do you ever have the feeling that other people’s lives are so much richer and interesting than your own? even with all rational evidence to the contrary - we are, after all, surrounded by the pedestrian at every moment - do you find yourself imagining that other people are experiencing things in a thoroughly more fulfilling way than you are?
i find myself thinking this way sometimes. it’s such a subtle thought process that i have to catch myself at it red-handed. like the other day, i was reading a novel, and one of the main characters was home alone in his apartment while his wife was away. he got up, wrapped up in a robe, and made a pot of coffee and toast with butter and jam. totally boring, right? and yet, i felt like somehow he was getting more out of coffee and toast than i ever would, or ever do. the mere act of putting together breakfast somehow seemed enviable to me - like it was imbued with some type of pleasure that i’ve never been able to access. this is not restricted to fictional characters either. sometimes i’ll read a blogger’s account of an evening out or see a facebook friend’s photo album, and i’ll feel - loosely and faintly and with this vague, existential incomprehension - that i am missing some critical faculty, some way of living right.
it’s a strange thing, this impulse to overly romanticize other people’s lives and day-to-day experiences. i mean, on a rational level i am aware that the way they experience making a pot of coffee is probably, by and large, the same way that i experience it. so why do i give them more credit? why do i think they have access to some secret, some effortless method for infusing the mundane with meaning that i don’t?
when i see this in other people and not myself, what am i really looking at - what am i looking for? i do wonder about this.