I met Steph on the subway. We had gone to college together years ago where we had great visions of our future even though we weren’t doing much with our time there.
She asked what I did. I told her that I worked for a Fortune 500 company as a Marketer, travelled 100 days in the year and was the perennial bachelor. Her cheeks flushed slightly, a reaction I knew represented jealousy. I had the career she had always wanted, to become a businessperson that travelled the world making a difference in a macro way. A tear began forming in her eye.
We left the train together and we went to a small bar to talk. She told me that she fell in love in her senior year, got married and became a housewife, supporting her husbands small retail store. I asked to see pictures and she pulled images of a smiling Steph with a loving husband and two priceless pictures. They lived the suburbs, in a house that even had a white picket fence. She told me that she loved her family but seeing me brought back all the failure she perceived in her career.
At the end of the day, I think she just needed to vent.
We left together and I kissed her on the forehead. She smiled as she headed back to the subway station. Being close to my Mom’s house, I walked. Two blocks in, my eyes became moist with sadness. Although she thought her life was a comprimise, I was envious of it. She went home to a loving husband and kids. I often left a gala event to an empty apartment. I lived a life where I moved every 2~4 years. The company was my wife and kids.
There is no such thing as greener grass in a person’s life. There is no such thing as perfection.