Someone made a comment a while back asking if there's jealousy between me and my siblings. Initially I thought the answer was no. We're all different. We all love each other deeply. We're happy for each other when things go well. We're always praying for each other and thinking of each other. I wrote this big blog post about my sisters, our history together, and how much I love them.
But that question stuck with me as questions you're not quite sure about usually do. And tonight I realized that yes, sometimes I'm jealous.
I just read my sister Saydi's blog. It's not just that she's living her dream (and mine) of spending a chunk of time in London with her family (we both grew up there for several years). It's that she's such a good writer and photographer. Her posts make me FEEL. I wish I were better at photography and that I could express things in writing the way she does.
Then I read my mom's blog. She and my dad are in Hawaii having great adventures with my brother Jonah and his family. Jonah and Aja are gypsies who live life on their own terms and never seem to care what anyone else thinks or what anyone else has. I love that about them. I want to be more like that. I'm feeling so encumbered and fettered lately.
Then I read my sister Shawni's blog, glanced at a photo of her and wished, for the umpteen millionth time, that I were as beautiful and thin as my dear sister. When we were growing up, she was the beauty in the family and I was the writer. Now she gets to be both. Then I felt bad for being jealous of Shawni when she's got plenty of hard stuff to deal with and I shouldn't let dumb thoughts like this sneak in. But sometimes I do.
Then I started to think about Noah, Tal and Eli's recent trip together to Puerto Rico and the cool jobs they have, about Charity's freedom and great life in Palo Alto, about Josh's amazing teaching abilities. Then I thought about how hard I work on so many things that don't seem to amount to as much as they seem like they should... I thought about how some things seem to come so much more easily to other people...
But I snapped out of it and started counting my blessings and had the words to a random song come into my mind "I'm one of a kind. I'm as unique as can be. I'm alright I'm OK and I'm glad I'm me." Sort of a dumb song. But it made me feel better somehow. And it made me picture my sisters and I singing that song in the group we sang in as kids. And then I felt tons of love for my siblings and gratitude that we all have different strengths and different challenges.
Then I decided to write this little post because I think we all deal with these sorts of feelings sometimes as we read other people's blogs or look at other people's lives (not sure if it's better or worse if the blogs are family members' blogs...).
My life has it's great parts. My life has it's hard parts. Pretty much everyone's dealing with hard stuff - most of which they don't blog about or flaunt around at church on Sundays. We generally see the happy stuff, the pretty pictures, not the heartaches or the messes. We can catch glimpses here and there of other people's hard stuff if we look below the surface a bit - and sometimes, people do put their hard stuff out there for all to see but sometimes we still stay fixated on what we admire and covet about them and don't figure in the hard stuff we'd have to take on if we were to trade places with them...
I admire and even feel a little jealous of many things about many people. I yearn for so many things I really can't have. But ultimately, when I can get over myself enough to see what's true, I recognize my blessings in all their abundance. I realize that there are plenty of people who read this blog and wish for things that I have - and that if I read their blogs, I'd wish for some things they have. That's just how it is. We can't have it all. But we can love and make the most of what we've got. And we can learn to admire and appreciate rather than envy and covet.
Enough. Pity Party over. Time for bed.