A few days ago someone commented on one of my Instagram photos saying they’d written a blog post about my blog, and of course, I went to check it out. She had some very kind words about my blog, but mentioned that she also experienced jealousy when she first stumbled across my site. After reading her post, I felt compelled to write about the topic of “Internet jealousy,” a feeling, I’m sure, that most of us have experienced. For me, this usually happens when I find a blogger who seems to have their writing style and voice down pat or an Instagram account with gorgeous photos. While social media and the Internet makes it easy to compare ourselves to others, I want to take a moment to remind everyone that it isn’t worth it. And Hannah, the blogger, recognizes this.
She writes, “The prevalence of social media… creates the perfect storm of conditions for comparisons. We’re supposed to desire what other people have- we’re supposed to believe what we have isn’t good enough.” After letting her thoughts settle, Hannah realized her reaction wasn’t a true reflection of how she actually felt and who she was as a person. Instead of comparing, she says, “we should learn and share and grow together. We should celebrate the magnificent capabilities of one another and learn to work through our emotion[al] reactions in ways that support one another. For every instance of comparison where we feel like someone else has ‘succeeded better’ than us, there is someone out there with the same opinion about what we’ve accomplished.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.
I think it’s also important to remind ourselves that what we see on social media isn’t really what’s happening in real life. Jealousy is a completely normal and legitimate feeling, but we need to remind ourselves to take a step back and think about how we are only seeing the beautiful, curated results of a finished product. Rarely do we see the behind-the-scenes struggle: it can take up to 30 minutes to style a photo or a week to write a blog post. It’s really hard work to produce work that you’re proud of, and something I find especially challenging is sitting down to write something that not only reflects who I am as a person but will also resonate with others. No one ever sees me struggle with writers block or wonder why I can’t write like someone else, but it happens. And when those moments happen, I know that comparing myself to others accomplishes nothing.
As I said, jealousy is completely normal. Is it worth it, though? No. And I think it’s so important to ask ourselves where its roots are, knowing the boundaries of where it begins and where it ends, and not allowing it to overtake our lives. Everyone is unique and comparing ourselves can be motivating, but it can also stop us from maximizing our potential and hinder us from doing our best work. Hannah, I’m so very flattered you found my blog inspiring and I’m glad you wrote a post about your feelings because it got me thinking about my creative process and inspired me to write about it on the blog.
Today’s recipe: a chioggia beet salad with pomegranate, arugula, and quinoa dressed in an olive oil and pomegranate syrup dressing. I had a bottle of pomegranate syrup sitting in the cupboard and decided to experiment with it; it’s a little bit sweet, a little bit sour, and a whole lot of sticky. Other than this fesenjan recipe I shared last year, I’ve only used pomegranate syrup to marinade vegetables for roasting and wasn’t sure how else to use it, but salad dressing seemed like a good bet.
CHIOGGIA BEET SALAD WITH POMEGRANATE, ARUGULA, AND QUINOA
Yields 2-3 servings.
- 4 small chioggia beets (278g)
- 3 cups (84g) arugula, washed
- 1 cup raw quinoa or 1 1/2 cups (231g) cooked quinoa
- 1 large pomegranate, around 2 cups (464g)
For the dressing:
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon pomegranate syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- fresh ground pepper, to taste
- Rinse the quinoa and bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the quinoa, reduce the heat and allow the quinoa to simmer for 20 minutes until the quinoa is tender and fluffy.
- While the quinoa is cooking, wash and peel the beets and slice thinly with a mandolin. Toss the beets with the pomegranate and arugula. Prepare the dressing by whisking the olive oil, pomegranate syrup, salt, and pepper together.
- When the quinoa is done, allow the quinoa to cool. Once cool, add the quinoa to the salad and toss with the pomegranate dressing.
Your edible plant enthusiast,