I had a moment today in a cafe while drinking my third long black in a 1 hour period, where I had a mild panic attack because I wasn’t rich, well dressed and on a red carpet.
This happens to me all the damn time.
I can’t help looking at somebody else, and looking at where they’re at, and looking at their success and beauty and happiness and feeling like my own has been thrown into stark contrast.
On Instagram. On Snapchat. On Forbes. On one of those god-forsaken lists of millionaires in their early 20’s who can buy shit-that-I-cannot-buy.
Like Lambos. Or BMWs. Or fancier brands of homewares.
No matter how well I’m doing, I come to a grinding halt as soon as I see anyone who is cooler than me. Man, the whiplash from that change in moods is staggering!
It’s like my life suddenly doesn’t look fun anymore. What I’m doing with it doesn’t look fun anymore.
If I’ve seen an artist who’s doing something cool, or a writer who’s baring their soul, I suddenly feel as though everything I’m doing is trite and tré shite, and that it doesn’t matter.
That’s how I can go from loving startups to hating everything about startups (and myself) in the space of 48 hours.
I sometimes feel like I’ve been charging ahead like Wile E. Coyote in those old cartoons and suddenly looked down to realise that — holy shit — I’ve run out of road.
Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever suddenly had your momentum and self-image shatter out of nowhere?
I don’t know what I could do to prevent it. Not really.
Even trying to work out a plan would just hint at there being a possibility that I could one day get my jealousy out of my system, and I don’t think I’m an enlightened enough person to reach that point — ever.
What I need to remember is that…it’s not the end of the world if my life looks a little different from someone else’s life. I mean fuck, it’s mine and not theirs. I should be celebrating what makes it different, not wishing it was a carbon copy.
But I guess the message here…
Is that if, like me, you have ever experienced that whiplash and suddenly looked at your life and not felt happy with it, that’s probably okay. Because it means you and I have something in common and we can therefore be buddies.
Nobody’s life has to look just like somebody else’s for their life to be meaningful, after all.
And on the odd occasion, I can appreciate what somebody else is doing without feeling jealous as shit about it, I do have the opportunity to experience some of the awesomeness that is the human condition and the cool work that other people do.
I’m trying to get better at that, but what can I say — nobody’s perfect.
I know I’m not.
If I was, believe me — you’d know about it…
This piece originally appeared on Medium.
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