You probably don't know it, because I don't really talk about them much here (for no real reason), but I have two siblings - an older brother and an older sister.
I want to tell you a bit about my brother, because, as you will soon see, his life is COMPLETELY different to mine. Right now, he's been travelling through Europe ahead of starting a new job, which means our family WhatsApp group has been receiving messages with pictures like this over past few weeks:
Now, am I jealous that my brother, the single surgeon (ladies...?) is able to not only have the finances to travel the world, but also the time? Come on, you should know me well enough to know the answer:
Of course I am.
How could I not be? That guy is free. He could sell everything he owns and just move to another country when he feels like it. Oh...is Europe feeling a bit boring? Want to spend some time in South-East Asia? Sure, why not? Hmmm, feel like you need to spend all your waking hours furthering your studies? Go ahead! No one's stopping you!
It's hard not to be jealous of someone who has the world as his oyster.
Luckily, I've known my older brother my entire life (duh), so I know that he had to make some hard choices to get to where he is today, and he's reaping the rewards of that. He's had to make sacrifices and miss out on stuff that I have...like being a part of a crew with these crazies:
Is he jealous of me? Well...I am the better looking brother, so probably, but if you're wondering if he is jealous of my life - I don't know. You'll have to ask him.
What I do know is that if I had the same life that my brother has, as awesome as it is, that would have meant never having the privilege of being the dad to the two best kiddos in the world. Everything comes at a cost, but on the days where I'm mentally healthy and strong, I can look at my life and feel pretty good that I got a great deal.
This kind of perspective has really helped me not envy other people's lives. Sure, many dads are better looking, smarter, are more sensitive, have better jobs, have nicer homes and cars, and maybe even their family even functions better than mine, but if you were able to speak to them, eventually you'd find something that I have that they are missing out on.
Maybe you do want to have a similar life to someone else - and in a way, I think that's fine. It's great to have role models that you aspire to emulate, but eventually you will have to ask yourself the question: Am I willing to pay the cost to get there?
(AfroDaddy's note: My sister is awesome too - it's just that her life is more relatable to mine at the moment!)