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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Queen's U chapter.

If you let it, your mind can ruin almost everything. The most beautiful moments can go dark as they swish and swash through your mind. Sunsets can be dulled, good hair days can be wasted, and precious moments can feel worthless. Happiness can often be squished by some sort of comparison, an overbearing thought on what others are doing and how or why it is better than what you are up to.

I have felt this deeply and strongly; I sometimes feel I am so consumed with the lives of others that I forget to live my own. The feelings are sneaky and sometimes arrive even when everything around me is seemingly fine. They build up to dissatisfaction which is uncomfortable and ultimately endless if you allow it to be. You can ALWAYS want more. These thoughts have been on my mind and filling pages in my journal as I try to grapple with becoming more grateful, more present and more content.

I have started to become mindful of when I feel myself tearing down my experiences and situations compared to others. I repeat the phrase to myself: “things do not have to be the best in order to be good.” I find it freeing to remember that there is no overarching standard for life experience. There ultimately is no ‘best.’ Sometimes things just play out, and they don’t need labels of good or bad. They can just be. The simple sentence is multifaceted: essentially, the idea of being the best is subjective. People are different, their ideas of “best” are different, and their goals and wants and satisfiers are different. It’s important to zoom out and remember how complex life is. The aspects of others I am comparing myself to likely take up a very small amount of space in the entire story of their world. I may think they have lovely hair or nice friends, but I know nothing about how their minds work, the intricacies of their relationships, or the hurdles of their everyday.

The most important thing to remember is that others’ stories are irrelevant to our own. Though we can twist them in our minds to alter our experiences, this alteration is fake. What someone else has, who someone is, what someone else is doing: It doesn’t affect me in actuality, but only in perception. Perception is susceptible to change. Remembering this is so freeing to me. I choose to be consumed by the lives of others, but I do not need to be. I have the power to exist only for myself. In the same way, you can let your mind ruin even the good moments; you can also let your mind make even the sh*tty moments feel okay. So much of our experience happens internally, and if you use it to your advantage, things can start to feel brighter.

“Things do not have to be the best in order to be good.”

Maya Gelfand

Queen's U '24

Maya Gelfand is a fourth year film and media student at Queens University.