A cliché that's come up time and time again lately is that "the grass is always greener on the other side".
I'd always heard of it and said it and tried to think of myself in this context. In its simplest form, this cliché talks about how other people or other situations may have it better than what you perceive to have now. Another person's lawn might look nicer than yours does.
But all the same, you can never chase after the perfect lawn or the perfect scenario. Because even once you attain it, there will always be someone else's lawn that looks even nicer.
It took me a long time to come to not just accept it, but to actually practice it.
I had always wrapped up my identity in my success. I would feel happy when I achieved certain things and excelled in different ways.
But sometimes, I would also fall into the trap of jealousy and comparison, comparing myself to others. I would worry about how far other people were getting in their personal lives and their careers, and worry that I was nowhere near their stage in life yet. I would spend so much time comparing myself that I lost track of the good things that happened in my own life, and my jealousy and envy would rob my joy and happiness.
When it comes to life, the grass really is always greener than the other side. The only way to make your own grass greener is to nurture it and take care of it.
One of my biggest insecurities growing up (and still to this day) is the fact that I haven't had a long-term, healthy relationship. I have thought for years that there was something inherently wrong with me, something unattractive about me that prevented other people from committing to me.
I watched as some of my closest friends fall in love with pretty great people. I would see how happy they were and secretly hoped for something like that too. I wanted to know when it would be my turn and when I would finally get my chance.
I also watched as my younger sister grew in her relationship with her boyfriend. There is something so raw and real about the love that they have for each other - something that I have yet to feel in a genuine way for another person. It's something that I've hoped for and aspire for.
A couple of days ago I decided to randomly go on a walk because I was feeling uninspired and unfocused on my work. I yearned for some fresh air and a connection to nature, so I went to a nearby park.
For the first time in a long time, I felt connected and present. I felt the leaves crunching under my boots and the cold, autumn air biting at my face. The wind swept through my hair and the colours all around me seemed to be extra vibrant.
It's true that I haven't felt that true, genuine love for another person yet. But for the first time, I was finally in love with myself. I saw that the grass truly was greener on my side.
This past weekend marked 6 weeks since I started taking antidepressants. Though I had always been fairly open about my own mental illness and tried to de-stigmatize my own behaviour and approach to talking about it, talking about medication was still something that felt wrong in my mind. I expected myself to just get over it with some counselling and self-care.
This past summer was one of the more challenging ones that I had to endure on an emotional level and it really led me to a place where I ultimately had to turn to other methods of coping. However, while medicine definitely helped, it was this coming to terms with myself and falling into a deeper appreciation with myself that has helped me to start to grow again.
The reality is that someone will always have a "better" looking relationship or a "better" looking job. But that type of "better" is really better for them, and may not necessarily be better for you.
Something great is written out for you, and greatness takes time to develop.
I'm happy for my sister and her boyfriend. I'm happy for all my friends who have found their special person, who have found their groove, and those who have found happiness within themselves. I've begun to see how incredibly crucial this self-happiness is.
The grass is greener on your own side - you just need to take time to water it and nurture it to see that.