Perspective

I know that people always say “The grass is greener on the other side”, but knowing something and fully appreciating it are two completely different things. I could write a whole post about how everyone’s lives seem really awesome from an outside perspective, and that everyone has almost the same highs and lows, and that what seems really spectacular to one person could be boring to another, but at the end of the post, I would still feel like I know a lot of people who are doing something really incredible with their lives, whereas I am just . . . living.

 

And yet the other day I was chatting online with an old friend of mine, who, in my opinion, is standing on the greenest grass you could ever find. It sounds cheesy, but she is living the life: apartment in the big city, steady job in a field she loves, not to mention all the famous people she manages to meet and post pictures of on Facebook. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not jealous or trying to put down her achievements, because she works hard and is great at what she does, so there’s no question of her living an awesome life that she doesn’t “deserve” (whatever that means). But I definitely think of my life as just life, and her life as LIFE, if you know what I mean. Probably because I have to experience every time I do something awkward while it is happening, but when I tell other people about it, I spiff it up and make it sound funny and/or cool. I’m sure everyone does it, so that’s probably why I don’t have any direct knowledge of, I don’t know, if my friend’s heat ever broke in winter, or if she ever went all day at work with a ketchup stain on her shirt and didn’t know, or anyway whatever boring mundane details of her life that probably happen all the time.

 

We hadn’t chatted in a while so the conversation was mostly just catching-up, and of course since she has seen me post on Facebook, her first question was how I was liking Europe. I answered that it was fine, that I had just gotten back from Poland, and that I would be in Spain for about another 6 weeks. Her response was, “You’re always travelling, that’s amazing!” Amazing? Really? The idea that I could be amazing from the perspective of someone who meets famous actors on a daily basis is in itself amazing to me. I mean, I guess it’s not amazing really. I also find it amazing that I can just go visit Poland on any given weekend. I think what is amazing is the tone of the comment, the, “I can’t believe you’re doing that, I would never be able to myself.” I don’t feel particularly brave, or adventurous, but there you have it.

 

So. Two points here. One: You TOTALLY can go live for a year in Spain, or Poland, or, I don’t know, Antarctica (although it will probably be more difficult in Antarctica). It may seem scary or intimidating, but I promise soon you’ll be pointing at menus in unintelligible languages and eating whatever comes out like it aint no thang. And two: I feel incredibly lucky that I have had the opportunity and the support to do so myself. I may seem brave and adventurous, but really hundreds of hands are holding me up. Thank you so much to everyone who owns one of those hands.

 

Oh, and Poland. Post soon, but for now, here is a teaser relating to perspective.

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