I have often looked at people and wondered, “what makes them so special?” Why have they found love, success, happiness, fulfillment and I’m sitting here holding a bag of sloppy seconds?
I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. Before it, I lived in relative seclusion. I didn’t have many friends that kept in contact with me on a regular basis. The ones that did, well, their lives were just as messed up as mine. Misery, did indeed love company. My college friends, who were shining examples of success, always called to catch up (or gloat). Eventually, I just stopped returning their calls. It’s easy not to see the looks of “I feel sorry for you” when they are out of sight, out of mind.
Now, my phone taunts me. It happens every time a notification comes in announcing an anniversary and how in love they still are after fifteen years or who’s having a baby with their soul mate. It got to the point where I was so miserable about my own life that I had to do a purge. I went from over 400 friends down to 90. Anyone who was even the slightest bit happy got eliminated. I only wanted to hear from people who are having a crappy go of it, just like me. All you shiny happy people can suck it.
After doing that, I felt a little better. I was surrounded by my peers in misery until one day; things started turning around for the 90 people I had left. There it was, bright happy sunshine shining all over my feed and the rain cloud was still following me around. I wanted to know, why? What are they doing that I’m not? Then, like Archimedes in the bathtub, I figured it out. The reason why my life will forever suck while other people seem to poop happiness.
The Easiest Answers
- Chemical Imbalance – I was born this way. Depression sucks, and it makes the world look like everything sucks when it doesn’t.
- Short Straw – Some people were just born lucky, and unfortunately, I got the short straw.
- Laziness – This only answers the why some people have money and good jobs, while others don’t. If I continue to learn and work hard, I’ll get there. It may take longer than others, see also number 2.
The More Philosophical Ones
- Past Life Transgressions – I had it great in a previous life, I could have been a Queen or a Captain of Industry but right now, in this life, I’m paying for it. It sucks, but oh well.
- Deserve it – I have the worst karma in the world, so I deserve everything that’s happening to me.
- Other Worldly Explanations – I read a short story by Stephen King, and in it, he writes of a man plagued by his neighbor’s good fortune until one day he finds out that he can have good luck too all he has to do is shift his bad luck to someone else. He made the deal, and his neighbor had one bad thing after another happen to him, while he becomes rich and his children flourish. I know quite a few people that I would feel zero remorse about shifting my crappy luck over to them. Even just for ten years of happiness, it would be worth it.
Ultimately, in life, it comes down to what I decide to make of it. I can sit around and believe that I’m owed some reward just because I showed up today. Or I can work hard, put in the hours, and keep trying. It’s so easy to sit on the couch and envy the lives of other people. The pictures we see online only tell half of the story. What the pictures don’t show are the tears they cried every night when they thought they would never get to the precise point in their lives they are now. They don’t show every single door that slammed in their face; they only posted a picture of the door that finally opened.
I had eighty-six rejections for my short story before someone finally said, “Yes, we’d like to publish it.” Eighty-six. But I had a choice, I could either continue to sit on the couch, scrolling and green or I could get up and get to work. In the end, the only real difference between the successful people and the couch sitters is that they decided to do something.