I’ve been thinking about this reaction a bit, the “I-want-your-life” reaction I get when I catch up with people from home or post pictures on social media. Quite honestly, my response is emotionally charged. I’ve thought about it until my mind is spinning; I have much to say, yet I still come back around to a simple answer. I firmly believe that we lead our own lives, forge our own paths and determine our proverbial next steps in our distinct, separate journeys. Simply put: If you want to do something, do it.
It is your life. You perceive your own barriers. This is my life. I looked ahead to my future and decided to do what I wanted. I was determined to go abroad again. I applied to a program, and I went. You make your own way. Se hace camino al andar.
Jealousy shouldn’t play a role in it. To be jealous of another’s life is to make the assumption that theirs is better, even easier. Each person has their own story, their own unique journey loaded with ups and downs that you might not have the slightest clue about. To say you want my life is to say you want it all: the overwhelming moments of sadness along with those bursting with happiness.
Yes, I upload pictures along the way. I enjoy documenting my time here in Colombia. Some day I’d like to look back to see what I saw and read what I was thinking—good, bad and everything in between. I save the tough moments for my journal, the raw emotions I feel every day. In any given moment I could be feeling lonely or content or out-of-this-world happy.
For the ones who tell me they want my life, I wonder if they’d still feel that way if they saw my everyday life. Living and working abroad isn’t as shiny and picturesque as you think. It consists of routine-esque things and everything (well, almost everything) I’d do back in Jersey, too. I have a work commute. I pay rent. I take the bus every day in sweaty humidity. I wake up mosquito-bitten. I run errands. I cook. I clean.
I have those days just like everyone else. I cry. I sleep late. I have mood swings. I have that f*cking Monday feeling and that TGIF feeling, too. I siesta. I linger in bed. I watch Netflix and eat junk food. I miss my momma. I miss my dad so much it hurts sometimes. I spend hours on FaceTime with my humans around the world. I feel sad I’m not there. I get homesick. I crave home-y comforts. I tear up thinking about who I’d want next to me to share this experience.
I think that we assume others’ lives can be better. We mindlessly scroll through their visuals they post online and we think, “Wow, I wish I could do that.” The thing is, you can. Your time is more valuable than wishing and hoping for things you’ve always wanted. Your dreams are worth more than continuing to place them far in the unreachable future. Your life is now. Choose to live it.