After snoozing four alarms in a row, you roll out of bed and fall into a dead sprint to the bathroom. Is it possible to take a 30 second shower? Today, you will find out.
Clean-ish and panicked, you jog to the bus but it drives away a foot before you reach it.
Or your drive to work is halted five minutes before you reach your destination by surprise construction.
You get to work, clock in and your least favorite co-worker storms past, not making eye contact.
Did you forget something important today? You didn't leave yourself any notes. Shit.
As you try to get organized, no one is talking to you OR everyone is talking to you.
Your pocket buzzes.
A reminder alert on your phone screams "go the gym later, fatty."
You start to open Facebook but everyone is sharing the same bummer article and your stomach growls audibly.
Good thing you packed your - OH NO.
Of COURSE the healthy lunch you lovingly assembled the night before is now thawing on the kitchen counter at home.
You hatefully consider getting a coffee with a lot of chocolate in it.
All day, you plot the demise of everyone who has wronged you today - nay, everyone who has wronged you EVER.
You opt out of signing a departmental birthday card JUST BECAUSE, DIANE.
If one more person, and I mean ANYONE, on the phone, via email, in person, says anything to you, you will spit fire, unhinge your jaw and swallow them whole.
Your phone buzzes again. It's probably Words with Friends.
You take it out of your pocket. Oh, it's Facebook.
You open it up.
And there it is: your friendly acquaintance has gotten That Special Thing You Want.
Not ONLY did they get the thing you want, virtually everyone you know is congratulating them.
Everyone you've ever met is commenting on the status - it's at 332 likes and it's not even noon.
You're interrupted by your boss, who freezes when they see the look on your face.
They will, uh, talk to you later.
You stare at your phone.
That white noise sound from David Fincher movies drowns the world out.
You aren't even a panic-attack-having person but maybe this is what one feels like.
You briefly wonder why people don't have fainting couches anymore.
You need something upon which to faint.
You take an abrupt bathroom break and walk around the bathroom like a crazy person.
You're reevaluating everything you've done to lead you up to this point - where you went to school, where you didn't go to school.
You remember that time you said no to an opportunity and instantly regretted it.
And also, that time you felt good but then one dumb comment made you feel bad.
Your anxiety has oozed from your squishy brain meats down into your entire body.
Now that you've attained your final form - a spasming, miserable pool of failure that is collecting between the tile of the bathroom floor, let's evaluate a few things.
1) Good news happened to someone else and that makes you feel bad.
2) You've converted someone else's success into your bitter failure.
3) You've worked yourself up into a frenzy about something you can't change.
Where do you go from here?
Well, first of all...
Look, it does totally suck that someone you know (whether that's a close friend, family member, rival, whatever) got something that you really wanted.
If you weren't spiraling, you'd perhaps acknowledge that the person's hard work and determination has paid off for them.
On the other hand, maybe that Special Thing they got wasn't fair at all. Maybe they're evil!
In my experience, my greatest miseries stem from comparing myself to others.
Could I improve? Sure. Am I total failure? I'm not. Not even a little. Should I stop it? Yes.
If you FEEL like a total failure sometimes, and unless you really are, I recommend taking stock.
I'm not talking about taking stock of terrifying, uncontrollable, life-ruining things, by the way - I'm talking the small, day to day choices you make that dictate how your day is going.
Writing out your goals and be realistic about what you want to achieve makes it so much easier to begin to work towards the life you want.
For me, quitting drinking meant that my life wasn't dictated by booze. It meant that I woke up feeling better, had more time and money to do what I want, and could more easily follow through with plans.
I'm able to set goals and meet them. And if I get stuck, I'm better about asking for help.
For you, who knows what that looks like, but I bet there's some things you've wanted to try that you haven't yet, though.
Are you where you want to be right now? If not, what can you do to change it?
To quote a famous old white guy, "There is no comparison between that which is lost by not succeeding and that which is lost by not trying."
(Will I take my own advice? Only time will tell.)