I spent a number of years running away from comparison. As I began to understand my internalized misogyny, I realized that a huge portion of that negative energy manifested in the way I looked at other girls as competition (if you identify as a girl in any way, this will sound familiar). Unlearning girl hate proved difficult, but not impossible: I actively encouraged myself to think positive thoughts about people as I passed them on the street; to throw women silent cheers in my head; to say at least one nice thing to every girl I spoke to; to focus my compliments on choices and character rather than natural appearance. I stopped judging and competing—not altogether, of course, but I'm far from where I was. I remind myself that the presence of someone else's beauty does not negate my own.
I still work at this practice every single day. Over the years it's become far more habitual than intentional, but dismantling self-debasing thoughts takes daily time and effort. I still have dreams that I'm yelling at shadowy figures I would carve out whatever you don't like in me; I still catch myself full of envy when I watch the Lorelei Gilmores of the world staying skinny and clear-faced with zero effort whatsoever.
It may seem, then, completely absurd and self-sabotaging to theme this season around comparison. Honestly, I'm not interested in competing with anyone. I hope we all make it.
But the Capricorn spirit is grounded in self-improvement. They're usually competitive folk, but they compete with themselves more than anyone else; even when afflicted with low confidence or self-doubts, they use those negative energies to propel them forwards. When dealt a bad lot, they make a point to push through obstacles and work methodically towards their goals. Capricorns gain strength and bravery from misfortune. Nothing can divert them from their path or knock them down; they love proving themselves wrong.
I think ultimately, humans are competitive creatures. Girls especially are taught to be this way, either implicitly or otherwise, but I've yet to meet a person who doesn't have a competitive streak. My natural competitiveness has always been focused inwards; sometimes this has proved to be a detriment. I've got a knack for feeling "less than." But I think as I mature and grow, I can turn this knack into a motivation.
A resolution for 2017: compare yourself only to your old selves. Forget competing with other people, whether it's in looks or successes or money or whatever. Ground yourself in How Far You've Come and fuel your aspirations with Who You Want To Be. Exfoliate; shed your old skins and shimmy out of past delusions. Take a bath in forgotten dreams. Don't lose sight of those lofty ideals you set for yourself at age nine.
Capricorn season was the first for this website; I launched it this time last year, just before New Year's Eve. I'm vaguely obsessed with this holiday and its accompanying resolutions because I love any excuse I can take to focus on bettering myself; I wrote last year, "New Year's resolutions are sort of bullshit but they're also sort of amazing. We have a collectively-imposed time of the year when we all take a moment to remind ourselves of who we want to be and who we have been."
Four years ago on NYE I was the most in love I've ever been, and last year I was very alone but the happiest I've ever been. All I'm saying is, idk. Maybe we should stop paying attention to what we think we need. Resolving to lose ten pounds, or find true love, or whatever. Maybe we should strive towards cultivating friendships and breaking up with toxic environments and painting our nails. Maybe you shouldn't listen to me and set resolutions that feel right for you. All I'm saying is, idk. Who does? Just remember that transformation is possible. I bet your nine-year-old self would be proud of you.