Don't Count My Blessings
Jealousy is the art of counting someone else's blessings instead of your own.
I remember the first time I saw this phrase and was like, wow...who thinks they know my life? I've never considered myself a jealous person but have at times felt like I didn't always receive my fair share. I always managed to miss the value of appreciating my own portion because I was so concerned with the next person and what they had. Luckily, I have grown out of this (read: for the most part) and I find a way to be thankful for all I do and don't have. Coincidentally, I've become more aware of people counting my blessings and the portion that has been provided to me.
I traveled to Ghana and Turkey last year and people said, "oh you must think you're all that jet setting around the world." What a lot of people did not realize is that I had been nearly paralyzed with fear of traveling so far without my friends or family. People didn't realize that I had almost canceled my trip due to mounting frustrations in my personal life. People didn't realize that I spent November 20th, the 5th anniversary of my accident, on the beautiful Cape Coast but couldn't escape the emptiness that the day always brings.
My mom saw one of my old classmates at a store months ago and she said, "I wish I could just get up and move somewhere like Kamil." She could but she chose not to because our lives had taken two drastically different courses. She wasn't made aware that my first year in DC was no walk in the park. I worked at a local mall for months feeling unappreciated and underpaid. I considered leaving graduate school because not only did I feel unchallenged but I wasn't satisfied. I made right over minimum wage and barely managed to afford my Silver Spring rent until my mom completely had to take over once I was jobless for several months. She didn't realized that I questioned if I had made a thoughtful choice as opposed to an impulsive decision.
My old classmate didn't realize that had I had some of her blessings...my current circumstances may have never came to be. She's married with 3 gorgeous kids and I'm single and childless. Not that you cannot travel with kids and a husband but my ability to get up and go has been tied to the fact that the majority of my adult years have been spent without a significant other. I haven't had the pleasure of finding the love of my life, marrying him, and then giving birth to the human form of our love for one another. This has not been my portion and I realized a long time ago, that I can't rush this blessing. My eyes light up at the idea of being a mother and a wife and sometimes it's downright disappointing that I'm not at that place in my life but I believe in timing. I don't think these blessings have been denied but delayed because I'm just not there yet and God wanted me to take a different route.
There are so many people who seem to have these fabulous lives that I sometimes marvel over. They have the nice cars, the six figure jobs, the husband they met when they were fresh out the womb, the body that never needs to see the gym, and the list goes on. What these people don't have are my blessings that have been designated for me and only me. Friends that would go to hell and back for me, family that only gets better by the years, a spirit that at times seems unbreakable, and eyes that have seen death but still chose to live. Be thankful for what you have and even more thankful for what you don't have. Never miss out on what has been provided to you because you have been focused on someone else's prize.