Fashion,  Pregnancy

Florals, polka dots, and many shades of pink

Florals, polka dots, and many shades of pink | www.eccentricowl.comFlorals, polka dots, and many shades of pink | I have been caught up in the comparison game for as long as I can remember.

Well, perhaps not quite that long — before thirteen, all I cared about was swimming, rollerblading around town with my best friends, and getting done with my homework as fast as possible so that I could play with their Barbies.

But somewhere around fourteen, things changed. I went through puberty, started growing curves where most of my friends had none (and not in the desirable places, but in the hip/thigh places), got jiggly in areas that had previously been slim, got acne, and over a period of about six years, gained somehwere around 60 pounds. So, obviously, I started comparing. To my thinner, acne-free, more popular, seemingly happier friends. Friends who complained (and sometimes still complain) about thighs that I wished I had, hair that seemed to always be perfect, skin that was, to me, unblemished.

Florals, polka dots, and many shades of pink | Florals, polka dots, and many shades of pink | www.eccentricowl.comAnd then I got married, and started comparing myself to other wives. To my sisters-in-law and my mother-in-law, who are less emotional and much better at cleaning. To my friends, who posted picture-perfect images of their houses with beautiful decorations. To fellow mothers, who still found the time to go to the gym, have coffee dates, have playdates, and somehow stay sane.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gained more confidence, but comparison has never stopped. I even started comparing my current pregnancy to my last one; how I was not 174 pounds by this time with Asa; how I was lighter to begin with, how I wasn’t this tired, how I didn’t break out, how I just felt better and looked (to me) better and how much less I am enjoying it this time around, from what my memory tells me.  Florals, polka dots, and many shades of pink | Florals, polka dots, and many shades of pink |

It’s hard not to compare. Sometimes, comparison can be a good thing — you look up to someone, you want to be like them, you set healthy goals, you make doable changes. But most of the time, it’s not. You compare yourself to celebrities and Pinterest moms and people who obviously have a lot of money, or help, or just set up their homes prior to sharing with the world so that everything looks perfect. You don’t see them in their normal everyday routine, because all that is shared is the pretty things they do.

Even Facebook friends share positive and pretty rather than harried and messy. And I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, necessarily; I do that, too. And I am okay with friends sharing their positive moments. I like seeing people be happy, love their kids, make pretty things, and have good lives. It’s better to me than seeing people constantly complain about what they have and never strive to make it better. But sometimes, it’s nice to see real, too. The dishes that aren’t done. Wet hair and no makeup. The admission that you’ve lived in yoga pants for the entire week and they have burp-up on them. That you ate ice cream and didn’t go to the gym to work it off. Florals, polka dots, and many shades of pink |

Target top | Vintage shirt c/o Cut and Chic vintage | thrifted vintage heels, scarf, and belt | antique hat box

Today, I want to break the cycle and stop with the comparing, and I want to encourage you to do the same. What do you love about yourself, your life, your job, your kids, whatever? What is it you have that no one else does? Sure, you  might not be the most beautiful, the most successful, the most patient, the most Pinterest-worthy, the most active, but you’re still you. You still have things that someone somewhere is probably looking at and wishing they had. You’ve achieved things that nobody else has. You’ve got talents that are unique to yourself. Dreams that only you dream. And you have the choice to use your life to make someone else’s better.

Here’s to no comparing. Here’s to being yourself and being okay with that. Here’s to being real. Sharing the mess sometimes, just so someone else can realize it’s okay.

What comparison do you find yourself caught up in? Break the cycle.

Happy Monday!


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  • Natalie

    It’s just human nature hun.. Even though you compare yourself to other people remember so many other other people compare themselves to you, wishing they had what you have too. It’s the reason many people come back to reading this blog, they see you darling little boy and wish they had a sweet baby of their own. They see the beautiful surroundings you live in where you take your outfit photos and wish they could live somewhere as serene and picturesque (not in a noisy, smelly city). They see your gorgeous photos and wish they could be as good at photography as you. See, it’s all relative (by the way I was talking about myself before, so there you go, I compare myself to you).. But yes I agree Facebook is bad for that, Facebook envy is real! Just remember that literally everybody compares themselves to someone else..

    • Eccentric Owl

      Exactly what I said in the last few paragraphs; it’s good to remember that others compare themselves to you (or me). Thank you, Natalie! 🙂 Facebook envy is so hard sometimes! I’m blessed to have a few friends who keep it real and honest, and I love them for that!

  • Pam

    I love where I live, my husband and our first baby on the way! I have a list on my phone of what I am thankful for. When I feel down I add another item. Your blog will be my next item 🙂

  • Beth Woody

    I used to compare my bust size with other girls. I was a late (said never) bloomer, and Mum even makes light of my boob size by asking if she can put the “lay flat to dry” laundry on me. 😛 Funny story: at fourteen, I met my now-best-friend and she has the exact opposite bust size problem. She and I commiserated with our very different bust envies and she stuck up for me in awkward bridesmaid dressing room situations which was one of the things that made us bond while all the other “normal” sized girls were having no trouble at all with their fittings. Over the years, I’ve really grown to love my tiny size, even if I’m smaller than most of “womanly” proportions. And I’m sure that someday, when I’m married, my husband will give me plenty of affirmation in me being just the right size. He already loves how little my hands and height are. I’m sure he’ll be happy with the rest of me. 🙂

    Comparing writing styles, however, I have not grown out of. Nor will I ever. I read a really good book and I despair of being a good writer because how could I ever be as original, witty, deep, amazing… etc. as that person? It takes a lot of rereading my own material to build myself back up again and get busy. Unfortunately, that makes me want to read slightly terrible works so I can feel better about my own writing. But I know that’s no way to grow. So that’s my uphill battle.

  • Beth Woody

    Oh, and lest you think I was ignoring the style portion of this blog… I LOVE all the pinks, pretty lady! 🙂

  • dani

    I’ve found myself in a major rut lately – living at home with parents-in-law, no job (still waiting on that visa to show up, because moving abroad is super fun), broke because we’re living on one income, missing a lot of my “stuff” that’s still in boxes in America, and really wishing I had the means to DO something with my day, and having no friends to do anything WITH – it’s resulted in a really lazy thing that lays around with no excuse and really should be doing a load or two (or three) of laundry right now. So I really hope I can find the motivation soon to stop comparing my life now to what my life USED to be, so that I can make the most of it while it’s still so relaxing!

  • Jamie Rose

    I’m definitely guilty of comparing my life to the lives of other people I graduated with. I went on to grad school after college so I’ve felt so behind in my “professional life” which means I’m behind in everything else. I have no full time job which means I can’t get a new place with my boyfriend. It sucks. But things could be worse. You’re right that we need to stop comparing our lives to others’. Everyone moves a their own pace. Everyone has different strengths.

    I think you always look gorgeous in your outfit posts. We all have days where we sit in our pajamas all day. No need to feel bad about it! You clean up well!

    Jamie |

  • JennyOH

    Pinterest and style and home blogs and all those things can be dangerous. I often fall into the “Why is my life not so pretty and well-organized?” trap, I think a lot of us do. It’s always good to stop and step back and I appreciate the reminder 🙂