Of course you are. We all are. Someone, somewhere has something we want. Or they’ve gotten to a place in life with help that would have been nice to have for your own journey. We’re all jealous, especially of those who aren’t.
What drives me crazy about jealousy is the accompanying memory loss. When you feel that flare up of jealousy, that deep gut feeling that reaches into your ego, you suddenly forget all of your personal advantages. You hyper focus on that one thing that you wish you had. It consumes us.
I have recently been trying my hand at improving my photography skills (shameless plug time: @dustedglassphoto) and was extremely fortunate that my wife already had a DSLR. I didn’t have to spend $1000 on a new camera set up or window shop on B&H until my eyes bled. Quite the perk to try a new hobby with a fairly high entrance fee, at least compared to writing a blog. But still, there have been a few instances where I’ll see another beginner photographer’s start up situation and get that pang of jealousy. Their camera might be a little better than mine or maybe they’ve made photographer connections quicker than I have. Anything that might be an advantage to me that seems to have made their start a little better turns me green.
It can be even worse when jealousy hits over things or situations that can be viewed as handouts to the undeserving. Watching someone who skates by on the gratuity of others lights me up. That little pessimistic voice chimes in saying that no matter what I do, trying to make my own way and be a decent, honest person, nothing matters because it all comes down to luck. When a lump can get their hand held through life and have their schmoozing of different people carry them, what’s the point of me trying?
Man do I hate that fucking voice.
The point in trying is the age old cliche: you don’t want to be the lump. I certainly don’t want my success to rely solely on how well I can play others. Do you? Would you feel fulfilled if you couldn’t provide for yourself and your very existence was based on the gracious mood of a few people in your life?
No. The answer is no. I don’t care what you were thinking or why you were taking so long to answer, but the answer to that is always no.
I’m sure you could blow that perspective off and say that its used to motivate the have-nots into trudging on when the odds are stacked against them. My cynical self certainly thinks so at first glance, but do you really want to trade the lessons you’ve learned from having to grind out difficult situations? Do you want to trade everything you’ve learned so you can be dependent on the ones who have put the work in to make their way?
One of the most incredibly difficult tasks I’ve had in life is understanding my place in all of this. Or at least trying to. Made even more difficult as social media proliferates into every corner of our lives, seemingly every task one could attempt is drowning in successful people and so many amateurs that you’d never be noticed anyway. That isn’t the case at all. I may have to remind myself multiple times in a day, but it isn’t true. One person’s success shouldn’t deter you, it should bolster you. Yes they may have lucked out on a few contacts or material items early on, but I very seriously doubt that you are without your own leg up. Or two.
I think it comes down to this, if you have the means to read this then you have the means to do something. Create, move, shake things up. Put your mark on the world, however small that may be. You might not be the fortunate one that gets a big handout to rocket you above the competition. Honestly, you may never be above the competition. But the world will still know your name. In one capacity or another you will have shown the universe what it looks like through your eyes.
So drop the green, its not your color. Go live your life, something no one else can do.