I used to envy one of my friends for how easily things came to her in life — her two pregnancies were easy to achieve with no pregnancy or L&D complications. And even outside of family.. things like job transitions seem to happen seamlessly (I know she works super hard, just that she seems to see less of the rejections that I and most others seem to deal with).

But now,she’s dealing with challenges the likes of which I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Her youngest is facing a lot of very serious health challenges (who’s only a few months older than A*). At first it boggled my mind that she essentially quit her job so she could provide care for her youngest (this was a girl who was always super serious about academics, came up with her own major in undergrad, and proceeded to get fantastic residency, fellowship, and faculty appointments). Now as it’s getting more serious and complicated… now I’m just heart broken for her.

It’s a reminder to me how thankful I am for what I have — healthy and happy spouse, child, and parents. Sure I get stressed about work and whether I’ll ever find a job but that’s rather minor in the grand scheme of things. Having a healthy family who are all happy with whatever they’re doing (be it work or crawling) is such an incredible blessing.

I don’t even know how to support my friend – I check in and tell her that she can always talk if she wants to vent but I can also completely understand that sometimes you just don’t want to. Mostly I’ve been telling her that I’m sending love her way.

7 thoughts on “Envy

  1. Order her a pizza, unasked, just have it arrive pre-dinner. or take her kid, or kids if the one is able, for a few hours one afternoon.
    The thing I learned from my own “suck times” is that the one struggling is unlikely to reach out for help, but will be genuinely touched by you asking, with a clear plan, to do something helpful. Not “what can I do?” but “here, I am going to do this. Let me know if you do not want me to.”


    1. Also, just acknowledging that a situation is crazy hard/stressful/sad/unfair can be powerful. The person who I appreciated most during a particularly tough run was the person who bald-faced said “this is terrible, of course you hate this, this is hard and awful”. No silver lining, no empathy, just acknowledging/affirming that this sh*t was HARD.


  2. That is tough. I think being there for your friend and having her know that you’ll just sit and listen is perfect, and reminding her that you’re thinking of her frequently. You never know what people will struggle with. It’s a funny thing with gratitude, that you can think on the comparisons that are impossible not to make, but then realize just how much is good in your life, despite all the difficulties. I really do believe that everyone eventually gets their turn at the suck times, and while you don’t wish that for anyone, if you’ve been through some of yours it helps you be there for the people who are newly in the suck. Thinking of you and your friend.


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