Wow did I get set off this evening. One wrong phrase - a recent but powerful pet peeve and I'm ready to punch my laptop screen. I have absolutely NO tolerance when people tell me I have 'first world problems' as though nothing I'm saying is worth the breath it takes me to say it. HELL YES I HAVE FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS! I LIVE IN CANADA!! There is nothing I can do about that - even if I went to live in a third world country, I'd still be a Canadian, with Canadian resources, and in all likelihood a Canadian organization backing me. In fact, that's pretty much my life goal. It's not possible for someone with the life I have to having anything BUT first world problems.
But in the meantime, who are you to presume that those problems aren't worthy of having or that I'm unworthy of encouragement? To put things in perspective, I'm not talking about my iPhone cover not matching my Prada handbag; I'm talking about stress and money and kids and love and the things each one of you worry about. I'm talking about operating at 90% capacity and something little setting things over the edge. I'm talking about the little every day things that just wear away at your joy until you look around and don't know where it's gone.
What particularly ticked me off this time was that the 'friend' in question has not been an active part of my life for years and has no idea what's going on for me, making his statement that I'm 'up there with Larry David' in the world of whiners particularly FU worthy. Yes, my reaction is partly because I can be a whiner and I don't like that about myself, so having it pointed out never goes over well. But I choose to have people in my life who are there to encourage me when I'm down, not trivialize and insult my concerns.
Honestly, even as first world problems go, I'm doing pretty well. I have friends who are fighting cancer in themselves or their children. Friends who've lost their jobs. Friends whose have hurts so deep they don't even talk about them, while I have a job, a home, a fantastic partner, and a great family. And still, when I get stressed out and whiney, I expect a little grace about it. I expect friends to say 'hang in there,' and 'good luck,' and 'we believe in you.' And if you can't ... well ... expendable friendship are likely a first world problem as well.