October 22, 2003
It’s fun to share dreams with your friends. You commiserate with each other when they don’t come true. But what happens when their dreams come true, and yours still haven’t?
I have a friend with whom I have been sharing dreams for years now. We have been traveling together through college classes, graduations, job hunting, miserable and not-so-miserable jobs. Now she is accomplishing one of her biggest dreams. She and her husband are buying a house. Am I envious? Oh, yeah. I want a home, desperately. But I am not jealous. I suppose it’s splitting hairs, but, to me, there is a difference between envy and jealousy. Envy is, “Wow, she is so lucky!” Jealousy is, “How come good things happen to her and not me?”
The thing is, I realize that we are at different stages in our lives. My friend’s husband is settled into a good job. They have four people crammed into a too-small mobile home, with children who will soon be old enough to need their own bedrooms. I, on the other hand, am at the tail end of a job I never wanted to last as long as it has. As much as I want a home, the last thing I need right now is to be tied down to a house. My mobile home is almost too much for me to deal with as it is. And, frankly, another storage building would do me as much good as a house these days.
Just because you and a friend start out at the same place doesn’t mean you will stay there. Life moves at a different pace for different people. I may share the same dreams as somebody with a spouse and children, but we have different needs, and different means to accomplish our dreams. My friend is half of a couple and her husband has a good job, and her kids need more room. She has more means and more necessity to accomplish her dream. But that doesn’t mean my turn won’t come. Just because she got a house first doesn’t mean I should give up. Someday my turn will come.
I can still dream, can’t I?