so, i have had a million thoughts about this subject run through my mind and it seems, when i go to write them down i'm like, where do i start? but here, i'll start with my girls amy p and mindy k - they are both wildly successful, witty, funny, and both embody the kind of strong, fierce women that i hope i can be. and in both of their books (yes please and why not me?) they find it imperative to dedicate chapters to (for lack of a better term) the haters. people who don't want you to be successful, people who will put you down and tell you that you're not doing it their way, or that you made this mistake, or that you just got lucky and don't deserve it. people who poke holes in the good things that happen to you and find a reason, however tiny it may be, to marginalize your victories.
mindy SLAYS in this paragraph from her book, when i was reading it in the car i was practically shouting "HALLELUJAH!" along with it:
"Confidence is just entitlement. Entitlement has gotten a bad rap because it's used almost exclusively for the useless children of the rich, reality TV stars, and Conrad Hilton Jr., who gets kicked off an airplane for smoking pot in the lavatory and calling people peasants or whatever. But entitlement in and of itself isn't so bad. Entitlement is simply the belief that you deserve something. Which is great."
isn't that such an amazing thought? women: we work so hard to be successful and nice and smart look pretty and raise good kids and say witty things at the right time but also sensitive things at the right time and be good wives and be a positive force for good. WE DESERVE to be happy and feel like our lives have been successful.
so WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY do we tear each other down?? why do we feel like the good things that happen to US are the result of hard work and good intention - but her? gosh, she lucked out big time! why do we say things like, "oh i could never do that?" why can't we JUST BE HAPPY FOR EACH OTHER?
in amy’s words that have become immortalized in my life, and that i have written in this blog at least 50 times, GOOD FOR YOU, NOT FOR ME. what is right for her is not right for me. what makes her happy doesn’t take away from my happiness.
it all boils down to insecurity. we all deal with it on some level or in comparison to someone else - no matter how awesome our lives really are. we all wish we could have her life, or go on that adventure, or afford that apartment, or be that funny on twitter. and when we bash them? it makes us feel a little better that we don't have what they have. if we put them down, they aren't as great. we don't need to be jealous of them anymore. it’s a pretty natural reaction – and if you pay attention, you’ll notice that the girls who gossip the most and criticize the most are, underneath, trying to compensate for the most.
here's a personal example - in the investment banking world, there is often a bit of a persona that the wives have. (that i most certainly don't.) they come from money and carry their kate spade purses and are rail thin and always have fancy manicures and for some odd reason they all take these really extravagant ski trips together all over the US? anyway, sometimes i was just like UGH! about these girls. who spends that much $$ on their nails? their husband kinda seems like a douche! they are all snobs! etc etc etc. but one day i was like GET IT TOGETHER KAYLA! you only have those thoughts because you are afraid you won't fit in with them and you are intimidated! give them a chance! and ya know, maybe i'll never have a kate spade purse (i like expensive things, i really do, but frankly, i think designer handbags are stuffy and ugly) and maybe i'll never consistently keep pretty nails, but GOOD FOR THEM, NOT FOR ME!
i have watched a lot of friends (and sometimes participated in) criticizing other's choices - be they little or small. (although, side note - i think it's totally okay to be annoyed by small behaviors or habits. that's just life, and people are annoying. sorry bout it.) but it's SO EASY!!!! it almost feels natural to poke holes in other people's lives, because we aren't the ones living them.
it's easy to look at friends traveling abroad and, knowing they are going into a lot of debt to do so, say, "woooow how stupid of them. glad we aren't that dumb." it's also easy to see friends moving abroad, or changing career paths, or spending money on things you wouldn't spend money on, or dropping out of school, or starting a family too early (or too late,) or leaving their religion, or quitting a job, or marrying a "meh" guy and think, "okay, do you even know what you're doing?? come ON!" when really, we should just be confident that they are making the right choices FOR THEM. and let them be happy with those choices.
i have been told that jordan and i will probably never leave banking because we will get too wrapped up in the money. (100% real comment made to my face.) i have had members of jordan's ward gossip about us living in a big city and how that's such an irresponsible, stupid thing to do. i have been told that only "legit" couples live in NYC, not in SF. i have had people talk behind my back and say that i'm unrelateable and snobby and that i try to make my life seem perfect. we've been criticized for not starting our family yet, for not trying to find a job closer to our families, for jordan working a job that demands so many hours, for moving to a place that's not family friendly.
i don't write that down to gain pity points, but to say that I WISH people could just implement "good for you, not for me" here. j and i are doing the best we can with what we have, and we are really happy with what our future has in store. we have worked hard and earned the right to feel like we "deserve" all the good things we have coming. that doesn't mean that our life is one size fits all.we haven't found the golden ticket to happiness in our life choices, because that ticket looks so different for everyone. but we are happy with our lives. (most of the time.) we are.
i think if we could ALL dig a little deeper to be happy with all of OUR blessings, we would find it a lot easier to be happy for each other’s blessings. it goes both ways - the more i stand confident in MY life and MY choices, the less other's criticisms permeate the surface, and the less i feel the need to tear others down. when i am confident that i am doing my best with MY life - i'm not affected by the problem, nor am i adding to it.
i have found crazy amounts of delight from rejoicing with friends as they get good jobs, promotions, travel the world, move to cool cities, have cute babies, write books, lose weight, open businesses, win instagram contests, or find a good deal on something at anthro. sure, a little part of me will probably ping with jealousy- but generally, being GENUINELY happy for them does nothing but increase MY happiness with my own life, and just in general. i am NOT perfect as implementing this!! but the more i practice, the easier it becomes. i am happy to be surrounded by successful people who kick a** - they motivate me to kick some more a** myself ya know?
so here is my call to action, ladies – (because we all learned in writing 101 that good pieces have a call to action in them) let’s implement a little more GOOD FOR YOU, NOT FOR ME! let’s build each other up and be happy for all the wonderful things for each other, they are meant to be shared! let’s be happy with our own lives and let that be the firm ground we stand on! let’s be better people and better friends!
& that is all, goodnight america.