Not polished but from the heart…

What you say and what I hear

are two different things.

You say, “I need you to do this. I can’t make that change–not right now.”

Much more is said,

to affirm me,

the work I do,

the person I am,

the leader I am.

Still I hear, “Do this because you’re not as good as she is.”


A colleague once said,

“Comparison is the root of all unhappiness.”

I heard it,

and tried to listen,

absorbing the wisdom,

yet still I compare.


The voice in my head,

of childhood insecurity

rears its ugly head–again.

Tossing in my bed,

I try to smother the voice

with my pillow,

make it disappear.


The bigger picture

is missing from my field,

A warped frame, tired and worn,

The picture is smudged, distorted.


Being the youngest invited comparison.

The last in a line of studious Stigaards–

the expectations were high.

My sister went to Vanderbilt,

My brother  to Georgia Tech,

and I just went.

I spent my younger days in a desk,

being compared–

Not like your  sister–so neat, so smart, meticulous and determined.

Not like your  brother-brilliant with little effort.

An adventurous and fun-loving social child–

I didn’t fit the mold.

“Talks too much”

“Out of seat”

“Not focused”

“Not at all like her sister”

“Not like her brother”

Why so many years later,

do I find myself


comparing myself to others?


The voices are smothered–

I shoo them away.


I slip back into my rightful space,

my own space,

letting go and moving on,

I am my own person,

intense and insightful,

passionate and determined,

strong and persistent.


Even in my weaknesses,

I am unique and one of a kind,

defying comparison

and forging my own path.


6 thoughts on “Comparison

  1. Sounds like you’re still finding your place, Maya. Who cares about the brother or sister, except to be with them? They are not YOU! And you are not THEM! I imagine that a brilliant and social and creative person has a lovely place in the world-Keep taking your own path. Chinese proverb: “The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.”


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