In the past few weeks, I've found myself engaged in several different conversations with friends who have confessed to feeling disappointed and pressured because they're "not where they're supposed to be" in life. They're not content with where they are because they're of a certain age and 12 of their friends are ten steps ahead of them and they feel so behind.
I blame Facebook.
Seriously, that site has an amazing ability to let people create perfect pictures of their lives. Upload the right photos of your new house and 2.5 kids, exchange a few cute messages with your significant other and BAM your life is impeccable in the eyes of others.
It's like this one site is perpetuating a society of people who feel bad about themselves because they don't have as much money/stuff/free time/family pictures as friend #264? And if it's getting to our generation, what the heck must it be doing to our teenagers?
Okay, maybe the keeping up with the Joneses phenomenon isn't all Facebook's fault.
It's Twitter's, too.
I think most of us just have a tendency to fall into "what I'm lacking" trap instead of focusing on what we have. Some of us don't have big savings accounts. Some of us don't have jobs. Some of us are going through rough patches in relationships.
But maybe our lack of income is making us craftier and more resourceful. Maybe being out of work is giving us more time to spend with our families. Maybe the ups and downs of our relationships will ultimately strengthen them.
There is always good. You just have to look under the rug for it sometimes.
And I guarantee that the people on Facebook/the blog circuit/Twitter/your favorite coffee shop do not have perfect lives. Everyone has stuff. Everyone has flaws and anxieties and turmoil. Maybe the people who seem so pristine are just better at playing up the positives. Maybe the positives they see in their lives breed more positives. An upward spiral of sorts.
We'll never know 100% what goes on behind other people's doors. The best we can do is try to cherish what's behind our own. Or at least just close the Facebook window when it's blowing in a fowl breeze.