A Long Life Is Not A Guarantee

Life is precious. Life is unpredictable. Life is unfair. Life is beautiful.

A few days ago my best friend of 25 years was in a serious car accident. Her car flipped over onto the opposite side of the highway. She was stuck in the car, upside down. There were a group of heroes who stopped their cars and helped her crawl out of the window. She was rushed to the hospital. She is okay. I believe she has guardian angels.

When I think about life, the first thing that comes to mind are all the extraordinary people in my life. Then, I ponder what my life would look like without certain people in it. It just wouldn’t be the same. I wouldn’t be the same.

Life can be scary because death is a part of life. At my young age, I think about the future moments that I will have with all of my wonderful friends. I can’t envision my future without them. I feel like I shouldn’t have to. Even though it is not worth the emotional energy thinking about life without certain peers, it allows me to appreciate them even more. Day after day, I am grateful for the people in my life.

I have grown up with this friend. We talk about anything and everything. We are there for each other through it all and always will be. She is a remarkable human being. The thought of losing her makes my stomach turn and I truly couldn’t imagine my life without her. I’m so incredibly grateful that she’s okay. It makes me happy that we’ve chosen to have a rich friendship full of amazing experiences and this is another reminder as to why this needs to continue.

I never want it to take near death experiences for me to be reminded of how fragile life is. A long life is not a guarantee, but a beautiful, fun, creative, fulfilling, inspiring, purposeful, and loving life can be.

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

Have you ever had a great day and felt good about yourself until you went on Facebook and your self-esteem took a hit? Have you noticed that everyone's life looks picture perfect on social media?

Most people don't post the various challenges they face everyday. I know I don't! Why would we? Unless someone is coping with a major loss, I rarely see negative or depressing posts on Facebook. Many of us post the very best pictures out of the hundreds we take. We post the vacation photos, fun outings with friends or our significant other, baby photos, wedding photos, new homes, proposals, new jobs, accomplishments, new cars, and other life milestones. It makes complete sense to do so!

This is where the comparison game begins. It's easy to compare ourselves to others and question our worth. We may even start to internally beat ourselves up. I've talked to many talented peers about how easy it is to feel 'not good enough' in society.

These may be some of the questions we ask.

"What am I even doing with my life? Everyone is so much further along than me."

"How come I don't have enough money to buy a home? I should by now!"

"I'm making way less money than my peers."

"Should I be getting married and having kids?"

"Everyone's life looks perfect!"

What's the point of internalizing everything and beating ourselves up? There isn't much point at all. We may even be wishing to have something that we don't want simply because of how perfectly it's being portrayed on social media. Thankfully, there are ways of changing our perspective of social media.

Understand that everyone wants different things.

We all make our own choices. However we are living our lives, we created it! Any of us can change our path simply by the decisions we make. I've spoken to peers in financial services who are making a ton of money but don't feel a sense of purpose. I've also talked to peers in social services who enjoy their rewarding job but don't make enough to pay the bills. It's hard to find the right balance. But, the point is, no one has it all. If it looks like someone does, it certainly isn't just because of the luxuries they have. If someone is living an incredible life, it is because of the perspective they have. I've met some of the poorest people who are by far some of the happiest people I've ever met. The traditional path may be for you, but it also may not be. It doesn't do us any good to compare ourselves to others because everyone is unique and everyone wants different things.

Use Facebook as a positivity outlet.

Could you imagine if Facebook was a depressing as the news? Life isn't fair and we learn about horrible events happening in the world everyday. Facebook can actually be a positivity outlet. I believe everyone is doing what they can to cope with life's tragedies and create a beautiful life. It's nice to be happy for other people and everything good that is happening in their lives. I have yet to meet someone who isn't facing any challenges. We all have some stressors in our lives. We have the ability to filter through the negativity and post only positive experiences on social media. It's actually quite remarkable. We can use social media as a positive resource in our lives if we allow ourselves to stop playing the comparison game.

No one has it all. It's all about perspective.

The only way that anyone can 'have it all' is by believing they do.