I guess I’m having what some would call a quarter life crisis. Though it’s probably nearer to being a third of life crisis. I’m at this weird point in my life. I’m not living the American Dream like I thought I would be as I'm closing in on 30. It doesn’t seem like that dream will be reached very close in the future. I enjoy my current job but I’m aware that I should move on to bigger and better things. I compare myself to my parents most often, but I feel like I’m not as accomplished as they were at this age. I’m trying to figure out whether or not that’s okay.
I try to keep things in perspective. My parents lived in a condo when I was first born, they’ve told me. So perhaps I’m not so far off. And I have to seriously consider if it’s worth it to live in the condo longer than we’d like so we can continue saving money on living expenses, continue paying down other debts, like the cars and student loans, and to be able to do FUN things in life, like traveling.
But then, crisis strikes again. I sometimes make the mistake of looking around me and seeing how much my contemporaries have accomplished. I have friends and acquaintances younger than me who have large homes and fancy cars. They take fancy trips to so many places around the world and seem to not have a single worry.
I look at so many others and I just think, “Man, it seems like they did all this so easily." It just sometimes makes me wonder, “What do I have?”
Actually, I’ve got a lot. I’ve got a roof over my head that I can call my own. I’ve got a husband that loves me and who I adore. I’ve got a job that pays my bills and gives me time off for fun and necessity. I’ve got a boss that allows me to come in a little later and who trusts and supports my work ethic.
I’ve got parents that are about to celebrate 33 years of marriage and in laws that have been together and married for over 40 years. I’ve got health, I’ve got happiness, I’ve got fantastically diverse friends that all bring different rays of sunshine into my life.
It’s dangerous, sometimes, to compare yourself to ANYONE. I came out of college into a different world, a different society, a different economy than my parents. They don’t keep tally like I do and I know they’re proud of the many wise choices I’ve made in life. My friends also have their struggles, so thinking their lives are perfect or easy is just irrational -- I wouldn’t want the fight some have had to get to where they are today.
So when these thoughts, this idea that I’m not enough strikes, I have to remember that my life is my own. There’s no scorekeeper, no one keeping track. If anyone is judging you for where you are, well, that’s a character flaw for them.
Your life is YOURS and no one else's; comparing yourself to others is a futile exercise that keeps you from truly enjoying the best things that are already in front of you. So let go of any self-inflicted competition. Let go of envy, especially without knowing the struggles others have overcome. And embrace the truly important things.