I have a confession to make. I have a deadly disease and it is called 'Comparitis'. I believe it is something I have lived with my entire life. If you are not familiar with this condition, it means that I have a tendency to compare my view of other people's lives to my own. For years, I have obsessively surveyed how I stand up to my peers and analysed my position in comparison to theirs. Was my job title as impressive? Was my salary as generous? Was my house as homely? Was my boyfriend as faultless? Were my family as close-knit? Was my figure as fat-free? Was my party as raucous? Was my hair as shiny? Was my car as well-specced? Was my wardrobe as stylish? Was my dog as well-trained?
I used to believe that this was a typical trait of a competitive person, a way of spurring myself on to reach increasingly ambitious goals. As I have got older I have started to understand this is an emotionally dangerous disease that erodes positivity, leaving only feelings of inadequacy and failure. Now that I am aware of its enduring risks I am taking action to halt its progression. So rather than focusing on how: I have an inferior job title to my peers; earn less money; live in a smaller apartment; have a scruffier wardrobe; have frizzier hair; have more fat and cellulite; and don't own a car.... I thought I would instead put the spotlight on the fantastic things that have happened in my life recently.
1) I have made a complete career change from marketing to teaching
2) I have succeeded in achieving a great work/life balance (a genuine accomplishment for workaholic Hong Kong). Each week I work two days in one kindergarten, half a day in another, and supplement that with private tutoring.
3) I am slowly building my private tutoring business.
4) I am going to teach English at a Summer Camp in Beijing for a month in July/August.
5) I have sailed 1200nm across the China Sea from Hong Kong to the Philippines and back again.
6) I have completed my first (and probably last!) Cat 1 ocean race.
7) I have visited a new country.
8) I am going to go hiking in China with David when I finish the Summer Camp in Beijing.
9) I have been to a party at the most amazing house in Hong Kong overlooking the skyline and harbour.
10) I have been to the Hong Kong Sevens.
In order to combat this critical disease it is vital for me to regularly acknowledge how incredibly lucky I am to be here in Asia, participating in so many incalculable life experiences. In the words of Mark Twain "Comparison is the death of all joy". I am not going to let Comparitis eradicate all the joy from my life.
Sailing across the South China Sea
Partying in the Philippines
Partying in Hong Kong
Hong Kong Sevens