I have a problem.
All my friends are awesome.
Now, on the list of problems to have, this one is so minor that it barely rates being listed as a problem. However, it bothers me, so I’m counting it as a problem. I’m blessed that I’m expending brain power on this, and not some other pressing issue like feeding myself or worrying about where I’m going to sleep tonight.
There’s a saying out there that says you are the sum of your top 5 friends or some other inspirational bologna like that.
Oh look I found the inspirational quote in a cheesy picture:
Apparently it was the inspirational speaker Jim Rohn who said that quote originally. Now we’ve both learned something!
Anyways… back to the point.
My friends are awesomely amazing people. They’re passionate, freakishly intelligent, driven, hard-working, hilarious people. They’re starting businesses, staying in touch with our respective local legislators, raising families, producing amazing content, hustling to earn extra money, paying off debts like crazy, buying a new rental property.… the list goes on and on.
Usually I get inspired by my friends. But sometimes it’s hard to not get jealous or feel like a bum. Even though I know our situations are different, it’s hard not to compare myself to them.
I know this is ridiculous. Here I am killing it, and I still feel like it’s not enough. But you know what? It is.
I am doing enough.
It’s been one month since I closed on my first rental property. Not only did I buy my first property at age 26, I did it all by myself as a single lady. No one helped me. [unless you count the indirect help of getting a nice bonus at work, a moving allowance, and living cheaply in my friend’s basement. But I count those more as savvy money moves than help. Call it what you want though.]
My mom pointed out that she’s never had her name on a mortgage. She’s done lots of other things in her life (like raising 3 great kids haha) but buying a house is not one of them.
I have other friends who can’t even move out of their parent’s house or rent a place without having a roommate due to crushing student loans. I have friends who struggle to come up with the money to go see a movie at the theater once a month.
So why don’t I compare myself to them? Doing so would certainly make me feel a lot better about myself. I don’t compare myself to them because I don’t often see their struggles. No one brags on social media how they are worried their power is going to get cut off or that they’re scrambling that month to come up with the rent check.
Unless you’re Pitbull & NeYo, then you write a whole damn song about how you can’t pay your rent and the associated poor choices that go along with that.
But successes? They’re everywhere. Someone added a sweet rental property to their portfolio. Someone got a bonus the size of your entire yearly pay and put it in their taxable investment account. Someone got a higher paying job. Someone just got done biking to work and posted a selfie of them afterwards glowing from the exercise with their all-organic healthy smoothie they blended before they rode to work. People love to celebrate the good (and they should!).
What I’m doing is enough, and I’m not going to let people make me feel bad.
I drive my car to work and back every day. I don’t feel like waking up 3 hours early just to go completely out of my way to ride my bike. Not to mention my main route to work is not only unsuitable for riders on the best day, but mostly under construction and therefore completely unsafe now. It’s enough I ride my bike to the grocery store and farmer’s market on the weekend.
I work out sparingly. I have friends that spend hours at the gym every day and they’re in amazing shape. Do I wish I could see my ab muscles? Yes. Am I willing to put forth the effort right now? No. It’s enough I do body weight exercises at home and eat a healthy diet.
I post when I can. My main time for writing used to be at work when I had nothing to do. Now I have tons to do at work and am busy all day (like I should be). This means I’ve had to find other times to write and I haven’t been the best at it. But I am doing enough to get posts out when I can and make sure they’re the best quality they can be before I hit that publish button.
Am I saving enough? Am I being frugal enough? Are my investments optimized to the best options in the market? All three of those could be answered No. But you know what? It’s enough that I max out my HSA, Roth IRA, and 401(k). It’s enough I have those invested in VTSAX or some other low fee index fund. I could spend less on travel and food. But it’s enough I travel hack and bring my food into work most days. Sure, I might not be eating crock pot oatmeal at $.10 a serving.….… but at least I’m bringing in packets of oatmeal from home and not getting breakfast and lunch downstairs from the cafeteria every day.
I might not have a whole portfolio of rental houses yet, but it’s enough that I got started and bought the first one. That’s more than most people can say. Sure, this property might need more TLC than I originally anticipated, which means I probably won’t have a decent down payment saved up by the fall and won’t be able to buy another rental property until at least next spring. But that’s ok. Because one is enough for now.
I might not have the perfect family unit or even a boyfriend. But that’s ok. Because I’m happy and taking care of myself now. I’m not so desperate that I take the first guy that shows interest in me and try to make it work. It’s enough to wait (mostly patiently) for the right guy to come along.
So, my dear reader, take these lessons to heart. Do your best, and don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. The fact you worry about this means you’re already ahead of the pack.
You are enough.
**fun fact: Semantic satiation (also semantic saturation) is a psychological phenomenon in which repetition causes a word or phrase to temporarily lose meaning for the listener, who then perceives the speech as repeated meaningless sounds. If you’re anything like me, that’s why “enough” looks weird right now.