I want to say I’m sorry.
For all of the jealousy I’ve put into this world this past year. For my inability to truly celebrate others’ good fortune. For the curmudgeonly, cynical outlook that has seeped into my perspective, I’m sorry.
For wishing you anything other than the best, I’m sorry.
For doing no more than donning a smile to congratulate your successes, I’m sorry.
For failing to offer a sympathetic shoulder or an empathetic ear when I couldn’t see beyond my seeming misfortune, I’m sorry.
For losing perspective.
For losing patience.
For losing hope.
As it turns out, I’m a very sore loser. I have never felt so acutely aware of my position in the race of life. When did the race become about money? About careers? About milestones? I never used to care and now I do. I’m obsessed. And I’m a lesser person for it. The playing field used to be so level – a completely ridiculous thing to say, I know, in this segregated world but it’s how I feel. For better or worse, in the circles in which I hang, the playing field has always been rather level. We were all hopeful and all hardworking. We were all making progress despite feeling at a standstill. We were high on opportunity and potential regardless of our bottom-of-the-rung status. But that’s just it, at least we were all down there together.
In the past two years, there has been a great divide and I’m sorry to have found myself in the half of the have-nots. And I don’t mean this in the status of life. I know I’ve been given more than most people dream of. No I don’t have nothing. In fact, I have more than the vast majority of everyone, but none of it is mine alone. The small fraction that I can claim is really rather small: some great gear, an even better love, and a pretty good pup. That’s about all I can slap my name on these days. And so here I have found myself in the half of my peers which I will affectionately refer to as the Have-Nots. The half with less responsibility. Less accountability. And a lower paycheck. In just two years, a lucky handful have managed to cling their way up the ladder landing somewhere between nowhere and there. Not only do they have respectable experience but they have a savings account – a concept completely foreign to me and my beau at this point in time.
I used to not care. I used to not notice. But now it’s all I can think about. I hate that.
Now with every job that someone else gets offered, with every promotion a peer lands I am nothing but jealous. They are one step closer to being a real adult (I know that’s not what I should be wanting, and I’ll save my affinity my twenties for another blog, but here’s to honesty!). No longer lingering in this ambiguous – albeit surreal and ideal – decade of faking it, but rather they are making it. At least for now. They are one step closer to the real deal, to the dream job, to the sort of financial security that affords them a guilt-free cup of coffee, much less a home. Closer to things that I have never so desperately wanted as I do now.
I’m sorry to say, but this year has made me curmudgeonly. I am cynical and bitter and jealous. And I was never any of those things. NEVER.
I take solace in the fact that I can recognize this change, but it horrifies me that I haven’t yet righted the wrong.
I’m grateful for having the perspective of my relatively phenomenal fortune and the familial security to keep me from ever falling through the cracks. I’m sincerely grateful for all of that.
But until that optimism returns to my soul, until that gratitude takes the forefront, I need the universe to know that I’m sorry.
I’m really really sorry.