A few days ago I went to my friend Rithu’s classical Indian dance recital. I had no clue what to expect. When I showed up I realized it was a solo recital–and it lasted more than four hours. So my talented friend danced the day away. Watching her I was so amazed. Rithu does everything. She plays tennis and dances almost every day. She is a part of UN and Mock Trial. She won a Rotary speech contest last year and still has time for pleasure reading and good grades. Oh right, and she co-owns a business, selling stickers of her and her friend’s artwork. Rithu is truly inspirational. Realizing this my mind can take two routes: negatively compare myself or appreciate both of us.
At first my mind took the negative route, not because I don’t like Rithu (she’s actually my editor as well. Hey girl!), but because I am constantly comparing myself to everyone. I began to think about how strong she is and how much she contributes to our society. What do I do? What do I even have to be proud of compared to her? Honestly I was feeling pretty guilty. Throughout the summer I have been trying to decide if I should do swimming this school year or something new like a musical. I thought to myself, “If I was Rithu I would do both.” But I’m not Rithu, so I only chose one.
I came to the determination that different people can handle different levels of commitment, but that does not make us any less. I do not do as much as Rithu, but if I did I would probably be going to therapy a lot more often. I am not meaning to make blanket statements here, but it seems that Rithu can mentally handle more activities at a time than I can, and that is okay. She has a lot to be proud of. But so do I.
I am proud that over the past year I have taken care of my mental health more than ever before, and now I am much happier than this exact same time last year. I am strong because I simply get out of bed every morning. I am contributing to society by working as a lifeguard, giving the city kids something to do over the summer. I am comfortable in my body for the first time in a while. I am amazing just because I am a human being, existing against all odds, every little cell in me working just fine.
So from now on when I start to compare myself to all these prodigies and geniuses, I’m going to start naming little things I am proud of, little things that make me unique and strong, little things that make me Sarah Grace.