The Grass Isn't Greener On The Other Side

The Grass Isn't Greener On The Other Side

When you feel like everyone else's grass is greener than yours, learn that God is asking you, right now, in your current stage of life, to water, grow, nourish and find contentment on the grass you are standing on.
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If there’s one thing I’ve learned about this generation, it’s this – we don’t understand contentment. It’s a foreign word. We are constantly a million miles ahead of ourselves, wondering when we’ll be the ones with the ring on our finger, the ones living in the suburbs, the house with a white picket fence. We can’t wait to graduate, whether high school or college. We can’t wait to grow up. We want what’s next, now. For us, it’s all about the next stage, the next achievement, the “better than now” stage. For me, it’s always been about the next stage, until now.

I was recently challenged to look at my life. To view everything as it is – good and bad. To not complain about my current stage, but to thrive in it, knowing that in moments when I feel like the grass is greener on the other side, it’s important to realize that it’s not.

Being content is realizing that everyone is on their own journey, uniquely written for them. Why would we ever want to walk someone else’s journey when we have our own incredible story in front of us? There will be moments when others' lives appear to be more appealing than our own. Moments when we watch the ones we love do incredible things and we wish we were doing the same things. But what if the purpose of our personal journey, no matter how painful or how boring they may seem, was to make us better, to strengthen us to be great?

So often we miss our purposes because we’re so busy trying to live someone else’s life. We want to live vicariously through people’s Instagram feeds, by basically creating what we want our life to appear like, when in reality, our lives are messy, just like everyone else’s. Be OK with the mess. Immerse yourself in it; build something spectacular out it. The beautiful thing about our mess is that we are constantly being rebuilt. We are remade. God writes our stories and journeys for us, not for anyone else. That’s what contentment is. We get to learn to love thriving in our current state, because we finally come to a place where we know that is exactly where we belong. To follow Jesus and to follow His path is to know that it is not easy. We’re not called to be comfortable. We’re called to be uncomfortable as we follow Jesus, to thrive and to ultimately find contentment in that.

We’re called to stand on our grass, no matter how torn up, shriveled, dirty or dead it may be. We should be proud to be broken, because brokenness radiates God’s incredible grace and His power to rebuild our brokenness into something indescribable. God calls us to contentment, knowing that His story for us is the best story. He wants us to thrive where He has placed us, without fear of the future, without damaging comparison, rid of any lingering bitterness towards the path He has set for us. He wants us, free of “what if’s” and “if only”. Instead He wants us to focus on the “right now.” Not tomorrow, not next week—right now, this very moment. What does that look like for us?

In those moments when you feel like life possibly couldn’t get worse, when you’re mulling over the fact that your life didn’t turn out the way you thought, that death shouldn’t have happened, or wishing that brokenness hadn’t taken root, know that what truly matters is the grass you’re standing on, not your neighbor’s, not your best friend’s, not your family’s. Your grass is what is important. Stand on it proudly. When it dies, water it. When it flourishes, thrive in it. Learn to view your world, your life and your circumstances through content eyes. When you feel like everyone else’s grass is greener than yours, learn that God is asking you, right now, in your current stage of life, to water, grow, nourish and find contentment on the grass you are standing on.

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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I Could Brag, But Why Should I?

Being humble instead of a handful.

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When it comes to the opportunities that have been presented to me, I have always been someone who prefers to remain levelheaded and grateful. I have never been the type of person to take things for granted, because I always knew that nothing is guaranteed to me, or to anyone, and nothing is permanent. This can, in part, be attributed to growing up part of a family that had been affected by cancer.

I have been able to remain humble, and I am, quite frankly, really proud of myself for that.

I have crossed paths with many people throughout my life who grew up in a manner that one might refer to as privileged or spoiled. Some of these people really showed it. I cannot speak for all of them, and it would be wrong to do so, because this generalization is one that feeds into negativity. However, I can fairly say that I have spent time with people who grew up in a world where all they knew was getting what they wanted, and honestly, I don't envy this.

When I was young, I dreamed of having a life where everything goes right. I think all of us have dreams like this at some point.

But as time went on, I began to realize, just like anyone, that life just simply doesn't work this way. Or at least, not for most of us. And you know what? That's okay. Actually, that's great. I think it's better that way.

The struggles and strife are what keep us appreciative of the other end of the spectrum. Without the bad, how do we learn to appreciate the good?

I could sit here and tell you I've been through a lot.

I could sit here and write all of the sob stories, the heartbreaks, the grief, the losses, the undeserved backstabs. I could ask for your pity, or your sympathy. But I won't, because that's not the point.

All of us have been through some sh*t, when it comes down to it. But what is telling is how we come out on the other side. Whether we allow those experiences to harden us and turn us into stone, or whether we take those experiences, let them shape our outlook, and use them as tools to grow into softer, wiser, more humble human beings, especially when we find ourselves in a time where things begin to go right for us.

I like to think I am the latter.

Right now, I find myself living the best life that I have thus far, and to be painfully honest here, I could brag. If I wanted to, I could brag about my wonderful friends and the incredible people I have in my life, whether they have been around for a while or only just joined the crew. I could brag about being able to follow my heart in New York City, which is home to my college campus and my dream summer internship. I could go on about the people I get to meet, the things I do, the places I go.

But what's the point? Why should I brag? To establish some bizarre feeling of superiority? To put myself on a pedestal? To use what the universe has brought me as a means of making others feel worse or inferior?

Why the hell would I want to do that? Why would anyone?

In times where we find our hearts happy and our lives fulfilled, sure, it can be easy to fall into a mindset that leads you to believe you are "better than". The real test is fighting this.

I can't say I have never given in and allowed myself to adopt that feeling. I don't really think any of us can sit here and pretend we have never ever acted superior, or felt it. We are human, after all.

But I don't think it is right to allow that feeling to take over, and I don't ever want to let that happen.

When that feeling takes over, we lose our graciousness. Our gratefulness. Our humbleness and humanity. We lose the things that make us, down to our cores, human.

I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound so good to me.

So, I will continue my daily commute thanking the universe for allowing me to have that. Even when the train is delayed, or the PATH train is crowded, or the tour groups take over the city sidewalks. I will continue to sit at my desk on days when work is slow and I will thank the universe for even giving me that desk, or that work.

I will continue to thank the universe for everything it brings me, because why shouldn't I?

Why shouldn't we all?

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