Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Comparison Is The Thief Of Joy
Otherwise known as: Why Facebook is the Devil.
Or in my world: There's always going to be someone smarter, prettier, funnier, skinnier, richer, cooler, more successful, more talented, (etc. etc. etc.) than me - as shoved in my face by The Book. For real. So it's essential for me to remember that everyone has their own journey, I am right where I am supposed to be, and everything will unfold in it's own divine and appropriate timing, blah blah blah.
This still doesn't thwart my wild, off-the-cuff jealous streak whenever a friend actualizes some good fortune, either personally or professionally. My knee jerk reaction is to set them on fire, but instead I smile and congratulate them through gritted teeth and say, "I'm so happy for you…" until I convince myself I mean it.
Example: All of you fucks getting married and having perfect babies. I don't want to begrudge your happiness, but when you litter my Facebook feed with sunshine and rainbows, you leave me no other choice. Instead of catching a ride on your wave of bliss, I'm falling down the rabbit hole of all the ways my life lacks your joy. Then the maniacal laughter kicks in as the tears begin to fall and I'm rocking back and forth like goddamn Rain Man, repeating over and over that being single and family-less is "my choice."
Or YOU (amazingly talented person who sits across from me at work), with your perfect personality and fun Southern heritage who just happens to be brilliant at writing and is starting to scratch the surface of success… YAY FOR YOU, buddy! You're like the Jackie to my Marilyn, and you deserve to see your dreams come true. I'm so happy for you.
Does all this make me a bad person? Am I a total asshole, or am I just human? Because the fact of the matter is I just can't seem to help myself, and jealousy is like a welcome mat for doubt - which barges into my house, robs me of my prosperity, and then bitch slaps me on it's way out - leaving me filled with resentment and bitterness.
I realize this isn't exactly a shining endorsement of my character. In fact, I think this would technically fall under the "character defects" category, but it's a malady from which I suffer. I figure, why not see if a little honesty will expunge me of it's grip? Because as of right now, the horror I face today isn't "the funny story I will tell tomorrow," it's actually my reflection in the mirror.
The truth of the matter is that success and happiness aren't measured in finite terms. There's enough to go around. One person's success and another's happiness doesn't lessen the amount from the Universal bank. In fact, the happier and more successful people I'm surrounded by, the greater the odds I will see my own, because positivity is just as infectious as negativity if I allow it to penetrate my stone cold heart. After my flash of insecurity passes, this is the place I land - because ultimately, I want to be a champion for my friends. It's easier to love than it is to hate. Also because bitterness and resentment cause wrinkles, and I can't afford regular Botox on my assistant salary.