Suck Cess

Comparison is the thief of joy.  Have you heard that before?  Me too.  It's hard, though.

When I was in my 20s, I kept looking at my peers who seemed to be killing it - you know: great jobs, excellent relationships, cute apartments, loads of friends.  I felt like was way behind.

I finally "caught up" at 30, when I got married, moved to Nashville and we bought a house.  Well, the great job was still a few years out, but I felt like I could stand up against anyone with everything I had.

And then my friends started having babies.  I noped right out of that milestone.  I didn't want the babies.  I had a dog.  Then another.

Now the milestone we are all hitting, at various rates are parental illness and loss.  And to a smaller but no less scary extent, our partner's and our own health stuff. It's colonoscopy time, friends!

So, not everyone I know had kiddos.  In fact, a healthy amount of us did something else.

But now of course, I find myself comparing my life to theirs.  The ones living in NYC living the creative, boho life (I know four of those).  I know of one couple who moved to the Dominican Republic after several overseas billets with the State Department.  I know one who travels a lot with a group of friends.  I know another couple who are sports mad and end up at nearly every game for their preferred teams.

I mean, I'm good.  I have a cute house, and a cute husband, a cute dog, accute anxiety, and a great job.  Maybe I'm not creating art, or working in theatre or television, or performing standup.  But I'm helping people, or at least, I can make that argument.  And I do get to be creative quite often.  And encouraged to be creative.

Sometimes I worry that people see me as all sizzle and no steak.  But then, I also wonder if there's really even sizzle.

We all have these days.  Here's the thing.  Comparison is the thief of joy.  And there are plenty of people who would look at what I have and say, "That.  I want that." So, my existential crisis is another man's all you can eat buffet.

Speaking of - the other night, I was just thinking about my early years. I had the mental image of eating at this cafeteria in my hometown - Morrison's.  It was so good.  I remember loving the fancy Jell-o cubes.  There's always room for it.  Pretty exciting stuff, y'all.

To my knowledge, Morrison's no longer exists.  But then, I guess cafeterias have mostly gone the way of the dodo.   I ate at one in North Carolina, maybe nine years ago.  The K & W - which they told me stood for Kanes & Walkers because of the elderly population.  It's a joke, son.

It was good.  Now we eat at Bishops Meat and Three, which is sort of cafeteria style, after all.  So I was wrong.  They aren't extinct - just rare. My point is, there was a time in my life where I thought one of the fanciest things in the world was cubes of gelatin.   And you know, there are probably plenty of people who would agree about that here and now.  

I think my thesis statement here is to take joy in your situation - it may not as glam as someone else's, but you also don't know what they're going through.  Maybe they wish they had great health benefits and ready access to mediocre football/hockey teams, and better than average Kurdish food.

And then, I win.



Christopher said…
Sometimes I think, I'll take what I've got over what that other person has. Then I feel guilty for making that kind of comparison. Maybe the other person is happy with what they've got, and if they are that's great. Different strokes, different folks and all that.
And I have fond memories of Morrison's even though I don't remember the Jell-o cubes. I remember the one in Hickory Hollow Mall and dining there with an aunt and uncle who are both now gone. They were very generous, and also very rich.
Not that I'm making any comparisons.