Saturday, August 28, 2010

when the grass is greener

I suffer envy issues.
I have my whole life.
The grass has always been greener on the other side for me.

When I was a kid it was about not having a mom. How come everyone else got to celebrate mother's day? How come little girls came to school with cute outfits from fancy department stores and my dad took me to Goodwill?
As I got older the mother thing took a back seat and I found out that I was also a poor kid. My dad and I didn't have a lot of money. And it becomes evident in school when other kids in school are able to do things and have stuff that I know I will never get to have.
Then came my teenage years. This was the start of my image envy.
Other girls were skinnier than me. They didn't have a mole on their chin. They had boyfriends, drove cars, and went on dates. I had no car until I was 20. I have always been a bit chubby. I have always looked "childish" with my looks. My hair was curly/wavy and I no one to teach me how to manage it. I lived with just my dad and had no one to turn to with womanhood advice. I had to work extra hard in school for my grades so I could get my future college funds paid for. I lived in a double wide for several years. I had no sense of style. I was a band geek and in the FFA. I wasn't super popular. I didn't go on family vacations. I didn't get an allowance.

And so the envy grew stronger.

Then came college and my drum corps years.
This is where I probably blossomed the most. Where my life started to make a turn and I became my own person without worrying about what others thought. Their life was their own. Drum corps lifted my spirits... it set me free. I traveled across the country, made friends, and came back with a "go get em'" attitutude.
But, it didn't mean I didn't suffer envy issues.
I did.
They just weren't as strong.
I tried to hide them.
I was jealous of when my friends got apartments and I still lived in a dorm.
I was jealous of people's fantastic spring breaks.
I saw sorority girls and little teeny things walking around campus with their perfect bodies and perfect tans. Even though I had a tan... my body wasn't even close.
I wasn't a big party person.
And yes, I envied it. I envied the fact that I wasn't in the party scene. That I was a bit of a nerd even in college. The place where I should get crazy.
Don't get me wrong.
I had my fair share of crazy in college.
But I was pretty tame compared to others.
Why would I even it?
Fuck if I know.
I didn't envy people puking their faces out over a toilet.
I didn't envy people having one night stands and awkward relationships.
I envied their status level in Chiefs.
I had envy over people with more talent than me in my horn department.

And then....
I met John.

The longer our relationship grew... the less I suffered from envy issues.
John and I knew secretly that others envied us and our relationship. Because we figured it out. It took a couple years. But we had figured out how to maintain a perfect relationship. And to balance it with family, friends and work.
And then envy... being the sneaky bitch she is... snuck back in.
Because I am selfish and could never be satisfied.
And I can owe a big fat huge chunk of it to FACEBOOK.
All of a sudden I had a place where I could check up on the lives of those around me at a click.
And I wasn't happy. Because all of a sudden I felt behind. I saw people my age with high paying jobs, getting married, getting pregnant, and with their photoshopped profile pics.
I would spend hours on facebook marveling at other's lives.
I would talk to John about it.
I would cry sometimes.
So and so lost so much weight, so and so is having a baby, so and so got married and they have only been dating for 9 months....
so and so went to Japan, so and so went on two cruises, so and so got engaged.
so and so got a boob job, so and so was invited to this wedding i wasn't invited to, so and so is having a birthday party in some extravagant place.
It was endless. There was so much for me to be envious of.
The grass got greener.
And yet, here I was... on the perfect side of the fence. Because I was on the side with John.

There were times when John begged me to get rid of facebook.
He didn't think it was good for me.
I refused.
I needed to keep up with my "friends", after all.

It became a poison. And addiction. It was my alcohol.

It also became a place of competition for me. I posted my happy pictures with John. Of our journeys in far off places. Of our happiest times with the happiest of people.
But I still found times of dissatisfaction.
I knew I was missing some things.

I wanted to marry John.
I wanted so badly to change my relationship status to engaged.
And outside of facebook land I wanted this too.
One of my dreams was to become a wife and a mother. While others may dream of becoming famous or getting rich. My plans seemed quite simple.

And when I got engaged to the love of my life.... I called all my family and friends that I could think of first.
Then said to John.... "can I make this facebook official??"
He laughed.
And I did.
Hundreds of responses within 24 hours.
John looked at my inbox the morning after. Over 300 messages.
He couldn't believe it.
I jumped the fence!!! I was in the green pasture with all the other sheep.

And then I lost John.
No warning.
No signs.
No escape.

The grass around me has died.
And all of a sudden every life around me again looks greener. Better. Happier. Lovlier.
Because for once it's true.
All these years... and I didn't notice how lucky I was?
And in one moment it could be taken from me?

John was my green grass. He always was.
He didn't need me to be rich, to be flawless physically, etc. He loved me for who I was.
He knew he wanted to marry me.
He knew we would. And he knew we would have beautiful children.

And so, in my pasture I am alone.
I am truly alone.
The other sheep have been herded away to their own hills of green.
I am laying in the brown grass.

Take advantage of every moment you have with every person you love.
And know that the grass under your feet is green enough. And it most likely will look greener in my eyes.


Lindsay said...

Hey girl. I totally understand the first half of your post--I had envy all the way through my early college years. I was the fat kid, the ugly girl, the band dork, my family didn't have much money. However, I totally cannot believe that you used to not be able to do your hair--your hair always looks so freakin' cute. In High School my sister was the tall, beautiful, popular sports girl--I was the dorky fat band sister.

Easier said than done (especially since none of us are in your shoes) try not think about being in brown grass, all by yourself :( It's more like are surrounded with so many farm friends, all you have to do is go visit or invite us to work your farm...or ask us to harvest your pineapples. Your flowers may be wilting because they need to be watered, but they are sure not dead. You have so much life left and ssssssoooooo many people that want to live it with you. XOXO ....and I seriosly never noticed the mole on your chin in college--it's really not as big or noticable as you think it is. Dont' know if this is worse, I have a ginormous mole on top of my head (and a smaller one on the back of my head). I used to get so embarrased whenever I went to get my haircut, I always had to tell the lady "by the way, I have a mole on my head, please be careful". And this applies to both of us...I'd rather have a mole on my face or head than be ugly...we both got it pretty good in regards to the gene pool! :) Be proud of the mole on your makes you beautiful and nobody else has it! The mole on my head doesn't bother me anymore-everyone on my Dad's side of the family has moles, so I think it makes me like them, and I think they're great people. (Okay, I'm writing too much now). XOXO

Star said...


I know we have talked about it but I too suffer for envy issues. As I watch so many of my friends move forward, I move backward. Or so it seems to me.

Your grass will get green again. You will have supporters like the previous comment who will help you. But like you said, we have to be grateful for what we have.