I have amazing friends. They’re beautiful, and talented. Thoughtful and funny. Smart, and cultured. Every now and then we’ll summon our 25-year old selves and do something crazy like put heels on, drink all the drinks, and stay out past midnight. We laugh until our tummies hurt, and cry unfamiliar-but-becoming-more-of-a-thing happy tears when we see one of us walk down the aisle towards the love of her life.
But when those familiar-not-as-frequent-but-wish-they’d-be-non-existent tears do appear, I feel alone. I’m on the outside of inside jokes, and I no longer know who is doing what with who or where. Catching up used to be, “So did you fuck the guy from last night?” to “Wait. You have a boyfriend? Who? WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN AND WHY DON’T I KNOW ABOUT HIM?!”
At work I know what shelf the very last paperclip is on. I like my co-workers, and they like me. I think. I’m taking on new responsibilities and getting my feet wet in the HR and recruiting pool. I received a bonus and got a raise earlier this year. I have my very first business trip Sunday, and I don’t have to wait for lower back pains to go away because I don’t have to worry about health insurance.
However, I am currently living my biggest fear as a senior in high school. My Journalism degree is just a very expensive piece of paper (which I can’t even find), and at times I can do my job on auto-pilot … from a plane with smoke coming from the engine.
I’m tired of being tired, but never have the motivation to execute. Yet, I seem to always have just the right amount of energy to complain.
I’ve seen heaven on Earth through the stained glass soul of Antoni Gaudi, and walked the same path warriors once ran through without the risk of getting sacrificed. I ate medium rare sirloin with foie gras on top that was served to me in a foreign tongue you need a passport stamp to understand. I’ve tasted clouds with the tip of my tongue and swallowed the lush forest below me. At times, I can’t believe my life.
Then, I look at the people around me and realize I ain’t seen shit. I see the world before me, and realize I ain’t done shit. I stupidly compare my life to others, and then feel as if I ain’t shit. I envy and regret, then feel ungrateful. I lay in my bed while others are on vacation staring at the current and available balance on my credit cards and think this is my life?
Remember those “familiar-not-as-frequent-but-wish-they’d-be-non-existent tears” I mentioned earlier? The last time saltwater trickled down my cheeks it was accompanied by beach hair and sunblock. I feel worth the effort. I feel appreciated. I feel like I have a universe to offer, and deserve a lifetime and afterlife of respect and love and head rubs in return. And you can’t even wait for me to get out of the car.
That’s when the anxiety seeps in as swiftly as a butterfly riot in the pit of my stomach.
I remember Post-It notes just to remind me not to hate myself, and search for my therapist’s number in my contacts. I remember I’m not as sexy as her, as confident as her, as pretty as her. I AM NOT HER. I don’t deserve you. Or you. Because I am not good enough.
So when someone asks me what’s wrong, the answer is everything is wrong. Just as much as everything is right. It all depends on which car of the crazy train I’m riding in, because today I’m drinking champagne in the caboose and tomorrow I’m conducting it off the tracks. What’s wrong? Everything is wrong. Everything and nothing at all.