On Jealousy

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Hey, writers: you ever have something you really want to put out there, but you’re afraid of how it will be received? This is one of them.

Sometimes you’re riding through life in a convertible and the sun is shining, but isn’t too hot, it’s just right, and your favorite song is playing, and you’ve got your babes by your side (yes, babes, not babe), and you’re thinking, “Wow, life is wonderful.”

But sometimes, it is too hot, and you’re sweating, and your ass is sticking to your fake leather seat, and the radio is playing a bunch of bullshit and you’re alone, and you’re thinking, “Wow, life sucks.”

And you look over in the other lane and you see an asshole who is just cruising, and you think, “Screw that guy, I’ve got a convertible, too, I’m a good person, too, why is he having fun and I’m not? I hate him.”

(That long-ass, long-winded analogy is about jealousy, in case you didn’t you get that.)

And my point is that, I’m usually pretty good at not even looking in the other lane and if I do, I nod my head, and reluctantly let the driver merge. Uh, this is also a metaphor, because when I’m actually driving, I definitely check the surrounding lanes, and I always let people merge, because I am a safe driver, and my insurance company will tell you that.

You get what I’m saying? Okay, if not, here it is: I’m usually really good with keeping my jealousy in check.

But sometimes, I’m not. Why? I don’t know. Maybe because, to go to the default, “I’m human.” Maybe because I feel the world owes me something it doesn’t. Maybe because I’ve had too much to drink.

And when this happens, I go into a real gross, ugly place. I think, “Why is ‘Sally LeAwesome’ killing it, and I’m not? Yeah, Sally LeAwesome is my friend, and I’m totally happy for her, but I remember a point where I had way more Twitter followers than she did, and now not only does she have more followers, but she sold a pilot, and has great abs! Fuck Sally LeAwesome!”

When this happens, I feel terrible, for two main reasons: 1. because jealousy is a terrible feeling, and 2. because I feel petty, and I hate feeling petty (unless it’s TOM PETTY, am I RIGHT??? HA. A HA HA HA. A HA HA HA HA HA!)

So what do I do? I get over it. How? I remind myself that their success in no way detracts from mine, and they’re my friend who worked hard to succeed, so good on them. And if they’re not my friend? I shrug my damn shoulders and eat a sandwich and then usually feel better after that.

But as lame as jealousy is, I still feel it’s important to discuss. I’m totally over pretending like I never get jealous. I don’t think that’s healthy, or remotely helpful. I think if we all just admitted that we get jealous, we’d have a much better chance at succeeding for ourselves. Because if you say, “Hey, I’m jealous of Sally LeAwesome, but that’s okay,” you can move on with your damn life and work even harder to be good. But if you deny it, you just let it fester, and the next thing you know, you have to have your leg amputated and your convertible needs a car wash.

I’m sorry, those metaphors got away from me there.

Hopefully, you get my point.

My confession: I get jealous. Sometimes, checking Facebook hurts my soul. But I’m okay with that. There’s nothing wrong with me. I want my friends to succeed and kick ass, but there’s nothing wrong with admitting that you know what, I want to succeed and kick ass, too.

How do you conquer jealousy? What makes you jealous?

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Photo by Nina Leen via LIFE photo archives for Google.

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11 thoughts on “On Jealousy

  1. Andrew

    Dude, totally prompt. Two of my best friends just got new jobs and probably make way more money than me, and even though that’s not “important” because “you can always make money” and “money isn’t everything,” I still totally feel silly! It doesn’t help that I already constantly feel imposter syndrome at my current job. I guess free bagels on Wednesdays help though.

    How do I get over it though? I guess I don’t. I just think about how awesome they are and I try really hard to stay on that thought, versus thinking “man I bought her dinner that one time and even though she makes twice as much as me she never buys ME dinner”! Um. I guess the focusing on awesomeness thing doesn’t work all the time.

    I guess we just have to accept that jealousy just happens, kind of like sadtiming. And that’s okay because, um, we say it is. And I guess it motivates us to do better. Even if it feels like we can’t catch up.

    HAHA THIS IS DEPRESSING

    1. Andrew

      Okay, and last night I spent half an hour morbidly looking at my ex’s Instagram, where she’s off cavorting with her boyfriend in Japan, and I have to admit I was jealous because my girlfriend and I can’t afford shit like that. So then I woke up one of my friends and ranted and got Positive Support and now everything is better (though my friend probably lost a lot of sleep).

    2. Almie Rose Post author

      DUDE, it’s not just about the money, it’s never about just the money, right? It’s about the whole, “Shit I was I was at their level, the level of feeling like a real responsible adult who can handle shit with a ‘real’ adult job.” Right?? I feel you.

      1. Andrew

        And TITLES. COOL TITLES. I told my friend she had such a cool title and she was like “ha ha titles don’t matter” and I was like “THEY MATTER TO MEEEEeeeeeeeeee”

        I’m just saying when they make a Wikipedia page of me, it better say Andrew is a [REAL JOB] at a [REAL COMPANY] who does [REAL SHIT].

  2. D

    From While We’re Still Young – “Having a baby didn’t change my view on life as much I thought it would], at the end of the day, I’m still the most important person in my life.”

    I think it’s cool you’re honest with yourself and your feelings like this, hopefully sharing that honesty inspires and rubs off on others. Great piece.

  3. Lala

    Andrew,just see money practically. Store it like a chipmunk preparing for winter, but don’t burn through your stash lavishly. Keep some in your tree and don’t worry about how many others have in their cheeks.

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