Green is so not my color. I imagine it's because looking onto others with an envious eye just isn't really my style. Nonetheless, I'd be lying if I told you I didn't get jealous of my friends. It would be dishonest for me to tell you that I haven't questioned my choices because they've been different than those of my closest girlfriends. It wouldn't be right for me to proclaim that I don't get anxious while thinking about my future, and it would be wrong for me to pretend that I haven't had multiple meltdowns since turning twenty-two. I wake up each morning and try my hardest (as long as I've had my coffee) to be a little better than yesterday, but even still- I don't have a clue as to what I'm doing. My smiley & sparkly Instagram feed may look all perfectly polished and wonderfully put together, but I am so not put together.
It's so interesting though, because on the Instagram-feed surface, my life is perfect. I have a good job, my apartment is decked out in girly decor, and I occasionally take a weekend trip to a big city where I eat meals that would make any foodie drool with envy. But it's funny- because Instagram feeds or Snapchat stories fail to document the in-between moments of life composed of all the lackluster instances that don't quite make our highlight reels. I don't post Facebook statuses about the days at work where nothing seems to go right, and while I'm sitting at my desk questioning every decision I've made in my 7-month stint at being a career woman, my first thought definitely isn't What Snapchat filter best hides my mascara runs, caused by tears? My social networks don't illustrate the nights I've fallen asleep on brand new bedding, snuggling up to pillows that cost more than my grocery budget, while I wonder if I'll ever be a responsible adult who doesn't need to buy things to feel full. Social networks certainly don't document all the times when insecurity, resentment, worry, and anxiety fill my mind because why would I tarnish my glowing highlight reel of smiles and cute outfits with moments of real life?
What's worse, is that people are looking onto these perfectly poised social media existences with a green-eyed gaze and spiteful longing to walk in her shoes, or rather- have the life of the girl we wish we were. It's as if when one of our Facebook friends finds success in her career, relationship, or weight-loss journey we're overcome with a sense of jealousy before quickly reminding ourselves that we should be happy for them. What is that all about?
I've found that there's an interesting, yet unfortunate, phenomenon among women in their early twenties that I like to call Shoe Envy.
Shoe Envy;noun/SHo͞o / envē/
prancing around in a gorgeous pair of sparkly heels, holding a jealous desire to wear the shoes of the seemingly perfect girl you wish you could be. a coveting crave to be put in someone else's circumstances, despite being the completely wrong shoe size.
Oh silly girl, don't you know that the only person destined to wear the shoes you're wearing is you? Don't you realize that your life is a gift, and to wish you had anything other than the one you're given is simply foolish? Whatever trials, adversities, struggles, heartbreaks, or painstakingly awful situations you encounter throughout your life's journey, praise God because it all plays a part in His glorious plan for you. Just because your path is a little bumpier or has more twists & turns than your best friend's doesn't mean you're on the wrong road. It simply means that you're moving, and that in itself is a blessing.
I find it so heartbreaking that we as women position other women- our closest confidants, no less!- as our top competitors. Don't view your girlfriends as your competition, but instead, try seeing them as your allies. At the end of day, we're all on the same team.
In the year 2017 more than ever, we've got enough people betting against women. We can't afford to bet against ourselves, so be happy for those around you and be proud of where you are.
Don't compare your current financial, professional, living, or romantic situation to your friends'. Their life isn't your life, and you should be grateful for that! Whether you landed a killer corporate job right out of college, or you're still finishing up school for the 6th year- it doesn't matter. Whether your group of college girlfriends are all traveling the world, while you can barely afford to make rent (that makes two of us) don't get down on yourself. Who cares! Maybe you moved in with your boyfriend and are happy as a clam, but struggle to relate to your friends who're still tinkering with Tinder- remember that it's okay! There isn't a one-size fits all playbook for the way life is supposed to happen. It takes a special kind of woman to recognize that she isn't ready for the stage of life that society dubs as "next," or that she was perhaps the lucky one who realized that rearranging the steps only makes life more interesting. And besides- who made these "rules" we feel so obliged to follow anyways?
If I want to start my own company by the time I'm 30 and have no desire to have babies, I should be celebrated just as much as the girl who has a family of four by the time she reaches 28. Shoes come in all different shapes and sizes, and we don't discriminate against them because they're different than the pairs that are already lined up in our closet. We celebrate the different styles and recognize that our outfits wouldn't be complete without the gorgeous royal blue pumps with a textured bow across the ankle that bring our white fluffy tutu to a whole new level. See what I did there?
Life works just the same. Each of our lives are destined for their own journeys, and it can be scary as we start to get older and notice that our paths no longer align with those we've grown closest to. But now isn't the time to sulk in self pity or preoccupy your mind with resentment because you and your best friend no longer share the same melody in which your daily struggles sing to. Be proud of your friends & sisters, and lift them up! Don't tear the women around you down for being in different circumstances than you are. There's no time limit on picking a career, and there certainly is no shelf-life for happiness. Relax and enjoy your journey, because it's the only one you've got. And chances are, there's some girl out there who'd kill to walk a day in your shoes.
There's nothing more admirable than encountering a woman who knows what she wants, and then goes and gets it. Let's be one of those women! And we must not forget that it's okay to be on a different track than those around us. Some people are on the fast road to success and seem to have everything under control, while others are a little bit slower to take off. But at the end of the day, life is just like our favorite pair of shoes. Each pair of shoes in our closet brings something unique to our wardrobe, and it goes the same for each of us. We all bring extraordinary things to each other's lives and that's what makes our friendships, relationships, and overall existences so exquisitely beautiful. When you shift your focus onto what you're doing, you stop worrying about what others are doing around you because you're content with what you have and you're living the life you want to live.
Again, let's be happy for the successes of the women in our lives while we continue to live the life we were destined to live- however bumpy, uncertain, or downright terrifying the road may be. And remember- we as women are the lucky ones in this thing called life, because we get to make our way down the road in a really fabulous pair of shoes.