I’m in one of those cycles. I’ve been on a quest to make local friends lately — no small feat during a pandemic. Making friends is tough as it is when you’re an adult. Throw in COVID and… what the feck. Seriously. Not easy peasy lemon squeezy. It’s solidly in the realm of difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.
(I’m sure I’m not the only one getting sick of making lemonade from all the life-initiated lemons hurled our way lately.)
Anyway, I’ve started to make some friends — primarily through taking pottery classes and also through teaching writing classes. And my new friends are awesome. Seriously. My non-local friends are awesome, too — I have a lot of cool friends.
But it’s been great getting to know folks locally. And because of the way I met them, most of my new friends are artists and craftspeople. And I am soooooo not. Not when it comes to physical objects anyway. I am a complete beginner and just enjoy messing around.
So I spend a lot of time feeling like I’m hanging out with these magical beings and low to high key (depending on the moment) wondering why they want to be my friend. Feeling lesser.
Yes, even though some of them are taking my writing classes. And have never done anything to make me feel lesser.
I still end up comparing and coming up short.
Hoisted By My Own Petard
As luck would have it, I finally posted something to my friends-locked Facebook about this phenomenon. And as it would so happen, I did this on the day that a post called “You Shouldn’t Compare Yourself to Other People… But You Probably Will” came out.
One of my friends jumped in and told me not to undervalue my creations because they’re not tangible (music and writing, historically speaking, are the things I’ve mostly made).
I was sassy in response, posting a gif of a cat going “I do what I want,” making sure to include a post script of heart emojis so she’d know I wasn’t actually throwing a hissy fit.
And then, just like that, she replied with the zinger of all zingers: Some wise person I know said “You shouldn’t compare yourself to others.”
She was quoting me of course. To argue with me. I almost died of laughter. We continued to titter and go back and forth playfully for a bit, both amused that she’d “won” the argument by using my words against me.
And at that moment, I was so touched — because I forget that any of my friends read my work, let alone that they remember it or would use what I write about in everyday conversation. So yes, even if it’s used to put me in my place (my partner has done similar, in arguments, argued with me using quotes from me), I gotta say… it feels hella loving. A great feeling.