An Open Letter to Everyone that Claims to be Envious of My Lifestyle
November 11, 2016
I am writing this letter/blog post almost as a disclaimer of my intentions with Chronically Chic. I am confused when people, mostly "healthy" individuals (and this letter is geared towards these persons), say they are "jealous of my lifestyle." When I hear the word 'jealous,' I assume it means that I'm being a show off snob. I have no intention of making anyone envious. I am not trying to show off what I have and what I do. I post what I want to post because I like it and not to fit a stereotype/ trend. I don't travel just for the geo-tag and I don't buy designer bags to mimic Kyle Jenner's aesthetic.
I know others in my position feel the same. We blog not to show off, but to engage with others that have similarities and mostly, to please and bring joy to ourselves. I also want to show that a sense of normality is possible with multiple chronic illnesses. It's been a blessing to find the #Spoonie community within Instagram and finding others that are facing the same challenges like myself.
I could never fathom anyone ever being envious of me. Why would you be jealous of someone who has multiple chronic illnesses that basically has flipped my world upside down? Why are you jealous that I haven't finished college, since I've been on medical leave for the last year now? My life is basically on pause. I was a successful college student majoring in political science, engaging in my community and having great internships that were leading to great connections and possible employment. A simple trip to the hospital in March of 2015 changed my life forever. I have become a slave to my body. A professional patient. I'm not partying every weekend, my social life is basically on hold. It's going to take me at least another year and a half to finish my bachelors. I had to change my major to art history to reduce my stress. I have to think before I leave my house to make sure I have food and medicines just in case. Eating out is basically impossible outside of urban areas. Traveling takes 50x the effort than before. Before I do ANYTHING, I have to think about my health first. I basically changed my whole life around to accommodate my illnesses. Is that something to be jealous of?
This isn't a "boo-hoo, woe is me" post and I know I sound a little harsh. I am positive and will remain positive about my life. I have decided to live a happier lifestyle because my illnesses do not define me. I decided to continue to live my life as much as I possible can. Traveling, for example, is one of my greatest passions and being ill will not stop me from it. I splurge on clothes and accessories because retail therapy is real (lol). I just wish people were more sensitive about how to approach the topic of my lifestyle towards me. Being 'jealous' is not an appropriate way to tell me "hey, I see what you've been doing, and you're doing a great job!" Jealously is not a definition in my vocabulary. Allowing jealously will only cause negative and sappy thoughts about "what my life could have been without XYZ." There is a big difference between admiration and jealously. You can call it a pet peeve of mine if you want. I know if you are not sick with an invisible illness that it is hard to see that not all illnesses are visible. I may look healthy and happy on the outside, but my body is fighting a tough battle against itself. Autoimmune diseases are far from easy to live with. Part of the problem with living with an invisible illness is the lack of compassion you get from others, and being jealous of a lifestyle that was not a choice for me is an example of that.
I love to share what I've been doing, where I eat, what I wear, and I will continue to do so. Chronically Chic has been the best outlet for me through this difficult year and a half. I again apologize for this semi angry post and I want to wish everyone a lovely day!