Facebook envy is real. Scrolling down the feeds, it’s easy to feel this prick of envy when you see how well life is shaping up for so many out there. You know, like the ones who are traveling the world. The ones who have the coolest jobs and the love of their lives. The ones who are earning way too much money. The ones with the early fame. Simply put, the ones who often seem to have it all.
You find yourself wanting these paths, which seem to be so fun and full of potential. You admonish yourself for not being on that road yet. You may even regret not making certain decisions that might have taken you there.
It’s hard to make peace with our seemingly mediocre lives when every other person out there seems to be having a phenomenal one. We see people living what we have been dreaming of. We watch them achieve what we have been pining for. It isn’t easy to take one excruciating step after another when everyone else around you seems to be sprinting towards their big goal.
Now, I’m not going to tell you that the grass is not as green as it seems on that other side. Of course, people do highlight only their ‘good days’ on social media. But let’s face it – some people just reach ‘there’, faster. They get that dream, quicker. They live the big life, younger. It is how it is.
But that doesn’t say anything about your life. Their journey has nothing to do with yours. Your path is the way it is for a reason. You are where you are for a reason. And no, it’s not because you’re a no-good mass of mediocrity that will eventually exit the Earth without making a difference.
It’s because everyone has their own destination and their own way of reaching it.
You can’t copy the steps someone else took in their life and expect it to work exactly the same way in yours. You can’t just force it to look like someone else’s. Because your life is a reflection of you. And there’s no second person like you.
Looking at someone’s shiny life, you may feel you want exactly that. But maybe your life has something different, better in store for you. Remember how you felt as a child when your parents compared you with that ‘perfect’ neighbour’s kid? To them, that kid could do no wrong. But you knew that you didn’t want to be like that kid.
Your life doesn’t want to be like any other life either. It wants to feel loved and accepted for being the way it is. It wants you to have faith in it, and to consider it your own. Because it is your own. This path has been custom built for you. All the sharp turns. The rocky terrains. The smoothly paved lanes. The tiny, joyful brooks in between. The people you meet on the way. The ones you leave behind. The lonely walks you take under star streaked skies. The detours you make. The dusty tornadoes that rock your roots once in a while. Everything is your own.
If you won’t walk this path with pride, then who will?
There’s nothing wrong with wanting nice things in life, just like the other person. But it’s important to realise that it may not arrive in a similar way. Or it may not even look the same. There’s often a big difference between what you think you want and what you really want. Be mindful of what you wish for. Often what’s mundane to another is the most precious to you. Once you understand what really makes you happy, you’ll have no trouble in finding it or reaching there. That’s the way life works.
And in the process, show your life some love as well, because you’re in this together. Trust it’s timing because it knows what it’s doing. And embrace it for what it is – because you won’t get another one!
I leave you with this wonderful quote by Nietzsche, which has shaped the way I look at my world.
You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way and the only way, it does not exist.