Monday, January 17, 2011

Old Friends and Envy

Last night I had dinner with an old friend. I was friends with him and his wife several years ago, and since I moved to North Carolina, we have remained friends. My friends had their first child three months before I had my son, and now they also have a second child. He travels a lot, and he had a night layover here, so we had dinner.

It was really nice to catch up. My life has changed so drastically since I moved to North Carolina, and we enjoyed catching up. When I lived in Virginia and met this couple, I was still a mess. I was clean, but I was still on probation, and I was still wallowing in the mire of having been lost for so long. Now, I am in such a different place. My friend was amazed and also delighted at my life.

I have always been envious of this man's wife. I always thought she had it all. He makes really good money, and they have a nice house and nice cars...and she always seemed to have everything. I looked up to her because she had everything going for her. I talk to his wife often, and we shared our pregnancies and all the baby details that are shared between first time moms. I am always envious of the pictures she posts on Facebook because I see all the nice furniture, and I realize her children have the best of everything.

Last night, her husband revealed some unhappiness in their marriage. I knew that already, but he confirmed it. And I looked around at my life, my tiny little apartment with hand me down furniture, and my job as a waitress, and my status as a single mom. And I realized how happy I am. I realized that my life is perfect.

As a single mom, I do not have to answer to anyone. I am in control. I do not have to share in every parenting decision. I do not have to make dinner for a man who works all day to support me, and I do not have to comfort anyone other than my beautiful baby boy. I love the solitude of living alone with my son. I love that he loves this little apartment, and knows he is the king of this castle. I love that I am writing again, and that my writing is really coming together. I am getting ready to graduate in May, and I am excited about embarking on this new chapter. And I am so happy with everything...exactly the way it is.

As he talked about his marital problems, I realized that my friend does not have it all. And I am no longer envious of what she has. I would not want all that because there is a price that comes with it. She is not pursuing her dreams, and she is not happy with her relationship. I would rather not have a relationship than have one that is not satisfactory. I am glad to not even have to worry about all that...that is the last thing I want in my life. I am no longer envious of my friend because I realize I have just as much as she does, if not more.

Being a single mom is not easy. And sometimes it is really frustrating. Other times it is really hard. But, it really is wonderful. It brings my son and I much closer together. We have really learned to appreciate one another. I do not have to answer to anyone (except maybe my mother, but that will always be the case...) I do not share my financial responsibility with anyone, and as a result, I do not have to debate with another parent over my parenting ideas. I have provided everything in this house, and although it may not be expensive name is mine, and no one can it away from me...I am proud of what I have. I am really happy with even the worst parts of my life. I am doing something I love, hopefully for a living soon. And my little boy is my world, and I am his...and our little world is perfect for us, just the way it is. And it feels good to know this...


  1. A few years ago I reconnected with an old friend, and I was so envious because her life seemed perfect. She was a stay at home mom with a beautiful house, a cleaning lady (!), nice car, family vacations. The real kicker was that she and her husband, who I met in 12 step meetings ten years ago, were now social drinkers. They had it all and they could have a beer! It was baffling. Two years later, they're divorced. The house has long been foreclosed on, she's in a cramped apartment with her two kids, he's sitting in prison on drug charges. They taught me you can't have it all, but you can have enough. I have enough and I'm perfectly happy with it.

  2. An old friend told me she'd rather have no man than one that doesn't enhance her life. I'm now widowed, w/ a dog. 100% of the kisses, 0% of the aggravation. RIP, Steve, I loved you but you were a PITA for 27 years...Why did you have to be that way? Then run off and die alone? After 27 years? If we both get to heaven, you're getting the ass-chewing of an eternal lifetime buddy.

    Err, sorry for the rant. Nobody gets it all. Just saying.