I’m talking about jealousy, of course.
I just ran across someone who I hadn’t seen in ages. And by ages, I mean ages of the eons-ago, spanning transatlantic ocean when I was still in Toronto and we somehow knew each other in the fair maiden city of Toronto.
After swapping stories for a bit in the middle of the traffic, we decided to grab a coffee somewhere. I don’t drink coffee, so what ended up happening was we ended up swapping a lot more stories than I had bargained for.
In all of this, my friend claimed, and kept on repeating, how said friend was jealous of me.
And I don’t mean in a ‘omg, you’re crazy, that’s amazing! I am so jealous of you!” I mean, in a “oh. that must be nice. living life like a princess and taking off whenever you feel like. jealous! not of all us have such luck. I’m so jealous! I want your life, you little brat!”
Yuck. Ugh. I paused for a bit when I heard this bit. and then I pushed the idea out of my head that had been brewing in my mind since I ran into this person: I would not be taking down this person’s number and inviting them over for dinner any time soon.
I don’t usually know how to feel when someone claims they are ‘jealous’ of me. To me, it means they want your life. You have it great, and they want what you have. Never mind the fact that it never occurs to them how or why you are living the life you have. For all they know, this perfect life that you are living just landed in your lap one day from the sky, and lo and behold, you get to live it like the spoilt, undeserving brat that you are.
Really? Me, perfect? Really, my life, perfect? Really, you would love to be basking in my perfect little experiences that are proof of my perfect little existence?
Go on, be jealous of my perfect failed relationship that traumatized me like a child. Feel free to give your heart to someone who tells you he wishes you were never born. Enjoy the sensation of mind-numbing fear when you were having lucid dreams of being pushed and yelled and emotional blackmailed and screamed at for not being the perfect person he had envisioned you to be. Live a charmed life where everyone was happy for you and your loved ones, only to live in glorified shame where everyone is wondering where it all went. Go on, give up a job, be shameful and be embarrassed when you realized you had nothing and you have to ask again like a child. Hide from your friends and spend that time making up stories in your head about what would be the next grand excuse you can tell them now.
Go on, have my perfect little life where you could have boxed it all in 2 suitcases. You didn’t need a home anyways. Feel satisfied knowing that someone chose another home and another person, over useless little you.
Go on, have a perfect little life where your only companion at night was your tears-strained pillow.
Go on, have the perfect little life where your friends thought all you did was take photos all day and all night, so you couldn’t possibly be invited to hang out during special holidays with them.
Go on, have the perfect little life, where you must be sitting on a treasure trove of money, and not endless hours with 4-hour sleep days and trying to educate yourself on how to be better at your job.
Go on, have the perfect litte life where you look at yourself in the mirror every morning, and hate the body that stares back at you, because it could never possibly attract all the wonderful, educated, thoughtful people who seem to be interested in every other person/friend/living thing around you, except you… and so when you look at yourself in the mirror every night before you snuggle up to your side of the giant queen-size bed, you get the chance to hate the body even more.
Go on, have the perfect little life where people you have helped before they were in relationships now do not talk to you anymore, because they are in relationships.
Go on, have the perfect life where jeans are always much too tight (again), where bank accounts never seem to get past that minimum monthly level, where people just never seem to revert back to you when they promised they would, where people just think of you as someone to hang out during the daytimes and not on weekends, where you seem to be perpetually alone even when you travel to the most crowded places on earth, where shirts with bursting front buttons are the bane of your existence and never seem to make it to professional client meetings, where not even ridiculously stupid heels are not enough to overshadow the leggy models that the guy you are crushing on seems drawn to, where the people you promised yourself you would not allow to walk all over you trods all over you again, where you have been so hurt so many times by so many people that you have stopped asking the Big Guy for help at all because you know it doesn’t matter anymore.
Is this the perfect life that they are really jealous of?
I’d love to see them handle it with the charm and grace that I am constantly struggling to.
Once upon a time, I used to be hurt if someone claimed they were jealous. Because clearly, they were not happy for me. I am a ditz indeed, I am happy for other people’s successes, why couldn’t others be happy for mine? It didn’t make sense. It should be a positive result, not a sad consequence. It usually meant I couldn’t talk to them in the same way anymore. I am in no way a success story. I am a broken story. I am a never-ending result of perseverance, will power, and enduring obstacles. Sometimes I overcome them, sometimes I fail them with glorified level of epicness. I keep facing challenges daily, and I will do so for a long time. EVERY DAY. There are so many “wtf am I going to do now” in my head that I am running out of vocabulary. But it’s ok. I just need to deal with it. I don’t have a choice, its.. just life. It’s what I choose to do, when I am confronted with it. And sometimes, sometimes in that rare lucky moment, when I have confronted a challenge, and I have done it successfully, I feel accomplished. And when I feel accomplished, I feel successful. And when I feel successful, I feel happy. And when I feel happy…. well, I am over the moon. It shows everywhere.
And then, somehow, that makes me into a person that you are not happy for?
I don’t get that.
But I’m through that now. Now, I don’t care anymore if people are jealous. It’s their problem, it is how they choose to handle a conflict in their mind. I wish though, that instead of being jealous of someone, they would use the opportunity to learn from it, and inspire themselves with it. It’s just a more realistic solution.
I love my perfect little life. Its a contradictory little life, but it is all mine, and I wouldn’t swap it now. It made me.
If you are really jealous of me, it means you want to be like me. Good lord! Do you understand what this means?
And if you want to be like me (its such a bad idea!), do what I do. When I see someone who has done something nice and living a good life, I become really curious and I decide that I need to figure out what they’re doing right. I decide that if I want something I’ve never had, I need to do something I’ve never done before. So I become happy for them, then I decide I want to be their friend (and not an enemy!), and then I want to learn from them, and finally I want to be inspired from them.
So instead of taking the easy way out, and just being “jealous” of someone, do something you’d never done before: be happy for them. Learn to be like them.
It’s worked wonders for me.