I was chatting to a chum a few weeks ago about life and the lark, and about how interesting it is to see what different paths our peers have chosen.
“So-and-so looks like they’re having a grand old time,” I remarked. “Being a mother looks really good on her.”
“Yeah, like so-and-so,” my friend replied. “Booking a one way to Asia seems like the best thing she’s ever done.”
We continued along this route of conversation for a fair while, getting a little glum as we thought about the hum drum of our own lives, when my pal said, “People always come into the salon” – she’s a hairdresser – “and say how jealous they are of you and how you have the best life ever, how you have so much fun and just jet set off and do what you want”.
I’ll admit, I was pretty stunned. Sure, I know I’ve done some bloody cool things, especially of late, but I’d never think an observer may be a little green when looking at my life. I mean, I haven’t tackled South America and taken sick photos on the salt flats like Katie*. I haven’t found “the one” and wed them, big ceremony or small, like a growing number of my comrades. I can’t speak another language, show mad skills at a certain sport or show off a glorious home and family whilst entertaining. Yet some others openly consider my life as perhaps better than theirs? If there ever was a case for “the grass is always greener”, this may well be it.
It got me thinking about old Facebook and what comes across on it. There’s this wonderful quote by Steve Furtick that says, “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlights reel.” The last few days I have been having quite the pity party as I see the fair few girl squads at High Life, the groups of guys at the Mount, photos of friends and fams at the beach. Everyone looks so gloriously happy, so in their element, and my envy reader has upped a fair few notches.
But then I went on my own page and sifted through a few photos. In the past few weeks, I’ve uploaded pics of being at the lake skiing, hanging out with my best friends, doing yoga in pretty cool places and standing nestled among the whole Wortman clan. Go back further and there’s all the documentation of my Solo Sojourn, statuses declaring how fab my life is, images of me smiling smiling smiling.
But it’s funny; on one pic where I look incredibly elated, I can clearly recall not an hour before it was snapped, I was having a breakdown over not knowing what to wear. On another where I have my arm strewn about my bestie’s shoulders, I remember that that very morning I’d woken up feeling extremely flat and forlon. Yet look at my FB and my life seems all grins and giggles. A highlights reel, with all the sadness and shit filtered out.
Now I know I’m probably slightly more partial to my ups and downs on the emotional front, but who’s to say others uploading are not of the same situation? Who’s to know that Meg*, who looks bloody sensational in her intricate navy pantsuit at Fat Freddys didn’t wake up that morning with her monthly mate, causing her to break out in anguish at being unable to wear the high waisted white shorts she’d planned last week for the gig? Who’s to say that Sally*, all twinkly eyed and sultry poised in a pic with her new puppy, didn’t just chuck a Tanty at her boyfriend for not picking her up at 10am as specified, instead appearing at 2pm hungover, dishevelled and having parted company with his phone, wallet and car keys?
What I’m saying is, you shouldn’t compare. Especially not with what is shared on FB. Aside from the few who do indeed broadcast their woes and what not, the vast majority of people are not going to air despair, dread or disappointment. The lawn always looks more luscious because all that’s put up and across are the fluroescent yellows and pinks, not the greys and blacks and poo browns.
Old mate Furtick hit the screw on the cranium. It’s the top notch of the iceberg; don’t compare your underneath with what others chose to let you see.