I remember when

I remember when

I remember when I wanted to do that one thing and I was so close,

But I’m not doing it right now, you are.

I was sweet and hopeful, still. But over the years, I am less hopeful and not as sweet.

I know bitterness, envy, and jealousy. Do you?

Now, you are doing that one thing I wanted to do and are successful, not me.

I love photography, but you are the popular photographer.

Once, I was incredibly fit, motivated, and wanted to help others, but now you have all the certifications that I don’t have and are helping people.

Years ago, I tried blogging, but stopped because I didn’t have the husband, the babies, or the clothes and so I never found the success you did.

I tried keeping up with the trends like you do today, but I didn’t have the same funds or finances.

Comparison is the thief of joy.

My hair color was blonder, and I painted my nails, too. But it is too expensive for me to keep up with.
I even had shoes just for running that were blue, like yours were, too.

You went to school right away. So did I, but I took years to finish my degree. Even if I did finish.

You waited to have kids, I didn’t. I was a young mother.

Marriage was important to you so that you could build a future with someone, and I went through lovers and boyfriends like they were going out of style.

I did almost marry once.

I failed in my relationships repeatedly, and now your husband takes pictures for your very own website.

Currently I am starting my career as an educator, going through alternative certification, and you are a teacher for many years, with many friends. I used to have many friends.

You got a master’s degree in Counseling and all I did was start a program I could not finish.

Maybe I’ll finish later. Where is the joy in that?

Used to, I had more friends, but then I deleted them off my social media. I have fewer friends now. We have mutual friends, too, and so I still see people I used to know on my social media anyway. I have deleted and been deleted, too.

I know what it’s like to feel defeated. What about you?

Sometimes I feel sad, and I used to feel very depressed. Bet you never talked about it when you felt that way.

I went on a vacation or two over the years, just barely, but I was probably still living at home with my mom and dad. It’s not the same kind of vacations you go on with your family multiples times every year.

I never did have any more children, and now I am also responsible for two pets. Not like you though, with all the adopted dogs. They are all chipped and current on vaccines, I am sure of it.

One day I fell in love with yoga, and always wanted to blog about it, but you are the one that is going to yoga classes first.

I started to get interested in plant-based diets, and you became a nutritionist.

I used to supplement my diet and be into lifting all the time, and you sat with your hubby at my bar top and asked me about it.

Don’t compare yourself to me like I compare myself to you.

In your free time you run races and own all the cool running accessories. I always thought that would be something I, too, would accomplish.

You are a lawyer. You married an engineer and have the coolest house and now a small family, and I live in a house that I can’t afford, that my parents helped me move into. You have a son and a daughter, and I only have a son.

I started and quit blogs, but you have quite the following on yours.

Keep it up.

Your husband plays tennis. I used to play tennis and loved playing tennis, when I had the chance to.

I used to co-parent with my son’s father, but things are different now. It’s hard to be a parent by myself. A single mom. I no longer have the same kind of support from him after he married and had a baby, but it’s my fault. He doesn’t see his son on all his days, because of work. It’s harder for me to work more.

You probably never partied or drank too much like I did. Probably never worked more than one job or had to support yourself through college.

But, don’t be bitter.

You didn’t like me very much, and chose my son’s dad and wife over me, and now we aren’t even friends. It was hard to run into you at yoga the first time.

You stopped liking my posts when I was going through the hardest times. You can’t relate to me or what I have gone through. You are not a single mom.

I’ve been driving the same car for going on eight years, and you just got a brand-new Mercedes.

My hair is no longer blonde and has not had color in it for years just so I can put better food on the table. You Instagram your home-cooked meals. And they are organic. Your hair is always died.

Don’t be jealous.

I used to get your son’s hand me downs for my son, who is the same age as yours. It’s okay, I don’t want them anymore anyway.

We stopped playing ball even though my son was good, and now he doesn’t want to play. But yours kept it up and has gotten much better.

I had a hard time with the other moms from the Woodlands, they didn’t like single moms like me, I couldn’t fit in.

Or maybe it was just all in my head. I still tried. I wanted to try.

The hardest thing in your life is that you were not able to have another baby, but I have had to work more than two or three jobs, and had my water, gas, elec- you name it, turned off!

I am just the single mom, who has not always made the best decisions, smoked pot, left bad and good jobs, broken up with and been broken up with.

I am just me, and you are just you. I will never be you.

Envy is the stealer of joy.

I sobered up, not because I was an alcoholic, not because I drank every day, but because in the end, I used to smoke every day. I stopped wasting my dollars and time on something that never served me but robbed me. I started choosing happiness instead of an escape or release.

One day I woke up. It doesn’t make it any easier. Things didn’t start getting better for me over night. I haven’t forgiven myself completely, or righted all of my wrongs.

I will never be you, but you will never be me. Don’t judge a book by its cover. It is not a race. It’s all in His time. There is a rhyme and a reason in every season.

Don’t give up. Don’t be disparaged. Just like you, I am a work in progress.

Xx, Stace

Is this poetry? Perhaps, I will continue to edit and make changes to this post, updated 2/9/19. Inspo for this is social media and lots of people I know or knew or crossed paths with, based on real life. Don’t forget how comparison is the stealer of joy. I have been working on building a stronger foundation again for some years. It means putting aside the things that I want and finishing some things I started that are more important, like my education. My son is always my priority and so is my family. What are your priorities that are most important? What have you learned about not giving up on your dreams or building a stronger foundation?

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