The younger twenty-somethings around me have been driving me crazy lately. How do some people know how to push all the buttons you have that make you feel terrible?

This is not a competition. I don’t want to compete. I don’t want to compare.

This is not a competition. There is no need for jealousy. No need for judgement.

No mean girls, please. I’m not really one for girl hate. I much prefer girl power, don’t you?

I remember myself at 23. I was absolutely nothing to be jealous of. Nothing worthy of comparison. I was a mess. I still am most of the time. So are they. Why do I let them get to me? I don’t think I’m jealous. No, that’s not it. And that thing about other people being a mirror? I’m not too sure about that one either. I definitely don’t wish I was 23 again. What is it that bothers me so much? Is it a test of patience? Acceptance? Humility? Am I still working through all the mistakes I made back then? Please, Universe…just tell me. I want to move past these feelings. I can make myself insecure all on my own. I don’t need help from anyone else.

This is not a competition. Why must we make it so? You flaunt it all in my face. I don’t flaunt back. I actively try not to participate at all. I don’t want to be in competition with you. I’m not in competition with you. I’m on a completely different level.

Because this isn’t about making him like me more than he likes you. This isn’t about who parties harder or runs more or lives closer to the beach or looks better in a bikini or knows more about some bullshit topic that doesn’t really matter. It isn’t about making more money or having more friends or more dates or a “better” job. It isn’t about looking younger or sounding smarter or acting superior.

Those things. All those things are amateur hour. Drama. Meaningless distractions from what it is really about.

This is about life. Real, messy, beautiful life. It is about taking responsibility for everything that you do and everything that you are. It is about learning how to be your own best friend and not your own worst enemy. It is about finally finding a boy that makes me forget my heart was ever broken. It is about knowing who to trust, when to trust them, and what to trust them with. It is about using class and self-respect – not cleavage and shamelessness – to get attention.  It is about knowing that you don’t know a goddamn thing about anything. It is about actually listening to what people say after you ask them a question. It is about giving people the space to do things their own time and in their own way.

This is about knowing that everyone is just trying to live the life they’ve imagined for themselves and that there is really no point in trying to prove anything to anyone other than yourself.