‘Should I be jealous of my friend’s luck and success?’

Words by Jamie Doran.

We all know that one person.  The one person who seemingly cruises through life. Who never has to work hard and has everything fall into their lap.

Take a second and mentally flick through your friends list.

– Got them?  Look for designer labels, perfect set-up shots of a stunning home, no trace of an ‘FML’ in any post… Yup, that’s them.

It seems that whilst in your twenties and trying to figure out where on the adult-scale you sit, that there’s that one person who has it all.  I’ve got a friend – she’s barely worked a day in her life yet landed an amazing job, has a brand new house with seemingly zero debt and always, always has flawless makeup no matter the time of day (seriously though, just once I would like to see her reapply lipstick so I know that it isn’t tattooed on).

Yeah, okay, so I have a case of the green-eyed monster.  While the rest of us are catching-up over dumplings on payday (come at me, onion pancakes and all-you-can-drink green tea, you are what I call that perfection) she’s happy to do fine-dining any day of the week.  Are you kidding?

At one particular dinner where the rest of the friendship group grumbled about our jobs, lacklustre love lives, debts (and pretty much everything else that 20-somethings rage about after one too many wines) I realised that Miss Perfect didn’t once contribute to conversation.  Why?

Her parents bought her house.  She doesn’t know how she landed the job, but it’s amazing and she’s being paid better than the average.  She’s just started seeing a new guy and it’s going SO well.

I wanted to stab her with a chopstick.

The next morning, feeling pissed off and not at all seedy, I examined why I was so irate with her.  Technically, she hadn’t been bragging, she hadn’t lorded her status over us… I was simply just pissed at her situation.  Why was I working my ass off, in the vague hopes that I would score the elusive ‘perfect job’ and living paycheque to paycheque?

Here’s the thing:  Upon closer inspection of said Miss Perfect, I noticed a few things.  Firstly:  The new home?  Tiny.  She was going to have to move at some point, and Mum and Dad weren’t going to help her out with that.  The perfect job?  After the shine wore off a few weeks later, she would be back to whinging and wining with the rest of us again.  The boyfriend?  Even if it did work out, I didn’t care.

She was just in a different place to us at that time.  In a few weeks, that lucky shine would wear off, and eventually get passed around the table.   Someone else will have a brief moment of luck – a great new job, a brand new car at a great price, meet a cute boy with dimples in a bar.   Who knows?  Someone who works hard for his or her lifestyle might get a reprieve.

Hell – it might even be me – who knows?

I’m not hoping for anyone’s misfortune – not at all – but it did make me realise:  Jealousy is a fickle thing.  Sure, I may not own my own home yet, but I have a steady job that I’m happy with and that pays the bills, I have amazing friends and a high tolerance for white wine (important).  My love life may be a void at the moment, but you know what?  I logged out of Snapchat and realised that I’m actually happy staying in on a Saturday night.

Here’s the moral of the story – even if you’re a hot mess, even if you’re struggling to find your feet, your mind, or even your heart (cheesy, but it’s true) – don’t look sideways.  I know this sounds like a lame quote that annoying person (who you can’t bring yourself to unfollow) posts on Instagram with pseudo-cryptic captions, but it’s true.

I think of these lucky people like ducks – probably calm as hell on the surface, but treading water frantically underneath.  Maybe they’re just better at not sweating it than the rest of us; maybe they’re having near-apocalyptic meltdowns behind closed doors.  Hell, maybe they really are just that lucky, in which case – stick close and hope that shit rubs off on you too. (And send a little lucky dust my way, okay?)

Maybe that’s where the term ‘lucky duck’ comes from?

Don’t panic, keep your head down and focus on what you do have.

Jamie is 29 years old, and is a writer from Adelaide. You can follow Jamie on Twitter.

In your twenties and have a story to share? Email the20sdiary@gmail.com to get your words published.

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