My old high school friend, Shannon, wrote a thoughtful post today and it has stuck with me. You should go read it. Also say hi to her – she’s awesome.
And she’s right. For all the great things social media and this digital age brings there is a side that can feel defeating. Isn’t it easy to see who’s traveling the world, holding the dream job, saving lives, making policy, making people laugh and building a second home?
There’s the girl who became beautiful long after you lost touch. The quiet boy who is now smart and handsome. The technology innovator you never knew. The stay at home mom who looks like she has it all together. The one who had a book published. The one who is working with rock bands.
It can be unnerving, our friends’ success. The second guessing of choices. The “what ifs” that creep in at the weaker moments.
There is a movement going around many blogs asking people to write a letter to their 20 year old selves. It’s an interesting exercise, isn’t it? In many cases sites like Facebook bring you virtually face to face with your life as a 20 year old. How does it look 20 years later?
I think it’s that mirror effect of Facebook that’s so hard sometimes. I don’t begrudge other people their success – and I know that for all the openness and rawness that makes the Internet so compelling and interesting we’re all still putting a measured picture of ourselves out there. It’s the daily exercise of facing old decisions – good, bad or never made – that can wear on you.
Living in the present is hard. Hell, there are times where living in the moment is damn near impossible. But trying to integrate that “life as a 20 year old” with “a life today” – well, it’s still a work in progress.