In light of Emily’s experience with self-doubt triggered by a sometimes carefully curated view of other’s lives, I looked for a part of me that was sprouting with jealousy at these women’s accomplishments. I’m sure it was there, in some corner of my mind, to be revealed after a bad day. But as I thought more about it, about these two women and the great thing’s they’re doing in their careers and the adventures the having, I overwhelmingly felt proud for them and inspired by them. I don’t mean to downplay Emily’s experience—by all means, do what you need to do to be happy and healthy—but I think we have a choice about how we want to process all the information that’s flung at us through social media. Just as we have a choice about whether we smile or scowl when someone sits across the table of a coffee shop telling us about how happy they are with their job/relationship/life/puppy/all-expense-paid-trip-around-the-world.
I used to have a sticky note next to my bed that said “joy doubled, not divided”. It was there as a reminder that someone else’s happiness doesn’t take away from our own. There is no set quantity of happiness to be divided among us, rather it’s multiplied across us. Maybe in today’s world that sticky note would be more appropriate on our phones or computers as we scroll through photos and newsfeeds of the communities technology has connected us to. If we can remember that joy, success, adventure, and love are doubled, not divided, then those communities can become tremendous sources of inspiration, not self-doubt.
Post by Margosia Jadkowski, BadAssador