little less respect about yourself, why should he respect you?

I’ve found that what makes someone fall in love for us is exactly what will keep that person in love with us. Who can resist a pair of sparkling eyes that daydream about achieving goals? Who can resist a wild heart that is bigger than life itself? Those people inspire us. So stop being a silly head and keep inspiring. You’ve said many times that you wouldn’t take second best. Don’t turn yourself into second best now that you seem to have found what you’ve been waiting for.

Sunshine said...

Anonymous: I agree with you, doubt is the first step in improving things. And although one could consider it weakness, I don´t feel weaker for it.
Sunshine is made out of stronger stuff than just steel. However it´s one thing having to deal with yourself and your attitudes but it´s a whole different ball game dealing with someone else´s as well.
A relationship is something you´re a part of and not something you lead. This current relationship (and yes I call it current because I don´t know what the future holds for me) is probably the first relationship in which I feel a real partnership, a co-leadership and due to the fact that it´s new and due to the fact that I want it to work, I have my rights to my doubts, my insecurities and all those negative setbacks that force me to grow as an individual in the relationship.
What you don´t know is that this relationship started on the "now" basis and it continues on the "now" basis. Neither of us wallow on the past or plan too far ahead in the future. We want to be together and for today that´s all that matter. As for my saying "She´s the past, i´m the future", you´re probably right when you say I should´ve corrected myself by saying that i´m the present. But it doesn´t invalidate the intention which basically is that i´m his choice.
I´d like to believe that i´ve mastered the ability to be with myself, to deal with my strengths and weaknesses because i´ve learnt that I can control which attitude to have in light of any situation.
But I can´t control another persons attitude, choices or feelings and to be in something which isn´t completely controlled by you is a challenge that both makes me slightly weaker and also much stronger.
These challengers are a part of evolution. In theory I could´ve told you all this before but it doesn´t invalidate the process that one has to go through in "practice".
As a good friend of mine recently quoted Vanilla Sky "The sweet is only sweet once you´ve tasted the bitter" Which roughly translates into: Maybe I need to feel insecure, feel weak and have doubts in order to improve and develop the woman within. I´m not just a woman anymore, i´m a woman that´s a part of a relationship... and with each day and challenge that passes, i´m stronger for it.