I don’t know about you, but the older I get the less jealousy I feel. When I was younger, I wanted what the other kids had: the cool cars, the fancy jeans, the hot jock boyfriend. I had none of those things. I drove a shitty van that my step-dad used for work, wore guy jeans because I was too tall to wear girls, and didn’t date another living human being until I was well into my 20’s (see previous comment about being too tall). I wanted all the stuff I couldn’t have and felt less than because I didn’t have them.
I no longer care about cars as status because, well, who gives a shit, and I can wear jeans made for females now thanks to specialty online stores, and it turns out there are a lot of tall men in the world just waiting to take me and my long legs out to dinner.
But I still feel jealousy sometimes. And I finally realized what a blessing it is.
The jealousy I feel now isn’t about stuff. It isn’t about getting or having. It’s a deep longing coming from an unfulfilled part of me. Not the part of me that wants outer validation for what I drive or wear or who I date. It comes from a part of me that feels like purpose. The jealousy I feel now is toward successful writers. And I don’t even mean successful commercially, though that’s usually how I find out about them. I mean successful in that they’ve made a commitment to write, to tell stories, to learn and refine their craft, to simply show up to the page and try.
It used to feel like a rub, like some agitating pain, coming across new and upcoming writers. Now I understand what that feeling really is: an indication of my true purpose. I know how cheesy that sounds, so flighty, so pat. But when I sit down to write, and I actually produce something, it feels like nothing else I’ve ever felt. Even when it’s hard or I’m afraid I sound like a self-indulgent twit (like right now), it’s the showing up and trying that fills me up and quiets that jealous little monster.
If you start to notice the places in your life where you’re jealous (not the wanting the Audi because your neighbor has one type of jealousy), but the kind that rubs on your soul – you might get to a better understanding of what you’re meant to do with your life.
Have you ever noticed this type of jealousy? What makes you feel it?