The never-ending wish

Two people at a cafe staring at each other from different tables

This week, I was wondering why I constantly look at the things other people have that I don’t, instead of what I do have that other people might not.

It could be the most basic of things that set my mind in a downward spiral. I might see someone wearing a really cool jacket and go from thinking “I wish I looked as good as they do,” to “I wish I was as confident as they are.” What’s funny to me is that if that if I saw that same jacket on display somewhere that was perfectly affordable, I’d probably wouldn’t even get it. It’s always the things that seem far out of my reach that I’m desperate for, and never the things that are easy for me to attain when I want them.

On my brighter days, I couldn’t be more thankful for the things that I have. I’m thankful for my family’s love and support, the friends I have, the opportunities I’ve seized and the experiences I’ve had, and even for being able to go to university at all. The things that I don’t have couldn’t be further from my mind. And yet, on my bad days, they’re all I can think about, and the things that I’m otherwise thankful for suddenly seem inadequate or just straight up lame.

One of the biggest discoveries for me starting university is that everyone has a story. I forget that what I’m seeing on the outside of a stranger is just a single shot of who they are. I don’t know where they’ve come from and what kind of life they have, yet somehow my mind comes up with this convoluted way of telling me my life is nowhere near as good as theirs. The things that I don’t have aren’t always because of my lack of effort. Sometimes it’s simply because I come from different circumstances to other people, and that is something that is far beyond my control. I have also learned that I am not the only person capable of comparison; there could be someone out there that wishes they had what I have, and it could be something I take for granted every day. 

Do you ever feel this way? That what you have compared to others is nowhere near as valuable? Perhaps this week is the time for some quiet self-reflection on what you’re thankful for. Remind yourself that what you have is good, because there could be someone out there wishing for the very same thing.

Tagged in What messes with your head, gratitude