A friend who I thought Had It All. . . doesn’t.
She’ll be okay—she’s the most resilient person I know—but the next few months will be rough for her, and it’s unclear what her life will look like once matters do clear.
I’ve been lucky with friends. My life doesn’t look much like theirs’, but it’s not an issue. Some are married, some own homes, some have kids, some are, like me, alone in a rental, but I’ve never gotten the sense from any of them that how I live is inferior to how they live.
I often think that I live an inferior life. I do compare myself to others, as well as to what I think I could have if-only, and I preface any invitations to visit with the warning I live like a graduate student. Almost 50, and I live like a graduate student.
But what I missed in seeing only my own shortfalls was that the Having It All can be a kind of front. Not a false-front, but the kind that seems sui generis—as if it just happened, and that there was no work, no struggle, no falling-short behind it all.
I think we are all so separate and our lives so distant, and in some ways, we are. But we’re also all just bobbing alongside one another in the wavy deep.