Monday Dare: Bitches and Brains

Every week, I challenge myself to a Monday Dare. Click on the link if you’d like to see the complete list of Monday Dares or learn more about its origin.

This week: Stop comparing

I’m pretty sure my life would be a lot easier if I were smarter. I can’t be totally certain of this because to have that kind of unwavering confidence about something, I feel like you need to experience it firsthand. But I live with some smart people and I know a bunch. When they rattle off their drink order at Starbucks, they don’t even need to look at the menu board seven or eight times like I do. They can look at it once and be done with it. Sometimes, I think they do it just to show off, but I let them have their moment.

I cheated a lot in high school. I feel comfortable admitting this to you because even if the school takes my diploma away, I’ve been setting aside a Just In Case I Need To Pay For A GED fund. There’s almost three dollars in there, so fuck those bitches, I’m going to be legitimate either way.

There were always one or two kids in each class who aced everything without even cracking open a book. A handful of others did well because they were responsible and had good habits. One of my best friends graduated as valedictorian. I asked her once what I had to do to get better grades, and she told me the key was to study every day. I tried her method for a few weeks, but it really cut into my sleep.

I envied the smart kids immensely. I compared myself to them constantly and thought about how much easier their lives were going to be because they could diagram sentences like it was a motherfucking breeze and knew how to program fun games into their graphing calculators.

The popular kids made me feel all kinds of jealousy too. They were always debating the merits of one party invitation over another. They had a choice. Yes, I had choices for my Friday evening too, but watching the TGIF block of programming on ABC or asking random strangers Age/Sex/Loc in AOL chatrooms seemed less glamorous.

Even now, as an adult, I’m not one of those bitches with a shitload of friends. Every time I’m around a group of new people, I trip over my words and say extremely inappropriate things. Also, I start to sweat a lot, and it’s always a conversation killer when I have to excuse myself to get a paper towel to stick under my arm.

I’m never going to be one of those people who debates going out vs. staying in because she just knows she’s going to run into a dozen people as soon as steps into the streets who all want to say “hello” and make small talk because she’s just so much fun to be around. And I’m making peace with the fact that I can no longer answer any of Cal’s questions when she’s doing her homework.

I’ll just be me. Sweaty me.

Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; 
but remember that what you now have was once among the things only hoped for.
-Epicurus
(I don’t know who this motherfucker is, but based on his name,
I’m guessing he was from ancient times.)

Do you ever compare yourself to others? Get jealous about anything in particular?
P.S. A big shout-out to all the fabulous bitches I met during Bloggy Boot Camp Dallas over the weekend. Thank you for not booing me off while I was speaking. Let’s connect on the Flourish in Progress Facebook page or Twitter and stay in touch. Unless I offended you. Then, I’m sorry and it’s totally okay to ignore me forever.
image via friendsoftype.com

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  • Neely

    Met you this weekend at Bloggy Boot Camp and I wanted to tell you you rock :)

  • http://www.womenofcertainage.blogspot.com CaliforniaGirl500

    Aw, if there weren’t nerds, the popular kids would have no one to be popular over. You’ve done your job.

    Have you seen this video? I can’t stop watching & laughing.
    http://womenofcertainage.blogspot.com/2012/09/friday-funny.html

  • http://twitter.com/Candypo Candy Olivares

    Bloggy Boot Camp bitch here! LOL Dude you are a such a breath of fresh air. I’m totally not one of those mofo’s at Starbucks either- oh did you get one of those that orders something that’s not even on the menu?! Yeah I totally have. I am just jealous of bitches w/nice bags. . yeah.. I can’t move past it. I don’t think I really compare myself to others- just decide it’s too upsetting or I’m just better than they are anyways ya know. LOL That saves on time too. I’m silly. and I’m out! Later~

  • http://acaseofthetuesdays.blogspot.com Meg Fox

    Epicurus sounds like Yoda, therefore he must know what he is talking about. [hrmmmmm] do not spoil what have you [hrmmm] or have you not padawan [hrmmmm]

  • TheKid

    I love you Bitch!
    And That quote tho
    Epicurus, epic guy huh

  • cassandrap02

    “Even now, as an adult, I’m not one of those bitches with a shitload of friends. Every time I’m around a group of new people, I trip over my words and say extremely inappropriate things. Also, I start to sweat a lot, and it’s always a conversation killer when I have to excuse myself to get a paper towel to stick under my arm.”
    LOL yep this pretty much sums up my social skills as well. Us socially awkward homettes have to stick together :)

  • http://www.kimskitchensink.com Kim’s Kitchen Sink

    Glad to know we spent our high school Friday nights in similar fashions.

  • Miranda Kaye

    I’m jealous of my Sister. Sometimes. She put in a lot of hard work to become a surgeon so i’m proud of her, but still jealous. I am however not jealous that she has 3 kids all under the age of 4 and is still a surgeon. I do give her props though, she’s a badass. :) Wish I had her motivation…some people just move through life at different speeds. I’m okay with that.

  • Brittany Rae

    OH man! Friday nights was ABC Family night. Sad that I know that.
    I was a popular kid for awhile. The hair, the friends, the b-o-y-s. And then I realized how much work it was to be the mean girl. I mean I had it down. Like a science. But to be popular I had to give up the kids I grew up with and I was not down. So ABC Family night it was. And I was okay with that.
    Sometimes now I get jealous of people with fancy schmancy cars or something materialistic like that but then I realize that they have a huge car payment or pay out the ass for insurance. I like my old car and my even older car and the little insurance that I pay on both.
    Great post. And yes Epicurus is old school but that is a great quote.

  • Staci

    I find myself comparing me to my old self. I remember when I didn’t have to exercise. I did it anyway sometimes because it was fun! Who was that girl?! I miss the girl who didn’t have to throw caution to the wind and was a bit more carefree.

  • mariella :)

    looking back, i was somewhat of a drepressed-gloomy kid. high school was not my cup of tea and i couldn’t wait to get out of there!!! i thought everyone had it going on… BUT ME!!! now, as i’ve growned, i know everyone is pretty much fucked up and has some kind of issues. i’m happy in my own skin and starting to accept my flaws. life is good. Epicurus knows his shit!!!

  • http://twitter.com/100Mileshighway Katherina

    I am jealous of people who know how to write well. Like, really well. I always wish I could express myself better. It takes me ages to write one blog entry… and today it took me 3 hours to write an farewell email. That can’t be normal… If only my writing skills were as good as my (basic) maths skills!

  • Jennifer Reinmuth-Haldman

    I’m so socially inept I don’t even answer the phone when it rings because it means I’ll have to actually carry on a functional conversation. And I have never understood this bizarre notion that we have to be constantly interacting with and meeting NEW people; I’m busy as hell avoiding and offending the people I ALREADY know. It’s frustrating as hell because I’ll be somewhere like BlogHer and be surrounded by all of these people I admire the shit out of (like yourself and Noa and Arnebya) and I just freeze up and come across as an unfeeling asshole when I’m really just socially clueless.

    • Jennifer Reinmuth-Haldman

      Aaaaaand, I have no idea why google is hyphenating my name and sticking my ex-husband’s moniker on there.

      • Misty

        Yeah, what the hell? I though maybe you ran off to Vegas with the new boy toy, and forgot to invite me as bridesmaid, and I was about to be hella pissed!

        • Jennifer Reinmuth-Haldman

          Oh sister girl, so wrong on two counts: (1) Vegas wouldn’t be Vegas without you and Johi, and (2) I am n-e-v-e-r getting married again. Never. . .ever.

    • http://yougotsars.com you gotsars!

      that my friend is scary… find a way to fix that shit pronto or get Misty to sue their asses

  • Ann

    O.K. I really hate to admit it, but I made it thru high school only showing up for tests. I had a system that worked well to keep anyone from knowing that I was not there:
    1. park in teacher’s lot (where there was no gate)
    2. show up for attendance (so I was technicay at school)
    3. leave school via side exit (since they weren’t monitored)
    4. be a member of lots of clubs (so you always have an excuse for not being in a class)
    I graduated with a B average and a list of clubs that had colleges salivating.

  • Sarah

    I compare myself all the time, but I have gotten much better with age. Because I know that there is always someone who is better than me at anything and everything that I am/do.

    I think the key is finding a place where your talents and gifts are accepted and appreciated and there is no competition, just acceptance. I’m pretty sure that’s hard at any age but cultivating it within yourself is most important.

    I kind of straddled the line of what you talk about above. I was one of those geeky kids who knew how to program my “fancy” graphing calculator with fun games but I had a very small group of friends.

    Also I used to stutter as a kid so that’s never helped me with making friends or being the center of attention. Even though I no longer stutter I’m still not a fan of the spotlight.

    P.S. I say inappropriate things on purpose, sometimes I get a laugh and sometimes i just get crickets. You can’t win them all. :)

  • Sarah

    I breezed through high school… it was my 20’s that were the problem. I feel like I USED to have it going on – I had a tight group of friends that also happened to be way smart, so we did homework together and had fun. Now that I’m 30 though I feel like it is so so hard to meet new people and hang out like we used to back then. You have to coordinate schedules, and husbands schedules and work schedules and have similar interests and similar politics views…

    • Sarah

      (i’m a different Sarah from the one below, just so you know. hehe)

  • http://www.hotmessprincess.com/ Princess Dianne

    I totally compare myself to others and I really resent myself for it. :-) There are so many fabulous chicks out there, I forget I can be fabulous myself. And now I have those nude Kate Middleton pics to live up to…I just can’t catch a break.

  • Misty

    I was a total dork in HS, with oddly a very popular BFF. I used to wish and pray and dream I could be even half as popular as her. Then I got older and realized she was a bitchabeast and was glad I was the smart one. Not super duper valedictorian smart, but smart enough. College was rough as well, but I finally came into my own in my 20s and 30s. I’m still crazy socially awkward, but I just don’t care as much what people think anymore, which I think is the key.

    Besides that, I think I’ve finally found my peeps in the blogging community. Thanks for being one of my equally as awkward in real life homies! Much love.

  • http://writingwishing.com/ Alison

    I was the dumbest kid in the smartest class. How’s that for some ego bashing?

    I don’t compare anymore. There isn’t enough cake in the world to make me feel better if I did. So I don’t. I just show off my kids, because I know they are the best. Go on, challenge me. No, don’t. Wait, what?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000219480166 Elizabeth Barnes

    I did the socially awkward thing for a long time and had many similar Friday nights to yours. Now I’ve decided life is too short and I actually talk to people. I don’t have a gigantic circle of friends, but I can chat a random person up without feeling like I’m going to hurl now. Sometimes they judge me, but I’ve finally managed (most of the time) not to care.

  • thegeekyblogger

    I totally have a hard time not comparing myself with others: not fashionable enough, not funny enough, not graceful enough but then I try to remind myself that those are just things I am not. Is it hard to take? YEP but alas you can only be the best you. That being said I have the best darn ability to make green ice tea ever and being from the south that is not something many can say LOL

  • Kelly

    Ugh, I feel insecure everytime I leave the house. Sure I have acquaintances but people that I can really let see the real me? No so many, my husband, my kids and the people here who aren’t judgy. I think because I don’t see you all face to face it is easier to express myself especially honestly.
    Here is an example of my ineptness…. went to a photography class last night, had to introduce ourselves and state what we wanted to get out of the class, I stammered over my name. Oh yeah right there, I’m the loser who doesn’t even know her own name….

  • Are You Kidding Me?

    The easiest way to stop comparing yourself to others is to get older. Most things stop mattering and you can get on with being fabulous as yourself.

  • rollerscrapper

    As I read I totally compared myself to you and I’ve decided awesome people are sweaty and watched Tgif, which I still miss to this day

  • Alice

    Ugh! Jealous of those students who regurgitated everything our law profs said in class and therefore aced their exams first year, and therefore landed the big corporate jobs. But then, I just remind myself that me and toxic work environments don’t mix!

  • Stacie

    Adjust your attitude girl! You are hilarious and we all loved you at BBCDAL! I am so glad our paths crossed and I look forward to stalking your blog. Stacie xo
    http://www.makeupobsessedmom.com

  • mommyonthespot

    Can’t tell you how much I get this post. Even though I was a smart kid,I worked really hard at it and always wondered what it would be like to be popular. They seemed so glamorous and carefree, while I was dorky and anxious. That was a long time ago, but I still feel pricks of those uncomfortable feelings. Usually with a downpour of sweat.

    It’s hard,but I’ve been really devoting a lot of time learning not to compare myself to others and just be happy on my own path. It has not been easy and I’m still working on it. What it boils down to is quieting all my anxiety and listening to my instincts. Not only listening, but trusting them. That has been the hardest part of all.

  • Megan Gordon

    I was jealous of you getting to read your post at Voices of the Year (although you absolutely deserved it). I have yet to get recognized for my writing.

  • http://www.living-authentically.com Bill-The Authentic Life

    Of course I compare myself to others. That is called being a human. But, I have learned that no one is exactly like me, and I am exactly like no one else, and therefore don’t really care that I don’t have what others have. I think that is called wisdom, or delusion. But I’m going with wisdom.

  • http://thoughtsfromparis.com/ Delfin Joaquin Paris III

    The trick is to compare yourself with people who you judge as “worse” than you. Duh.

  • http://newfoundjoye.blogspot.com newfoundjoye

    I think we all compare ourselves with other people—at some point, and sometimes unconsciously. Sometimes, we compare ourselves because we want to feel better about decisions, I think…or maybe out of bitterness or even jealousy. When I was younger (and I mean like early teenage years), it was just what you did. You compared everything about yourself to other people, trends, and society.

    However, I unexpectedly learned a valuable lesson from the theme song of the cartoon As Told By Ginger: “Someone once told me the grass is much greener on the other side. And I paid a visit (and it’s possible I missed it)—it was different, yet exactly the same. ‘Til further notice, I’m in-between. From where I’m standing, my grass is green.”

  • http://misslayesen.tumblr.com/ Mel

    Which high school did you go to where being smart also meant having the ability to choose between parties on Friday nights? I wish I went to that school. Being smart in high school for me meant that everyone only saw me as the girl to ask for homework help. Hardly anybody saw me as the girl who would be a cool date to the prom or homecoming. My homecoming date for three years in a row recently came out as gay.

    There was this one sweet girl in high school who always looked beautiful and was genuinely nice to everybody. One time, she called me on my birthday so sing “Happy Birthday” to me. Oh yeah, she’s a good singer, too. EVERY guy I knew had a crush on her, and no guy ever managed to take her off the market. She ended up interning for Seventeen Magazine this past summer and made it onto one of the pages as a model. My girlfriends and I had many a chat about how insanely jealous we were of her.

    I was happy for her, but a part of me also wished that she would stop seeming so damn perfect. For the record, I spent my summer at an unpaid internship for a congressional campaign, in an office with rented desks and a bunch of high-schoolers. The coolest thing I did there was learn how to make balloon animals. I got really good at making a dog. It was no magazine feature, though.

  • http://yougotsars.com you gotsars!

    Liz my friend, my home skillet, my shiv-a-ho… I feel ya and then some. I have a bff who has an IQ “he doesn’t like to talk about, it’s just a number” a number well above 140 but who’s counting right? And then there are the friends he chills with, and by chill I mean debates about the affect of sponge bob on the developing fetus and a new (non-published) study someone is peer-reviewing, or why Hitchens book is having such an impact on hipster who never read his work, or how so-and-so is is politically doing this and that within the realm of blah, blah and yadah yadah.

    It is fuckin ridiculous. I have a difficult time not comparing myself and my overwhelming lack of education all the time. Then I think about… non of them thinks about the fact that at three in the morning when you are sitting outside talking about all this head splitting drivel, some tea would be nice… and so I make some, put it on a tray, with cream, honey, agave syrup and spoons, just before I go to bead with my headphones in playing something that has nothing to do with anything they are talking about.

  • doris86

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