The challenge for this week is to write about something that I am proud of. Right now I am not proud of the fact that I am still in my pjs and have yet to look at the draft of my paper that needs to be finished, but I do have a lot of other things that I am proud of.
Instead of being a snarky bitch and saying that I have nothing to be proud of, I am going to focus on something that I am actually really proud of. Yesterday a post on Facebook showed that the woman I shared a room with my first year in college got engaged. That means that all the Calaveras girls except me are married, engaged, have careers, and have families. Those girls weren’t the greatest to me, but that first year made me think that I had made some friends for life. I’m not always happy with my memories of them, but that is getting off point.
The point is, my usual response to seeing a post like that would be to immediately feel bad about myself. I’d start comparing myself to them, start wondering why I am still in a crappy situation with the boy, still in school, trying to make it through my depression, anxiety, and workload. I’d look for chocolate, figure that I am going to be a spinster and that I am doing something wrong with my life. Yesterday was different. While those thoughts came, they were fleeting, and then replaced with the thought that she looked happy, and that was a great thing. I then immediately got off of Facebook and went back to planning my trip to Budapest for Christmas.
I’m proud of my reaction. Yes, the comparisons were there. Yes, I felt a pang of jealousy and guilt over the choices that I seem to make that have led me to be where I am right now, but then I was able to really sit with those thoughts and compare what these people are doing with what I am doing. I noticed that I just got back from an amazing trip to France. That I have two more trips planned in the coming months. I noticed that I am making progress with my research, and feel good about the way that it is shaping up. I noticed that I have really great friends who I get to see or talk to everyday. I have an amazing family who only complained a little when I moved 6,000 miles away. I realized that I may not be where everyone else is, and I may not have enjoyed every second of getting to where I am now, but I have had an amazing adventure so far and not many people get the chance to do what I am doing.
I’m proud of my reaction because although it wasn’t perfect, it was a start toward something better. I’m getting better at not comparing myself, not feeling bad that I have picked a path for my life that a lot of people don’t understand, and making real progress staying out of the dark and twisty.
That is not to say that I do not wish those three girls and their families the best. It has been 11 years since we met and we are all very different people. I want nothing but good things and happy lives for them. I look forward to the day though, when my immediate reaction is happiness for good news like that for people who are outside of my family, but in the meantime I am going to keep being a flamingo in a flock of pigeons.