Sometimes it's so hard for me not to be consumed by jealousy.
Most of the time I'm not jealous at all. In fact, most of the time I'm genuinely happy when things work out for people close to me or for people I tangentially know through these interwebs. I like seeing people's lives work out for the best. Sure, it's a little hard to stomach when I hear someone's just married into a seven-figure relationship, bought a manor in an exclusive gated community (and they're my age) or become an overnight celebrity off some YouTube video or blog post. But most of the time, I'm pleased with other people's progress. Much of the time I even look up to these people, and want to be "just like them," which is awesome because then I have Real Life rolemodels, and not just ones on television shows or in the pages of People Magazine.
But last night, as I was casually browsing Twitter -- something I haven't done in the last six months -- I decided to check in with a handful of bloggers I used to follow and converse with through blogger comments and the like. So I clicked on each name like a fool, happy to see where they were now and how much they'd done in the last year or so. Some had Baby #2, others moved to bigger and better jobs, some had bought houses.
Everything was roses and sunshine until I clicked on a certain blogger's name and noticed she'd changed her profile. Drastically. Like her resume had undergone some huge, made-for-TV makeover and now she was living in a completely different echelon of life, all thanks to some fateful things that happened to her within the last six months or so. The stars, it seemed, had more than aligned for her. And what was the first thing I felt? Complete and utter jealousy. So much jealousy, in fact, that in the middle of the night, while J slept next to me, the recent events in her life kept gnawing at my brain like a teething puppy, and so I took my smartphone to the bathroom and sat there on the toilet at 2am, googling her and and trying to figure out how this had all happened.
Why did I do this? Because what happened to her is EXACTLY what I've wanted for the past five years. (The details of which shall go unwritten since I don't want to disclose her identity.) I needed to wrap my brain around the fact that this type of thing did happen to normal people like her (and well, not me. . .yet). I know I should be happy for her even though I don't know her in "real life," but it's so hard to be happy for someone who now has what you've always wanted. Did she earn it? Of course she did. I'm not saying everything fell into her lap without (probably) a lot of hard work, but I can't help but think that she got what she got thanks to hitting a sweet spot on a current trend and cashing in. Her timing, most likely not planned, was flawless. Maybe that's just my jealousy talking.
I try to "rise above it" and "be an adult" and all those other things you hear when you're man (or woman) enough to admit that yes, something someone has or has recently experienced (like the stars aligning perfectly) makes you see green, but it's hard. How am I supposed to "rise above" something that I wish for every. single. day. of my life?
I woke up feeling totally blah today, thanks to fumes of my online discovery still fresh in my mind. I'll probably feel this way for the rest of the day. I don't know if even retail therapy can help. I wish I hadn't checked in with people's profiles last night because what did I expect? Someone was bound to have become a huge success during the last year. All the bloggers I followed were bright, inspirational women -- this one included. Her good news should come as no surprise to anyone, including me. My mother always taught me not to compare myself, but sometimes it's so hard not to. In situations like this it feels like the natural thing to do, even though rationally I know it isn't.
Writer and new mom trying (post-baby) to finish my third book. I married a great guy five years ago in Italy and after many adventures we've finally settled down in our first house. I've been told I'm Norma Desmond meets Bridget Jones. I hope that's a good thing. Email me at brunetteonabudget [at] gmail [dot] com.