Have you been that woman? The one who watches as all of your friends seem to be living this incredible life? The one who sits back, wondering, why not me? Why don’t I get to do all of these things? It’s jealousy. We hate to acknowledge it, but it’s there. Hiding behind our plastered on smiles and nodding heads.
Yes, it’s true, at midlife we tend to know ourselves better. We tend to feel that we’re stronger and more in tune with our own needs and what we really think and feel about things. We often actually know our self-worth. We tend to have the feeling that we’ve found our life’s purpose.
And that’s the case, for sure. We tend to hit our 40s and 50s and think, huh, we’ve actually got this together. We’re actually who we want to be. And we do the things we want to do. When we want to do them.
But sometimes? Sometimes we feel like we’re lacking. Because we’re human, too. And that can be the case when it comes to social media.
Social media leaves us wanting.
Leaves us wishing.
Leaves us jealous. Just a bit. But it’s there. We can recognize that much.
Leads us to feel as though we’re missing out.
Have you heard of FOMO? It’s definition is literally representative of the Fear Of Missing Out.
And when we watch friends get opportunities we don’t, or see friends connecting across the globe, while maybe we find ourselves focused on more personal things on our home-front – that FOMO can kick in hard.
I’m here to tell you the emotional side of social media is legitimate. It’s an honest feeling.
You’re allowed to look at others and think how amazing their lives are. You’re allowed to compare yourself to someone you might want to be like. This person may be your age. They may be younger than you. They may be older than you.
Comparison is, in fact, the thief of joy. Isn’t that how the saying goes?
Stop Asking Yourself: Why Not Me?
But it’s also a realistic part of life.
Maybe you want to sell your house and move somewhere quieter.
Maybe you want to travel the world but your kids haven’t yet flown the nest.
Maybe you want to go for the job of your dreams but aren’t sure you’re qualified.
All the maybes in the world will hold you back. They’ll keep you from reaching for the stars. Keep you from finding what it is you’re looking for.
Do This Instead!
Watch and support. Wish your friends well.
And then find what it is you’re looking for.
Recognize that you, too, can do the things you want to do.
Perhaps this reminder isn’t something you need. If not? That’s great. Wonderful. I’m so happy for you. But I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest you share this post with your friends and loved ones. Because every single one of us knows at least one woman out there who is holding back a bit. One woman out there with the woe-is-me mindset that she really cannot shake.
Support her. Remind her. Tell her she CAN.
Claim who you are. Live boldly and unapologetically.
You deserve to do all this and more.
You don’t really need this reminder, but I’m telling you anyway. Because sometimes we all forget. And in doing so we slip further away from our dreams. Stop the slide and stand up. You can take yourself wherever it is you want to go. Whenever it is you want to get there.
Andrea Bates is a licensed clinical social worker in North Carolina. She can be found on her blog, Good Girl Gone Redneck, sharing reviews of her favorite books and advocating for women’s mental health.