I recently took a trip to Spain. It was amazing. It was an opportunity to get some much needed vitamin D, get my fix of adventure and most importantly, get some GOOD eats. I am such a foodie. I love trying new foods, especially foods that are special to a country/area. Malaga, Spain is right on the ocean so you know I was taking every opportunity to eat their fresh seafood. Octopus, squid, clams.. Yes, all of it. I wanted to make sure I missed nothing. My type A personality shines through as I am researching all the foods I need to try and not only that, but the restaurants that do it the best. Google maps turns into my best friend. I search for all the highly rated restaurants, of course, seeking out the Five-Star restaurants.
There are many different types of restaurants that can be classified as a Five-Star restaurant. You have the restaurants that are just straight up classy. These are usually the ones I walk into and catch some looks, as my American style screams “I DON’T FIT IN HERE”. They have all the nicest decor and making me feel like I need a pinky out as I take a sip of my adult beverage. Maybe the dishes are a bit more expensive but you know that you are about to get some tasty food! A combination of it all gives it the reputation of a Five-Star restaurant. But then, there are the mom and pop restaurants or also referred to as “a hole in the wall” restaurant. For all my Northeast Wisconsin readers, I always think of places like Mickey Lu’s. It might not look like much but BEST BURGERS EVER. Another Five-Star restaurant.
In Spain, I got to experience both. A local’s cafe, which was off the beaten path and had the best churros, coffee and service ever. The servers didn’t speak much English and my three years of Spanish in High School just didn’t cut it. So we communicated with smiles and I just simply pointed at the menu. I loved this little cafe. It was a welcoming environment and the churros were to die for. Then there was this restaurant we tried that was on the summit of a hike that we did. It was perfectly placed next to the most beautiful view of the city. It was incredible. Again, a bit too fancy for my hiking outfit but it was beautiful. Both restaurants were a Five-Star experience but the question is, which was better?
They both left me with the best memories and of course, the best food, but they were completely different. It wouldn’t be fair to even try comparing them. They were unique and special in their own way, so why would I even try comparing them?
Different is Fun
The same thing holds true for us as people. We are all unique and special in our own way so why do we constantly compare ourselves to others? What makes me special might not be the same thing that makes you special and that’s OKAY. Actually, that should be encouraged. What fun would life be if we were all the same? Just like, what fun would it be if all restaurants served the same foods and provided the same experience? The differences in all of us is what makes this life fun.
We all have our own unique characteristics that make us who we are. No one way is the right way. When we try copying the ways of others that is when we lose our true self. There is no definition of a Five-Star restaurant, just like there is no definition of a Five-Star person. The goal in life is to be the best YOU, you can be. To become a Five-Star YOU. We are all different and unique in our own way so why would we try to be something else?
My favorite quote that I try to live by is,
“The only person you should compare yourself to is the person you were yesterday"
Once you learn to stop comparing yourself to others you will be free to discover your true potential. Use every day as an opportunity to discover who you are and continue to challenge yourself to become a better version of you. Your uniqueness is one of your greatest strengths so make sure you use it.
Embrace who you are, be proud of what makes you different and strive to become your best self because the world deserves a Five-Star YOU.
- Laken James