In art school we used something called “negative space” a lot.
By definition, negative space is “quite simply, the space that surrounds an object in an image. Just as important as that object itself, negative space helps to define the boundaries of positive space and brings balance to a composition.”
Negative (or white) space is an important element of design which enables the object in it to exist at all; it is key to the balance of the composition.
In real life, we deal with negative space a lot; the parts of life that are blank, or open-ended or otherwise vulnerable. The parts of life that often become prone to comparison.
Ouch. Comparison. We all struggle with it in one way or another; my negative space looks differently from yours. But why, do us humans, feel the need to constantly look to others to fill our negative space? When we have white or blank or empty areas in our lives, we jump on Instagram and start cluttering those voids with images and observations of others.
I do it every single day. Constantly comparing. So much so, that I had to write this blog post for me. And hopefully you as well.
in dealing w/ comparison
- Trust that you have whatever it is that you need right now.
If you compare out of feeling in-need of something, then learn to trust yourself. If you are having a hard time trusting yourself, then trust me when I say that NO ONE ELSE HAS LIFE FIGURED OUT MORE THAN YOU DO. Only you know what’s truly best for you and only you can be the one to trust that you already have everything that you need right now. And next week you still will have whatever it is that you need. You’ve made it this far, right? Trust yourself.
- Check your media diet. Just as importantly as what you eat, you need to be concerned about what you’re viewing. You’re feeding your eyes and brain and emotions and ego when you’re scrolling through the ‘gram. So maybe go through and follow/unfollow things that you do/don’t need to constantly look at.
- Tie your peace to something other than your circumstances. When your peace is tied to a circumstance in your life, and that circumstance changes, our peace changes with it…. Cue the comparison. So you got a divorce… or you dropped out of school… or you changed your mind about something BIG… all of that should be able to change without your peace changing with it. All of that should be able to change while you stay in your own lane and not compare yourself to where others are at. Because they don’t have it figured out either… trust me.
Comparison steals joy. It drowns you in insecurity. We’re all human here and we all have things that people don’t see. Can I make you a promise?
As long as you’re yourself, you can’t fuck this life up. Embrace your negative space and don’t feel like you have to fill it with anything. Besides, minimalism is in.
Be you, be where you are, go where you’re going. Shut your eyes when you’re feeling vulnerable & wanting to look at the lives of others; there’s nothing to see there.
You’re not alone,