This is America. This is the land of free enterprise. This is the land where we glorify the rich, the famous and the elite. There’s no telling how far you can go in this country. It’s nice to make it big in other countries, but it’s nothing like making it big in America.
And everybody single American is aware of that fact. No matter who you are, you have had dreams of becoming rich, famous and adored by all. Maybe you’ll never be a famous actor, or a musician, but maybe you could one day succeed well enough in your craft to gain national acclaim. More than likely, you won’t. You’ll just be an average Joe like the rest of us. You could still be successful, but that doesn’t, by any means, guarantee fame and fortune.
Another important detail of this “American Dream” is to not only accomplish it, but accomplish it first. Let’s face it, we all want to be the first ones to succeed. We want to come straight out of college, get a good job, and make waves right off the bat. We want to brag on Facebook about our accomplishments. We want to be the first to get a job, the first to get a promotion, and the first post a picture of themselves wearing a suit and tie as our Facebook profile picture. And that doesn’t just apply to success. Girls, for instance, want to be the first ones to be in a serious relationship, to get engaged, to get married, and to have kids.
Being first… is everything.
So what happens when you’re not first? What happens when you see people constantly posting on Facebook about their successes, while you’re still sitting at home sending your resume to whatever job openings you find on Craigslist?
Are you going to feel happy? Of course not. You’ll become jealous, dejected and feel worthless.
But what is worse than your old classmates finding success before you? Well, when your friends find success before you.
Okay, let me take a step back. I’m not saying that you’re a dick if you feel this way. It’s only natural. Also, I’m not questioning the strength and sincerity of your friendships. You’re probably a great friend. You’re always there for them when they need you, and you would do anything for them.
But that being said, it still makes you sick to your stomach when you hear their success stories.
You won’t let it show, obviously. You’ll be the first to write on their Facebook wall, you’ll be the first to text them, you’ll buy them a drink next time you see them. But when you go home that night, you will cry yourself to sleep.
Your friends’ successes only serve as a reminder to your failures. Plain and simple. So when you first hear and/or read about their great achievement, your mood will worsen. Maybe it will worsen just a little, maybe it will worsen a lot, but it will worsen.
And then, next time you see them, you have to hear the whole entire story about how their achievement went down. You’ll have to listen to questions about how they are reacting to the good news, and then you’ll have to deal with their happiness the entire time. There is nothing worse.
Am I being cynical? I really don’t think so. I truly think that the majority, if not all, of people feel this way. They won’t ever acknowledge or openly admit it, but they do.
Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t mean that you want your friends to be miserable, or even to fail. It means you want things to simply remain status quo, for the time being, until you are the one who succeeds first. It’s all about having your thunder.
Because nobody remembers the fourth or fifth clap of thunder. But they sure as hell remember the first.