Not too long ago, I was really struggling with the curveball called Being Laid Off. It kept hitting me on the head, in the gut, my shins … everywhere that hurts the most.
Then my best friend got a job offer before I did.
My reaction – an unfamiliar one of envy and self-doubt – really threw me for another loop. I’d never not been happy for her many amazing accomplishments! It was time for some serious life-evaluation.
I wondered why her success meant my failure. Why anything positive for her didn’t immediately lend itself to positive support from me. Why I was suddenly unable to share in her excitement and instead wallowed in my own self-pity.
It wasn’t a pretty sight. I didn’t like that part of me that I didn’t even knew existed.
I really thought I was one of those secure, confident people with happiness oozing from within! I thought I was making me happy, rather than my circumstances. That impression fell apart when the curveballs kept pelting me.
What really struck me was that it wasn’t the job that was making me happy. It was being on what I viewed as equal footing with my closest friends.
Um, WHAT?! I’m sorry, did I not just write an entire post on how I hate competition between friends? Since when was Life in General a competition, then? Since when was my self-validation based on being “equal” to my friends?
See, with my realization that I need to uphold my Rabbit Hole Standards also came a Lightbulb Moment of Self Clarity. I deserve friends who respect me – but more than that, I deserve my own respect.
Maybe that sounds really obvious and maybe you’re all like, “Well, duh.” But I’m gonna bet you’re more like, “Shit, that’s true but that’s hard!”
And you know what? It really is. Just because I’ve realized that this is something I need to seriously work on doesn’t mean I’m suddenly all happy-from-within and don’t care about the fact that not everything is going my way quite yet.
It does mean, though, that when my best friend recently accepted a new job (her second offer, actually), I was genuinely thrilled to share in her excitement. I’m different from her – I’m different from everyone else – so things happen differently for me.
Also? I don’t think it’s about simply trusting that things will work out. They will, but that’s because I’m working really hard on figuring out what those things are and how I can make them work out for me.