Jealousy. What causes us to feel this? And why does it seem to consume us and eat us up inside? I remember feeling lots of jealousy growing up.
Jealous of the girls with clear skin. Jealous of the dancers who were naturally flexible. Jealous of Linnea Bauer who always got a 110 on her tests. I mean, how did she ALWAYS get 10 points over perfect?! And, she was tall. Talk about double whammy of jealousy.
In many ways, those jealous feelings are what motivated me to work harder and be a better version of myself; as a person, dancer and student. It had me doing my splits to improve my flexibility, studying hard to get an over-perfect score on my test. I tried every acne medication to help me clear up my skin (literally, everything. Props to my parents for that). Can you remember back to what made you feel waves of jealousy as a teen growing up?! Funny how those things seem so silly now, but how important they were to us then. And, how they helped shape who we are today.
Fast forward to adult life: I still feel jealousy, not as frequently or as often… but about the most ridiculous things.
What am I jealous of now?
People who don’t have to clip a tooth in everyday. Broadway stars with voices that fill your soul with their power (though I do pretend I have the voice of an angel when I’m belting out show-tunes in the car). People who don’t have bunions (#dancerlife). Those who have the willpower to say no to a Wendy’s Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger with fries and a Diet Coke. Cars parked in a garage.
Do you hear how crazy that sounds?
Cars parked in a garage.
Whenever I drive by a house and see their cars parked IN their garage, I get jealous. Am I jealous of the cars because they look so cozy tucked in there? Am I jealous that the homeowner doesn’t have a slew of bikes, buckets, firewood and plastic lawn ornaments cluttering their garage? Maybe I’m jealous of their sheetrock walls with perfectly organized shelves. Why does it give me a feeling of not being good enough?
I’ve been obsessing over it and have made it my mission to clean out my garage, just to park my damn car in there. And then, of course, garage-envy leads to shed-envy which leads to shed-location envy which leads to how-is-their-grass-so-green envy which then makes me green with envy… it’s a vicious cycle! So, when I finally do park my car in my garage, will it make my life better? Will I be happier? I finally checked myself and changed my perspective. I now look at my garage as what I want to define it as: a tiny home for all the fun toys, gadgets, bikes, decorations and remote control cars that will bring us countless memories to cherish. My car is currently parked in the driveway and will be for the foreseeable future.
Funny how we can’t just be content with what is. All these things we wish we had or could do. But, look at all we do have; the blessings all around us.
I’ve done a lot of self-work, read a lot of books about focusing on what matters and have really discovered what it means to be happy and content with what I have. I have posted quotes on my vision board about how “we spend so much time worrying about what we don’t have that we forget about what we do have.” I’ve found so much truth in the blessings and fulfillment that “community over competition” brings. I’ve had the realization that I may not have everything I want or need right now, but what I’ve got is pretty damn amazing. We’re human, jealousy happens. But let’s check ourselves when it does. What we do and don’t have, eat, wear and own doesn’t define us. We define us. And that is a beautiful thing. 💛