We all have those friends. You know the ones I mean. The friends who get everything they want in life. Or — even worse — everything you want in life, without even really trying that hard.
One minute you’re side-by-side at the starting line. Suddenly they have sprinted ahead of you and are now living in the light of accomplishment. In the light dreams are made of.
I find myself in a constant state of jealousy over the latest accomplishments of my friends. Sure, I’m happy for them, but seriously? They found the love of her life already? They have the greatest job on the planet? They just bought a puppy?
When will it be my turn?
I have come to the conclusion that dreams happen for people at different points in life. Maybe I’m moving at a slower pace than most of my friends. But it’s my life — so shouldn’t it be my pace?
Though it might sound cliché, I think the journey is just as significant as the destination. Fighting and waiting for what I want has made me appreciate getting it so much more.
There is a distinct beauty in the waiting. Those in-between moments where either success or failure waits for you. Those moments have a purpose.
Between relationships, I have learned the importance of individuality and self-confidence. Between jobs, I have experienced the fear of asking for help and have learned to survive on less. Between times of doubt and faith, I’ve learned how to question life and disregard judgment.
The lessons came when nothing great was happening, when I was thoroughly entrenched in the mundane. When I was just taking things one day at a time.
It seems like some of my friends have everything figured out. Their pace of life is so much faster than mine that I feel intimidation and nervousness. But their definition of success is also different than mine. Do I want to be married someday? Sure. But do I want to be married at 21? Nope. So why do I envy their accomplishment if I truly don’t want it right now?
In truth, I’m jealous because sometimes it’s easier to be upset than joyful.
Though we can’t help feeling like failures as we compare ourselves to our friends — even if our goals are completely different than theirs — we can be happy for them without being sad for ourselves.
God could have created the entire world in a day, but he chose seven. He stretched out his purpose for a reason. This act is proof that timing and pace are significant.
I don’t have anything definitive in my life right now. I don’t have a single answer about what the future holds, or how to best accomplish the goals I have in life. But as hard as it is to be caught in the in-between, I’m learning how to be content, and how to embrace the beauty of the waiting.
Photo (Flickr CC) by Christian St Clair.