I constantly take a peek at other people’s life. “What are they doing?”. “Wow, that’s a lot of traveling”. “She got a raise so quickly?”. Etcétera. It’s as pathetic as it sounds, I beat myself up, for not having the same financial solvency, for not having as many followers, for not having the perfect makeup look, for not having gone to as many places… it’s toxic, it’s ridiculous, and it needs to stop. As true as it may be, not living their lives means I get to live my own, give it my voice, my touch, my way. I should be fascinated with where I am in life today. I get to witness the most spectacular sunsets over New Hampshire’s still-waters, I have two healthy children (which is all a parent could ask for) and I have a loving and hard working husband. I had been here for less than two months and had spotted a few moose already, my neighbor said: “years living here, and I have never seen one”, I feel like I’m pretty lucky myself, how can I not appreciate it?
So I gave myself the cliché response I deserved: Let. Love. Live.
It’s quite hard. “Society” denies what I do is a job, people look down on stay-at-home mothers. I’ve been asked “what do you do?”, when I tell them I stay at home and take care of my children, I get the inevitable “oh”, and their awkward attempt to keep a smile in their sort of disgusted face. I gotta say: we might not bring home the bacon, but we cook it. I undermine the weight I pull around here enough, to have to put up with the rest of the worldview. That’s a whole different story, though; it’s not their fault I keep comparing myself to others, I go through that punishment all on my own. Waking up with sore and tense shoulders, hair dry and messy, with a headache and little to no will to get through the day – just give yourself a break, but don’t stop hustling.
Self-appreciation is not the synonym to giving up. I still have to improve, I still have to pursue my dreams, I still have to try as hard as I can to raise these kids the best possible. I just have to do so, without making it a quest to prove something, like it’s some sort of contest. Life is not a competition. If I can actually convince myself to be glad about people’s success, I will have the same response when I have my own, or at the very least, I’ll free myself from that negative pull that’s, quite honestly, bringing me down. In other words: “stop the shit, and start to live”.