I'm the oldest in a family of six and between us we have 22 children. It's a large Catholic family and we grew up in a safe and middle class home with two loving parents. Of course nothing is perfect and my parents argued as we did amongst ourselves but all of us turned out to be relatively successful in our lives and careers.
I have tended to be a loner within my own family and as they live typical suburban normal lives mine has tended to be more complicated. I am the only one divorced and sometimes wish for my children that things had turned out differently. They have not enjoyed the same perks that their cousins have although this generation tends to be spoiled compared to when I was growing up. That may not be such a bad thing.
My life is certainly more complicated than my siblings' and in the past it sometimes became a source of frustration for me. I also tend to have little in common with most of them; the one sister I was closer to lives across the country and is in a religious order.
I don't regret my life despite the fact that I am a complex and complicated person. This has been both good and bad with my need for analysis being ever present. It has made me an individual that is hard on myself but also on others and I have needed to work on softening the edges. Doing so allowed for my own self acceptance.
Life isn't easy for anyone and sometimes what we think we see are but optical illusions. When we scratch below the surface we often find a more complex portrait of what is truly going on.
Comparing ourselves to others and wishing our life had been different is not the best way to go. Rather we should focus on understanding what got us to where we are today and seeing how we can improve ourselves as human beings.