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Monday, December 8, 2014

The Illusion of the Greener Grass

How are you? From where you're standing today, how is your life looking,? How is your family? Job? Career path? Health? Goals? I bet you the answer to your "where do yourself in 5 years?" question has changed just slightly, if not very dramatically. I also bet you've peaked over to the other side, just a bit...into the life of that friend, family or colleague...into the one window they have selected for you to see and you're wondering when yours will mirror. No, this is not jealousy. It's not that you are envious of them, you just want a husband who is as handsome as your friend's, or a job like your cousin's which seems to give her enough to afford that luxury car , or you're missing someone you lost and wonder why the good die young and the evil live and build mansions around the world. Wait, your fiance has told you he cannot afford the caliber of wedding your family friend, whose father is a newly appointed Minister, just had and suddenly, the apparent lack of bellanaija prospect makes your life seem so worthless and miserable. Yes, you are peaking, on the other side where the grass seems so fresh, so green, so grown. Just beneath your shoes, under your lens, the grass seems wrangled with harmattan fever.

With each passing year, I have learned that simplicity was the luxury we enjoyed before we grew up and realized what it meant to "live", what it takes to BE.  The very essence of living is a roller coaster, up and down. There's an old saying that if, in the company of those you consider more successful than you, you made everyone throw out their problems and had to pick one back up, you'd hurriedly take back yours. I won't get into the craze that social media inflicts but in reality, not every one's struggle is apparent. No matter how it seems, no one ever has both feet in the house at all times. It's one in, and one out.  Each season brings its own blessings and challenges, alike. God is a fair God and has fashioned it so.  That thing in your life you may see as a challenge, is a blessing to someone else. There's something that you have that someone else wishes they had and while you think someone has a perfect life, they probably think the same of you. No one has it all together. While you think they have a perfect life, they may think the same of you. Next time, you are tempted to compare, remember that you may see a person's glory, yet have no clue what their story is. We are all BE...and in the process of an endless pursuit of happiness, we cross and pass various valleys and hills.
Those who have jobs envision what it would be like to just have time to travel, while those who are jobless wish they had a job that would give them the means to travel. Those who have kids want to lock themselves in a room for quiet time, while some are frequenting various fertility clinics. Those who are engaged/married,  reminisce about when they only had themselves to worry about and those who are single, wonder when their big day would be. That's it, we are not pursuing happiness. We are pursuing the next big thing.  Sometimes, that job you claim is beneath your qualifications, would generate more income for you in a year because it is more stable than the "big-rush" job. You leave your relationship because you've become bored and hop into another. You don't want to marry her because she doesn't compare with the new flashy super-model-like girl at your job. You think that's what will make you happier. When the honeymoon phase in the second relationship wanes, and you see "all" of it, and not just the physical/good side, you'd realize it's just De javu.  There's nothing wrong with an upgrade. The goal should just be to never loose sight of what is, in the process of searching for what has and what could be.

Focus on your internal happiness because you won't realize that after the brief excitement of jumping the fence, if you're not truly happy within, you'd become bored and discontent again. Unless you want to spend your life's currency, hoping from place to place, job to job, relationship to relationship, marriage to marriage, your grass is only as green as you make it. 

Again, don't get me wrong, we should all strive to be better, to do better....take opportunities, travel, do what you need to do to be the best version of yourself. Just never do so at the cost of ignoring your blessings. Whenever you feel envy, restlessness or whatever emotion "the grass is greener" syndrome disguises under, bring yourself back to where you are and realize that in the midst of the grave finality the past gives us and how scarily uncertain the future seems, all we have is the "present".
Your grass may not be perfect but it's yours. It is only as green as you water it. Water it, nourish it, live it, inhale it's scents, love it in all its glory, find peace in it's sounds, and don't buy into the greener grass illusion. The grass on the other side is probably just a different shade of green.

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