I have a friend who truly has the perfect life. We don’t see each other all that often anymore, but of course I keep up on her life via social media.
Everything she touches seems to turn to gold.
Her appearance. Her career. Her vacations. Her toe-headed children.
Her life reeks of Pinterest.
I’m a little ashamed to tell you how many times I have just stopped and stared at her photos on social media, envying her life.
Her gorgeous home.
Her adoring husband.
You probably have a friend like this too. You are likely picturing her in your mind right now, huh?
And while I’m a big enough person to be happy for her, I do admit that jealousy does rear its ugly head from time to time.
And I find myself feeling inadequate.
Why can’t I have that life?
I wish I had her figure and her hair.
What I wouldn’t give to have a man like that.
Why must I always struggle so much in this cheap little ranch home while they live in the lap of luxury?
This past week, while the echoes of my self-deprecating were still ringing in my ears, my friend called. She wanted to meet for lunch. I could tell by the tone in her voice that something wasn’t right.
As we talked and caught up on each other’s lives over Thai food, she started to open up to me.
Sparing the details, the life I had been envying on social media wasn’t her life at all. I sat in that booth with my friend and I held her tight while she cried.
I cried a little myself.
What my friend didn’t know is that my tears were more from a place of repentance than empathy.
Of course I felt terrible for her that her life was in shambles.
But I felt even more terrible for me…that at age 42, I am still envying what I think other people have.
So we just sat in silence a while and we cried. Together.
Why must I continue to discount what is mine because it doesn’t look like someone else’s?
I look at my little ranch home that costs less than $100k…and I long for a day when we can move to bigger, better, brighter.
This house is a home. We don’t need more room. But I see a huge house on my friend’s page with a sprawling kitchen and a kick-ass man-cave and I think….what I have isn’t enough.
Then I see her kids. They are cute, well-dressed, and free from the burden of special needs.
Then the jealousy creeps in…and I long to rip the autism from my son, and cast it flailing into the abyss.
Zion is a precious, unique child, who has changed me… for the better. Yet I see my friend’s children, and their picturesque Anne Geddes-esque perfection and I think…what I have isn’t enough.
Then I look at her husband. He is handsome, outdoorsy, has an amazing job.
And suddenly I find myself cursing my singleness, my inability to commit, and my historical need to chase everyone away.
I am finally at a point in my life where I’m just content with myself and my life, and I’m not spending my time clamoring for a man’s attention. And it feels great. Yet I see my friend and her Eddie Bauer model of a husband, and I think…what I have isn’t enough.
Envy is an ugly thing, isn’t it? Even more so, when I find out that what I’m envying isn’t even real. The Pinterest bubble gets popped and suddenly the object of my envious Fangirling is sitting alone amongst the shards of her marriage, her debt, and some scandal.
Lord, please help me to learn and consistently remember that what I have is more than enough.
I have a wonderful family. Sometimes I want to smack them a little. And I know they feel the same about me.
I have a life full of love….even though I am excellent at forgetting this on a daily basis.
I have two kids I adore… and also want to pig-wrestle at times.
I have a cozy home I can afford, that is messy and imperfect. (And dear God, the laundry. Don’t even get me started on that.)
I have amazingly loyal friends. We fight, we forgive, we move on.
It’s called life.
No one….and I do mean no one…has a Pinterest-perfect life.
And the sooner we all wrap our minds around that, the better off we will all be.
My friend looks up at me, wiping away her tears, and says “You are the strongest person I know. I hope someday to be as strong as you.”
I said, “I hope someday to be as strong as you think I am.”
I’m no stronger than she is perfect.
We are just two broken people, trying to make it through.
And together, we will.