Much to my disappointment, I'm about to leave Berline in a few hours. We will board a train to the airport, ride a tiny plane to Iceland and then spend several more hours on the exact same plane to DC only to have to drive 11 more hours to get back home. Thinking about leaving and the uncomfortable travel ahead bummed me out. As we walked along the Berlin Wall yesterday, this statement caught my eye putting things in perspective: "Right now, Someone is dreaming of living your life." I thought it especially poignant considering where this quote was displayed - a wall where people could see into others lives but not experience. I'm sure there were at least a few West Berliners back before the wall fell who, at least temporarily, lost sight of how good they had it in comparison to their Eastern counterparts. We think our lives are tough because we have to experience some discomfort or pain when most of the time it's not really that bad. I don't mean to down play anyone's heart aches or trials but it could almost always be way worse.
Social media has exacerbated this flaw of discontentment in human nature where, as my new friend Will succinctly stated, "we compare everyone's highlight reel to our behind the scenes." Instead of sowing seeds of jealousy and discontentment by comparing our lives to others, we should be inspired by what we see in others (no matter how skewed of a perspective it may be) while remaining grateful as we focus on what we do have.
We've had an amazing trip which has expanded my understanding of the world a little further and I am incredibly grateful to have been afforded this opportunity. I may need a few aspirin for my aching muscles when I lay down in my own bed later tonight but it's nothing in comparison to what I have gained.