STAGE OF LIFE       Share Your Story       Coupons       Education Resources
Sign Up Now!

You Do You, I Do Me

Joined: 1/25/2011
Posts: 210
“Everyone on the Internet, they’re not having as great a time as you think they are."

“I guess people are just cropping out all the sadness..."

I have a really awful habit of comparing myself, and my life, to others. Of course, social interaction these days isn't what it used to be, so I spend a lot of my time on Facebook comparing my daily activities to my peers' uplifting statuses, beautiful selfies, and dozens of photos of that impulsive, two-week vacation to Alaska they took. By the end of my internet purge, I often feel really crappy about how, dare I say it, boring my life is in comparison.

I went to visit my parents the other weekend, and when they asked the inevitable, "What have you been up to?" question, I shrugged and said, "Oh, not much. Work, sleep, TV, cats." And that's really about it. My weekends are reserved for a fun run, some shopping, and relaxation. My fiance and I aren't really into bars, parties, or karaoke, so we prefer to stay home. But does that kind of preference leave us out of the loop?

I decided to tell my mom, "So-and-so went to Alaska for two weeks. And another so-and-so just left on a trip to visit her sister in Costa Rica. Wouldn't that be amazing?"

My mom wasn't impressed. "They aren't saving money like you are."

"But life isn't about saving money," I insisted, "it's about living, and having fun."

"Then what's stopping you from going?" my mom argued. "You have the money for a round-trip ticket. Or you could go on a cruise right now!"

I had never really thought about it like that. I set such strict rules for myself in terms of work and saving money, that I never really considered that I could, in theory, pack my bags and just go if I really wanted to.

Maybe I'm just looking to justify my insane need to be extremely responsible about every minor aspect of my life, but I guess I could look at it this way: I have more money in the bank than those people ever will. I'm financially independent from my parents, and am planning a fun, budget wedding. And, I know this sounds crazy, but I kind of like being a little tightly wound. It keeps me, and my spending, in check. Otherwise, I'd probably impulse buy those seven, $60 summer dresses I favorited on ModCloth.

I guess, in the end, it doesn't matter how you live your life, as long you are happy with it. Frankly, I don't care if staring at the ceiling or watching paint dry is your favorite thing in the world to do; don't let others' Facebook adventures get you down! After all, maybe while they were scuba diving in the Bahamas, they got stung by a jellyfish and had a really miserable time. Or they took 20 awkward photos before they got that perfect selfie. You won't see that photographic evidence on Facebook!
Rate this:
Comment by lauren820

Joined: 9/2/2013
Posts: 8
I love this essay! I'm going to share with my high school students. I preach this to my friends all the time when they think their lives don't measure up to their "friends" on FB. I wrote a blog similar to this too.
Posted: Saturday, January 11, 2014 2:04:25 AM
Rate this:

About StageofLife.comAbout Us: is a free blogging and writing community for singles that allows those living on their own the opportunity to share their personal stories and essays in an online life journal via their free Stage of Life account.  Explore our blogging contests for singles, statistics about being single, quotes about being single, and other resources about the single life here on  Register to start your free writing profile, share an essay about your life, and help us change the world, one story at a time.  If you are a teacher - review our Creative Writing and Language Arts Resources.

Stage of Life Writing Contests

writing contests

Enter National Writing ContestWriting Contests

From 2010 to 2016, ran a monthly, multi-generational writing contest.  With over 3,000,000 visitors and tens of thousands of participating students, teachers, parents, and bloggers involved over half a decade, grew into the world's largest multi-generational writing community. writing contestsWhere is the Writing Contest Now?  As grew into a global writing destination, the coordination of managing an international writing contest became too time intensive for the website's owners.  So starting on Sept. 4, 2016, unfortunately had to end the writing contest portion of its services. 

However, we are now actively looking for new owners of who may want to carry on the mission of helping to change the world, one story at a time.  If you know someone who may be interested in taking to the next level, we can share details around the opportunity.  Please send an email to our owners if there's interest to acquire the website.

But in the meantime, there's still plenty to see and do here - just check out the various links and menus on the page.

Past Annual Writing Contest Results:  While the energy and time to carry on the writing contest has come to a close, you can see summary reports and the winners from the monthly contests on our Writing Contest Winners page.  Tens of thousands of people have submitted essays over the last six years.  Our editorial team has been extremely grateful for all of the wonderful essays shared over the years - words and stories that have helped us change the world, one story at a time.

Sincerely, owners Eric & Rebecca Thiegs and Joe & Lisa Thiegs

Bragging rights, international recognition, and gift card prizes were part of the fun for participants of the free writing contests on

Mentions for the Stage of Life teen writing contests, teen trend reports, etiquette Q&A, and teacher resources by...

Our writing contests mentioned by
Our Teen Trend Report mentioned by MarketWatch Our etiquette resources mentioned by FOX Business Educator tips mentioned by Mashable


Each month over half a decade, Stage of Life hosted and judged writing contests for both students and adults.  We thank the below brands - our educational sponsors - who supplied gift cards as prizes for the winning essays as we helped the change the world through blogging, storytelling, and our literacy-based initiatives...

 Writing contest sponsor  Writing contest sponsor on  Blogging contest prize sponsor Spa & Wellness gift cards by SpaWeek writing contestsWhat made our writing contests different?

  • Stage of Life writing contests were always free to enter
  • Essays from our blogging and writing contests have been picked up by the media, e.g., and used by teachers as mentor texts across the globe
  • We wanted to hear your personal, authentic thoughts on real world topics each month.  We picked writing prompts for which your answers and wisdom may help our readers
  • We awarded the winners with real prizes (cash and/or gift cards) from our site sponsors
  • By entering the Stage of Life writing contests each month, writers were supporting our free educational literacy initiatives and their words reached hundreds of thousands of viewers who visited

Find Us on Facebook      Follow Us on Twitter     Read our Founder's Blog was launched in 2009 as the premier destination for people of all ages to find information, coupons, and stories about one of ten key stage of life transitions:  high school, college, on my own, wedding, married without children, having a baby, home ownership, parenting, grand parenting, and empty nest/retirement.  Nearly 1 million visitors come to the site each year to find information about their stage of life.  Stage of Life users (teens, college students, Millennials, Gen Y, Gen X, and Baby Boomers) can also share and archive their life stories via their Stage of Life profile page.  Specialized content includes statistics, quotes, videos, financial tips, coupons, news, writing contests, and more tailored to each of the 10 life stages featured.  My Life Rewards® is the free discount program for all Stage of Life users, readers and writers dedicated to providing printable coupons and coupon codes tailored towards each stage of life.

Terms of Service and Privacy