I read this article today.
It’s not like I regularly Google 50 Cent. Or cents. Or Fiddy Cent. However you say his name…Curtis Jackson. His name is Curtis Jackson. That’s how you say it.
Anyway, this past month I’ve been catching myself with a case of comparisonitis.
So-and-so has financial stability.
She isn’t divorced so she doesn’t have to deal with her son being gone for a week at a time.
He didn’t break is leg so of course he can run a marathon.
It has felt to me like everyone around me is celebrating, nay, simply LIVING a very normal, predictable life. And I have not had normal. Not for more than a day or two in a row. Not for a very long time. It gets exhausting. It gets…damn frustrating. I stay positive and upbeat, not because I’m faking it but because I can most days see how lucky I am. But I have those moments of, “Eff this. I’m out.” <mic dropped>
As it would happen, in the past week it has been revealed to me again and again that people are not what they say they are. They do not have the money they say they have (ahem, Curtis.) She may not be divorced, but she wishes she was. He didn’t break his leg, but he’s gambled most of his family’s savings away. These stories I tell myself about other people’s lives weren’t all true, and sometimes the truth wasn’t even as good as my lie.
I am the worst at painting everyone else’s story in a big, bright light and my own with a sad, dull brush. Part of the trouble is the way everyone presents their lives. Fiddy Cent there sure made his life look good, didn’t he? Most people do, using the excuse of, “I simply don’t share my personal life on social media” with the caveat of “unless it paints my life in a joyful, perfect light.” But the truth is that people don’t just enjoy boasting the best about themselves on Facebook. Some of them are actually taking it so far as to be dishonest with themselves. They work so hard to make their own lives look good that they lose reality. Curtis Jackson has obviously been lying to himself, unless he actually has millions of dollars stashed in the Caymans in which case he’s still lying to himself and everyone else.
It’s part of the reason I write this blog. It’s my attempt to share some honesty with the world so other people know it’s not just them. When I was about 17 my mom wrote me a letter and reminded me that as long as I could look myself in the eye and be OK, I was on the right track. I look myself in the eye in the mirror at least once a day. I am blessed and I give praise. I don’t have everything. I don’t feel good all the time. But at least I don’t lie to myself about it.