I often think about what it might like to be someone else. If just for a day. Do they get wet when it's raining, too?
More than I'd care to, I find myself saying, "why me?” I feel like I'm sick more often than other people my age. I feel like I must be in more debt than other people my age (how else can anyone afford to go out several nights a week in New York? I wonder). In my self-deprecating moments, I say it: my life -- past and present -- seems harder than most other people's.
Is it, really?
The above is a recent confession from PostSecret.com. I love this site. I think it taps into that self-deprecating me that I hate, yet am oddly fascinated by. Because things really DO seem worse for me than others in my age range, sex, ethnicity and income range.
I see people every day that look like they lead utterly perfect lives. And I'm not talking about Hollywood-types and celebrities, or even the Queen of England (I mean, c'mon, to really be a QUEEN for a day?! Damn...). I see these people on the Subway. On the street. Walking out of my apartment building, even.
I wonder if they ever have to sell a handbag that they once coveted at the local consignment shop so that they can make their rent on the first of the month. I do. Tonight, as a matter of fact. Simply because I moved this month and overspent a bit on items for my new apartment. Yes, it is entirely my fault, but it still sucks.
A few weeks back, I came down with SARS. Okay, not really SARS, but I was very sick for over a week. I was in excruciating pain most hours of the day, couldn't eat, couldn't sleep; I was utterly miserable. I'm a week shy of my next mid/late-twenties birthday, and I spent a week holed up in my apartment because, briefly, I was pretty sure I was dying. I've felt this bad at least three times over the past year. Other 25/26/27 year olds don't have such deteriorating health, do they?
What I think is worse, in this situation, is that I went through a battery of medical testing (one of which actually making me more physically sick than I was before I went in for it), only to find nothing turn up. Earlier this year, I went through a similar round of testing, when the pain in my head and neck was so bad that sometimes I actually couldn't lift my head from the pillow in the morning, to -- again -- find nothing.
This year has been especially trying, but I know my life isn't that bad. I am (apparently) healthy. I have enough to eat each day. I have loving friends near me and caring family a bit farther but there. I have a job where I make a reasonable salary. I have heat, hot water and minimal pests in my apartment. I am lucky enough to have my own space. I have a lot, but I don't always have a smile on my face, nor a positive outlook.
So some people are probably just much better at faking it than I am.