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I feel like I need to forewarn you that this blog post is not going to be written in the typical tongue-in-cheek style. I typically like to keep things casual and light-hearted, because if you watch the news at all, you know there is enough sadness and fear in the world. And if you’re like me, watching the election coverage just makes me want to rip my hair out. So I want this to be an escape for you, but even more so, for me. Somewhere that you can go for a little chuckle, a pretty picture, or just 5 minutes of not thinking about how depressing growing up can be.
But that is not always real life. Sometimes even I can’t shake things off with a witty comment or FML moment. I have chosen to let you into my life, and I think I owe it to you be honest with the good, the bad, and the ugly. Sure you see moments on Instagram where my hubby plans the anniversary surprise of a lifetime and greets me at Louis Vuitton with champagne and a credit card. And while I’ll share more of that on another day (BECAUSE IT WAS AMAZING), that is by no means everyday. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. And I want to write about one of the bigger struggles I’ve dealt with lately that has really brought the ugly out in me.
Jealousy has always been my dragon. I have grown up in a world where I’m surrounded by vacation homes, private jets, and dolla dolla bills. And by surrounded, I don’t mean personally. And before you insert some SMH comment about how there are starving children in Africa and my hardship of not driving a Hyundai while my other friends drive Lexuses is hardly something to cry about, I completely agree. But that doesn’t make my feelings any less valid. I know that it’s selfish and the definition of a #firstworldproblem, but it’s the current condition of my heart. And something I’m not proud of.
I’ve always struggled with comparison: not being pretty enough, not making enough money, not having a pretty enough home, not being a good enough Christian. Basically not having an “Instagram worthy” enough life that the other girls out there will in turn compare themselves too. I know that this is the timeless struggle of women everywhere. It starts in grade school you are jealous of my best friend’s Lisa Frank backpack and continues into adult when you are jealous of your best friend’s shiny 3 carat engagement ring. Different ages, different objects, same damn struggle.
But what is different now than when I was a child is the fact that my jealousy is starting to affect my relationships with those who I have always held dearest and loved the hardest. This little-big green monster is forcing me to harbor bitterness and resentment towards people who deserve love, empathy, and support. It’s ultimately bringing out a very ugly side of myself that I don’t like.
I’m not writing this with the intentions of you all commenting on what a strong woman I am for powering through the struggles of being upper-middle class. Or in selfish hopes that you all comment about how brave I am to expose my weaknesses for the world to see. I’m writing this because I believe if I put it out there in the world, I can’t ignore it. Sometimes I think it’s really easy to keep our sin struggles “private”- because if nobody knows about them, can’t we just pretend they don’t exist?
So for the next month, I’m planning on keeping a gratitude journal. But I use the term “journal” loosely. It’s more like a note on my iPhone because I know there’s no way I’m going to keep up with carrying a journal to the gym (jk- I don’t go to the gym, but you get the idea). Every time I am blessed in just the simplest way, I’m going to make a note of it. So whenever I feel that little-green monster trying to creep out of his hole, I am going to whack-a-mole him down with my attitude of gratitude.
I would love for you to join along in my month-long challenge. And please, feel free to comment below and share your own experiences with the gratitude journal. Who knows, some of you may just get featured on Fun-Sized Erin 😉
P.S. I think getting my zen-on by getting back into yoga wouldn’t be the worst idea either! One step at a time…
Photography by: Mary Summers Photography