I scroll past your vacation photos and a tiny part of me aches. Your suntanned children in life vests and floppy hats, sitting on your family sail boat, all smiles and kool-aid lips. I see the status update about the luxury tree house your husband made and I think, “Shit…I could live in that thing permanently. And in 4 years your children won’t even play in it anymore.”
I do the math on how much your massive, beautiful house costs, with the luxury vehicles, the sail boat, the perfect tree house outback. And I don’t want to be jealous and I don’t want to compare my life to yours, but I do. I do wonder if your children are happier than mine and will be happier because you are wealthier, prettier, more organized.
And then I stop. I close my Instagram and Facebook app. And I look around me. I have a good life. I remember that for every twinge of jealousy I feel looking at your photos, someone else is feeling those things while looking at mine. Because the grass always looks greener.
Maybe, in your case, it is greener because it’s high quality, expensive sod. But, maybe it just looks nicer because it isn’t mine. And I’ve grown used to my grass, and my home, and my life. And I’m discontented with the things I have because commercialism tells me to be. And maybe we’re all just so used to our own beautiful things that we forget they were ever beautiful at all.
The tendency, in posts like this, is to proceed to poke holes in your happiness and success and imply that maybe things aren’t so great behind the lens. But, I don’t want to do that to you because that isn’t fair. Of course nothing in pictures is as perfect as it seems. Of course you’re human and you have your own struggles. Of course you too have moments of feeling inadequate and not enough. You’re human. Like me. But, I don’t feel the need to assert that because what does it solve? Does it really make me feel better to assume negative things about your life? There really isn’t any comfort in that. It used to temporarily ease the envy, but it always came back.
Instead I just want to say that I’m happy for you. And I’m trying to be happy for me too. And if someone is reading this who looks at my photos and my life and thinks, “Wow…I wish my grass looked like that…”, I want them to know I have weeds too. I’m not perfect, my life isn’t perfect, and it never will be. And that’s okay. We’re all gonna be okay.
I’m done being sad because other people are happy. I’m ready to be happy for them and be happy with what I have. Because the grass really is quite green. We just have to stop comparing it to others.