Once when I was spending a week at the ocean, I was strolling along the beach at dusk, relaxing in the cool evening surrounded by the sound of the emerging and retreating surf. I paused to watch some surfers in the black water under the ever darkening sky and began to reflect.
I never settled into the cookie cutter life containing the proverbial white picket fence. I‘ve experienced countless adventures from skydiving to living in New York City, to traveling the world and completing an Ironman triathlon.
I made different choices than my siblings, resulting in visible differences in our lives. My sister and sister-in-law drive the same minivan, a Honda Odyssey, which hauls their kids (and countless accoutrement) around. On the flip side, I pilot a white V8 Ford Mustang with blue stripes that gets 13 miles to the gallon, which basically means I drive from my apartment to the gas station and back. However, when the roads are clear, she flies, and there is nothing like it.
While standing on the beach that day, still listening to the sounds of the surf, I realized I love my life. There are a few things I might change if I got a “do over,” but not many. I like that I’ve lived in multiple cities and figured how to navigate them. I don’t just know New York City, I know New York City. It’s easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing or what everyone else has, believing that the grass is greener over there.
The grass isn’t greener on the other side; it’s the same green everywhere.
I know that a different life would cost me some of the memories I treasure most. Comparison, even the vehicular one above, is a trap, a trap designed to produce a feeling of inadequacy. The reality is my sisters and I are all happy with our automobiles.
It’s the same green, just maybe a different species of grass.