**Note: This post was written a few weeks ago, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to post it or not. I think it’s important to share all parts of me, so…here you go. Thanks for reading. **
“Someone else is happy with less than you have.”
Someone I follow on Pinterest posted this quote, as something to remember. They posted it, I believe, with the idea that we should be ever so grateful for all that we have. There are others who have it worse, etc, etc, etc.
However my brain is JUST fucked up enough that I looked at that quote and got upset. I got immediately frustrated, that I wanted strawberries, hummus and eggs yesterday – but it didn’t fit in my (tight) grocery budget for this week. I got upset, that I had a meltdown over this $10 worth of items that were things I simply WANTED. Things that FELT good to me. Tasted good. Snacks I didn’t NEED, but desired. I immediately felt guilty, for being frustrated that my wants are so very, very rarely unreasonable. That quote single handedly sent me into an emotional spin at warp speed. That’s right, Sarah. Someone ELSE COULD be happy, with less than you have.
What did I hear? Sarah, you should be doing better with what you have. Perhaps you could be happier. Clearly, other people could be. What’s wrong with you?
I’ll be the first to admit that I am very grateful for what I DO have. I have clothing on my body that fits and makes me feel good. I have an apartment that is clean and safe. I eat healthy, nutritious food and splurge on some organic items and other health foods that I love. I have family that help in times of need for the most part, as they are able. I have a husband that works hard, while going to school, to support us. I have a lot of things to be amazingly grateful for. Yes, things are tight at times, and super skinny jeggings tight at other times, but…we make do.
That said, sometimes I just want to get upset. I just want to cry. I just want to have a moment where I can simply be frustrated over things. My wants and desires are, I think to most, completely reasonable. They aren’t designer purses or shoes or diamond bracelets every day (though let’s just be honest for a moment…I’d love those things too). They aren’t huge vacations to far away places or big things. They’re a $10 bunch of cut flowers that make me smile. They’re a new pair of training sneakers. They’re a sushi lunch out while shopping or an extra thing not on the grocery list and possibly out of the budget. Strawberries that are out of season and not a good buy. Masala hummus that I love so much from one specific store. This…is why I get frustrated.
It isn’t that I couldn’t have these things most of the time, and still be okay and make ends meet. But, it’s the fact that I WILL NOT ALLOW MYSELF these things. I will not ‘stress the family out’ for my WANTS. I have a fear that, the $4 in strawberries I want, will somehow make us short for rent in the end. No one, no how, can stop that spin in me. No one can assure me that it will be okay in the end. That my selfish want, isn’t going to RUIN EVERYTHING AAAAHHHH. Why the hell do I do this to myself?
It just ends up with me crying as we drive out of the grocery store parking lot, and weeping until I get an iced tea at my favourite shop. Like a child, all it took was a little, tiny something that I just WANTED, to quiet me for that moment and soothe my heart.
It is a constant feeling of someone else having it worse than me, that doesn’t even allow myself to be sad, frustrated or upset for even a MOMENT. I do acknowledge that that was engrained in me from a young age by my Mom, that’s for sure. But 32 years later? Really? I have some sort of supernatural guilt complex going on here that’s killing my joy. It’s killing the childlike spirit that I feel bursting inside of me sometimes.
The fact of the matter is folks, yes, there are always people in worse situations, but…that doesn’t mean yours doesn’t suck! (folks = Listen the eff up Sarah). Other people’s suffering does not make your own invalid. It is not a judgement call. It is not some comparison by the universe and a valuation of your emotions.
I often find myself getting super crabby at people on social media that are ALWAYS SO EFFING HAPPY. Not that people can’t be cheerful and wonderful, because they can be and that’s wonderful! However, I often wonder if that’s really the whole truth. I wonder if that’s the snippet that they are choosing to show, just as I do sometimes. Okay, often. People who wax poetic about being grateful and so blessed with life, I want to ask them what else is going on inside them. I feel like, the recent trend to push yourself to be grateful and to just be positive can backfire. It can force us to feel like we SHOULD be putting on a smile when really inside? We’re hurting. Struggling or just…not wanting to smile. It makes it so that it feels unacceptable, or somehow less, that we’re not happy and grateful in every moment of every day. It makes it not okay to break down and just, lose your shit.
Thinking positively doesn’t always make things okay. It doesn’t always help you feel better. Being grateful, doesn’t necessarily mean that it isn’t okay to be sad or upset about something too. It seems like such a simple concept but damn if it isn’t hard to apply to yourself. It feels like once I try and apply it to myself, I can’t even begin to wrap my brain around it. Sometimes people? I just don’t want to flood myself with gratitude I want to cry, break down and just be a shit head. Then? I’ll pick myself up and remind myself why I should be grateful. Maybe I’m missing some huge spiritual epiphany here. It’s okay, I haven’t quite gotten there yet. What I do know, is that often, letting all this bullshit out of my head means sometimes, others will speak up and say, “Hey, me too.” and that. THAT helps.
I know that our finances are not by far the worst, and that they won’t always be like that. We have made choices that bring us here for a reason, and the path will continue as we’ve lined it up. I know it’s not permanent. But jesus, sometimes? Sometimes I just want to cry, and NOT beat the shit out of myself because someone else is starving in Africa.
Sometimes, I just want it to be okay that I want strawberries.