I came home from a dinner date with an old friend the other night feeling discouraged. We've known each other for years and because of the amount of time we've stayed connected, I've always thought of her as a friend. But after dinner, I realized I don't know how true that really is. Not that we're enemies at all - on the contrary, I care a great deal about her. But in the years our friendship has existed, it has never really been an exchange of sympathy, encouragement or solidarity. Every experience I share is met with "That's ok, this is why my life is more interesting." Right down to me sharing something about my son and her responding with "Oh I know, my babies do that, too." Her babies are pet rats.
I don't have anything against her life experiences or decisions - she's doing some really awesome things right now that are really exciting. I just find it discouraging that we can't just be excited for each other. Everything feels like a competition. Everything I know, she knows more about. At dinner, Nathaniel mentioned that he was tired because he'd been up since 3:30 for work. "You think you're tired now? Just wait until you've been doing it two or three days, you'll be delirious." "Actually," he said, "this was my third day." Everything, every single sentence is like this with her.
I wrote this today as kind of a personal revelation. I don't know whether she'll read it or not, and if she does, whether she'll take it to heart, but maybe. I hope so.
I'm not living my life to compete with yours. Remember none of us asked to be born, we're just doing the best we can with what we have. My experiences are important to me. Your experiences are important to me, too. We don't need to be better than each other, or outdo each other. We don't need to know more, feel more, see more, believe more, have more or lose more than anybody else. We just need to respect the value in each other's lives more.