I had a great talk with my best friend last night. She is smart, pretty, and creative. She makes good money. She's married to a guy who adores her, who also makes great money. Her life, from the outside, looks great.
But she and her husband have been trying to get pregnant for over a year.
The irony is, although she's been married for 6 years, she didn't even start trying until last year. She wasn't sure that they really could do a good job at having kids...so she did a ton of research and soul searching and finally came to the conclusion that having kids is what they truly wanted and something that they thought they could do well. It was a responsible, pragmatic way to go about it.
But she still can't get pregnant.
And within the last few months, she's found out that her only two siblings are pregnant. AGAIN. Truthfully, her two siblings are making some choices that are pretty poor. These new babies are going to have their work cut out for them because they're going to have to overcome a lot just to have a successful outlook on life.
She's been struggling with it - the fairness of it. It isn't fair.
Last night she told me that she has a new perspective. And that is this:
Fairness is disproportionate sometimes.
Lemme' 'splain. See, her siblings can look at her life and say that it isn't fair that she has such a loving husband while they have spouses that aren't as supportive or doting. Her siblings can say that it isn't fair that she was gifted with a sharp mind - one that allowed her to go through school without much effort - while they struggled through school and eventually dropped out. Her brain is responsible for her graduating as an engineer, which got her a great job, where she met her husband. That's not really fair either.
I reflected on her statement and thought about the things in my life that aren't fair.
It isn't fair that I have a slow metabolism.
It isn't fair that I'm 33, not married, and without kids. Because of some unfair life events, I may never be able to get pregnant... or if I do, I will be in the high risk category - both for my baby and myself.
It isn't fair that food is a drug that I've learned to use...and one that I have a hard time shaking free from.
It isn't fair that I was molested as a kid, had a physically abusive high school boyfriend, and a verbally insensitive boyfriend as an adult.
It isn't fair that I have giant boobs that makes running difficult sometimes.
It isn't fair that I had a dad that didn't want kids and while he was always lived in the same house as us, he wanted nothing to do with us.
It isn't fair that, at 33, I still get zits and that I have a big forehead (some might call it a fivehead!).
And it SURE isn't fair that my knees are going to be fat, no matter how healthy I get. This has always been the case - no matter what size I've been.
BUT I was also blessed with a sharp mind and attention to detail, which has made me good at every job I've had. I'm reasonably attractive (at least I don't think people vomit when they see me). I have a proportionate/hourglass shape to my body. I've met a man that really loves me, who has taught me great things about myself and about what it is like to be in a healthy relationship. I'm living in a town that I've wanted to live in ever since my family left it (when I was 7). I've never been cheated out of money, like Katy has. I've never had to start over from scratch. And I (knock on wood) have never had to experience the hardships of being a single mom. I've never been laid off. Both of my parents are still alive and my little sister is one of my greatest friends.
My mom always told me to count my blessings when I started feeling sorry for myself. And while that worked sometimes, I guess putting it in the fair vs. not-fair light really helps it bring home the lesson that she was probably trying to teach me.
Rather than looking at God as as this all knowing father figure that bestows blessings on some people and hardships on another, I can see this may be something that is more chance than anything else. Fairness, or lack thereof, isn't meant to punish. So, I'm not being punished by having fat knees, freckles, a propensity to turn to chocolate before other comforts, and for not having a husband and kids yet (if ever). Those are just the times in my life when I happened to get the shorter straw.
And somehow, boiling it down to facts or randomness, makes the things that I wished were different in my life more tolerable.
So no, life isn't fair.
But now that I have this new perspective, I'm not sure I mind the unfairness as much as I did before.