In keeping with getting a little more personal on the Q.A.C blog space, this week, I’m diving into another topic close to my heart and chatting about the recent shift I’ve noticed in a few of my relationships. Thinking back to my college years, one of the realist pieces of advice my dad has ever given was:
“Be careful who you share your good news with …
Not everyone who hears will be happy for you.”
At the time, it sat with me like a tired old cliché. The kind parents often use to convey some grand life lesson. However, in time? Particularly over the last year, I’ve come to realize no truer words could have been spoken. This time last year. I’d just received a job offer to live / work abroad and like any good millennial, I immediately announced my middle East move online.
At the time? The response from the world was tremendous. Blessings, well wishes, and thoughtful words of caution poured in from nearly everyone I knew. Those closest to me, along with others who had been following my life and creative journey online knew how long I’d dreamt of something like this … It was literally a childhood dream come true.
And yet, as I finally arrived in Qatar, got settled, and began sharing aspects of my new life (say for example the new apartment I’d just moved into) … An interesting thing began to happen. Small handfuls of people began distancing themselves. Quietly unfollowing the pretty photos of my new life adventure on Instagram or ghosting altogether. Add into the mix, occasional off-handed comments like: “it must be nice” .. “lucky you” .. or any combination of passive aggressive snark and it wasn’t long before I couldn’t shake the feeling that something in my relationship with them had shifted.
While my character hadn’t changed drastically in the few short months since my Middle East arrival, what had changed were my circumstances. I’d shifted from the struggling creative in New York, rushing to take photos for the Q.A.C webstore on her lunch break at the 9-5 … To the girl who had been blessed enough to now have her bills paid while traveling to beautiful locations to elevate her art. The gradual chasm that grew in some of those relationships initially was jarring, but moreso a little sad. In time, I came to the realization that sometimes?
It may just be easier to identify with someone during their times of struggle rather, than during moments of achievement.
In the same way people may cringe at a sudden Facebook announcement celebrating a friends wedding or birth of a new baby, it can be hard for some to get past their own “stuff” (personal baggage, disappointments, longing, dreams differed, etc) to truly be present and happy for someone else. Ultimately, 2018 had been a year of many lessons. Sharing our lives in such a public forum can be tricky. All it takes is one post online to trigger not so quiet thoughts of dissatisfaction within ourselves. We’ve all experienced it. Myself included. However, what helps shift the thought process is to realize that those negative thoughts have more to do with us … And the continued internal work we need to do to unpack our “stuff,” than it does the person doing the posting.
In the end, any major lifestyle shift … Whether moving abroad or your friend’s new engagement will present a real test on your relationships. The upside? It’s through those moments of shifting and strain that we discover our “real ones.” - You know who you are, xo.
Alright, that’s all for now … Till next time, The Journey Continues!