Tuesday, March 4, 2014

red + cream + black & white {thoughts on comparison}

I think we have all heard the phrase by Theodore Roosevelt:

       “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

I try to remind myself of this often. I have a bad habit of comparing my success or my life to others. The reality is we are all in different places and have different circumstances.  While I might be wishing for a life more similar to "so and so" they might be wishing for a life different from their own. 

This online world has a funny way of only showing others the best of their days and the good news the receive.  This is a topic many many MANY bloggers have talked about. So today I won't be sharing about why we shouldn't compare. Instead I'm going to be open and honest with you about the lack of confidence I have in myself and the struggle I have with what I want my life to look like. 

jacket, button up, booties and tights: Target // dress: The Limited // necklace: carolineg  // 
bag: Dooney & Burke {gift from hubby}

Some days I wake up and I want to work my 8-9 hours a day at my two consulting jobs and then close my computer and go about my life.  Basically some days I just want to clock in, do a good job and then focus on things outside of military life, social media, and brands.  Other days I wake up and I want to push to be a leader in my field, to be asked to speak at conferences etc. I feel like I go from one extreme to the other.  I strive to find a middle ground but if I am honest I am kind of an all or nothing kinda gal.  Go big or go home.  

There has to be a middle ground, because right now in this season of my life I can dedicate a lot of time to my work.  With Scott being gone most of this year diving into work is how I plan to help the time pass.  But what about when he gets back? What about when we start a family? What if we do not do it the conventional way and don't have 9 months of pregnancy to plan?  What if we go from no baby to 1 or 2 in a matter of months through adoption?  Then what?  Will I be able to juggle it all?  Gosh, I feel like I am getting way ahead of myself.  But the reality is I need to be able to not only look at what is in front of me now but also how life can change over short and long periods of time. 

I am not saying I need to create a plan, I know plans never work! Things never go how you expect them to.  That is both the joy and the frustration with life, don't you think?  I quit working in July of 2011 in hopes of focusing on my mental and physical health to help our infertility journey.  When I was ready to go back into the working world in the Fall of 2012 I did not want to end up in an office doing admin work or in a government contract job {nothing is wrong with either of these kinds of jobs, they are just not for me}. I wanted to pursue my passion for social media. I also wanted to work 4-5 hours a day.  Fast forward to today, I am working in the field I want but the time commitment is different than I had planned.  Opportunities arrived at my door after a lot of hard work and they allow me to do work I love and make more money that I had anticipated which means Scott and I can save for things like adoption and trips.  We can buy a house and not be worried about our finances like we were 2-3 years ago.  I was blessed with more than I had anticipated and thankfully I saw it as a blessing and not another failed plan. 

Now I am faced with the question, do I stop pushing to go to the next level or do I stay where I am and try to be content with the success I have now?  I am a competitive person by nature, not always with others, sometimes with only myself.  Can I push harder than I planned, can I get a better job than I thought I could?  I do find myself comparing my successes to my husband's success.  This is hard because I actively made the decision for us to really focus on his career and where the Navy will take us.  Sometimes I don't see my progress in a black and white way like I do Scott's.  The Navy/military structures things in a way that makes it very easy to see someone's progress.  In the civilian world these advancements/achievements aren't as black and white.  

I am struggling to give myself more credit for the success I have found already.  I need to also be ok knowing that maybe my career plans and path might not go in the direction I hope.  God might have different plans for me.  

Please tell me I am not the only one who struggles with the idea of having a career identity.  


blm said...

you are FAR from the only person struggling with this! and thank you for sharing your struggles. i am right in the middle of this now, myself, and with my husband's next military step so up in the air i find it nearly impossible to plan ANYTHING. one thing i really took away from sheryl sandberg's Lean In was "don't leave before you leave." if right now, career-focused is your season then i say full steam ahead! when the time comes to start a family, you and scott will be able to reevaluate your priorities and goals. until then, you can work hard to be the example i am sure you want to be for your future babies.

Ashley @TheCreamToMyCoffee said...

You are definitely not the only person that struggles with this! I feel the same way about my job. Most days I just want to work 8-5, do a good job, bless people's lives. Other times, I want to push and be a leader in the field and spend a lot more time working! And then other days, I think about being a mom and if I stay home, why bother pushing myself at work at all. It's a lot sometimes. I'm just thankful that the Lord knows better than I do and he will lead me down the right path.

Jessica Jannenga said...

Hello. the ladies above said some of what I wanted to say. I know what it is to be competitive. Saw your blog on the Pleated Poppy, and I do love your outfit. I love the red, and then the yellow floral necklace says I am ready for spring.
If you have time to drop by, my site is www.elegantlydressedandstylish.com
I have a chronic pain disease, but try and focus on the positive things

amber said...

girl, you are so not the only one! i think the pendulum is always swinging as we search for our identity and it changes throughout depending on season of life and circumstances, which i don't think is a bad thing. we should be growing and deepening and discovering all the time who we are. i think you asking these questions and searching shows you're right on track - you will find what you're looking for! :)

and on the subject that brought me here - love the outfit!!! so classy and yet fun. i'm linking up at pleated poppy for the first time and trying to get around to the other gals and just "introduce" myself!! ;)

wanted to say too - thanks to your husband for his service to our country! and yours as well since i believe the wife plays just as an important role staying behind.

blessings to you!

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