Tuesday, February 23, 2010

La Jalousie

Raise your hand if you're a little jelly of someone right now. Come on, don't be shy! Can you honestly say you're not jealous of anyone? If you can, BRAVO to you! Come share your secrets! (Seriously!!!)

Jealousy is one of the hardest things I struggle with, and I believe many women to be in the same boat. So when I stumbled across this post by the beautiful Ashe Mischief, I was thrilled, relieved even, that someone as fabulous as she could experience those awful visits (or extended stays) from the green-eyed monster. And she brings up a good point - the internet has made it super easy for us to feel even more insecure. As often as I am inspired, I am probably equally as often discouraged. Well, I'm not doing that with my life. Or that. And I wasn't invited to that event, and nobody has paid me to do that.

But the reality is that very few people (except for me, HA) wish to showcase the not-so-shiny parts of their lives. That's not the point! I mean, just look at facebook. Facebook is a game - who can make their lives seem the most appealing to the most number of people? (For the record, I hate facebook.)

So, I've learned that you can't judge someone's life based on their blog or their facebook or their whatever. Everyone's got problems, and everyone gets a little jelly sometimes. C'est la vie. C'est naturelle. It's how you handle that jealousy that differentiates you from everyone else. Ashe Mischef takes that jealousy and spins it for the good. I think I might just do the same.

Also? Chances are someone somewhere is jealous of you and your life. Wha?? The first time I heard of anyone being jealous of me, I couldn't believe it. WHY? Why would you want my life when you have yours? Um, exactly. Jealousy is often a two-way street, and once you realize it, it becomes easier to digest and live with. One of my best friends from law school is a gorgeous, slim, tall, stunning woman. On top of that, she made excellent grades and comes from a wealthy family. Going shopping with her could be so depressing at times b/c in my opinion, everything looked good on her, and everything was within her monetary reach. And here I was, the frumpy, chubby sidekick who couldn't feel worse about herself. Pity party for 1, s'il vous plait.

And then, one day, I decided to bring it up. I said, "Pony (our nickname for each other), love. I'm jealous of you. It's hard for me to go shopping with you. I feel ugly and fat and poor." And you know what she said? "WHAT? I'm jealous of YOU! You're so trendy and fabulous and everyone loves you." Threw me for a WHIRLWIND my friends, I had no idea what I was hearing. But you know what? It made me feel better. It made me feel better because: (1) I was reminded yet again of why Pony was/is my best friend - because she always sees the best in me and loves me and makes me feel beautiful and wanted; and (2) Even the girls who seem like they have everything feel like they are missing something. Which brings me to my favorite quote:

"To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable
part of happiness."

- Bertrand Russell


Anonymous said...

I am jealous often too - but recently in a more "wow, I totally admire you" type of way. Which has been a healthier way for me to deal with my jealousy.

I'd like to look at my life and think of it as fabulous as some other people probably do - but I'm not quite there yet.

I feel frumpy and overweight compared to all of my friends, my apartment is always messy and I'm very doubtful of my skills at my job. But, I know that I see these things and others don't (well, maybe not all of them at least).

So, I totally relate and understand this post. While blogging and reading blogs has at times made me less secure, it's also really helped me voice my feelings and opinions and know that other people struggle with the exact same things I do.


City Girl said...

The most uncomfortable thing for me about blogging is how people will email me or tweet or comment about how jealous they are of something I did or something I bought or where I live. It is very strange to me, because for every happy thing I post on the blog, there is an equally unhappy thing I do not mention, but of course, the readers do not know that, and I remind myself of that.

I have always been odd in that I am not so much a "I want what she has" type but a "I am so upset because I want X and I am not getting it" type to the point that I focus on me way more than on what others have. I guess that makes me supremely self-centered, but it really helped me get through law school, which in the case of my law school was one big competitive/jealousy game.

Analiese Marie said...

You're so right in that we can't really judge people by how they portray themselves online. Especially in the blogosphere, there seems to be this tendency among many bloggers to present their lives as an always-perfect fairy tale (complete with cute outfits and soft lighting). I was actually talking with my sister recently about jealousy, and she said something along the lines of, "I use jealousy as a tool. When I feel myself getting jealous of someone, I ask myself: what do they have that I want? How can I take steps toward that in my own life?" Recently, I've been trying to think about it that way, and have found that it really helps. And for what it's worth, I have thought to myself on numerous occasions, "That Carolyn really has it going on...she is so pretty and trendy and funny!" It's true!

kylie grethen said...

I am totally jealous of how stinking beautiful you look in your new picture... stunning my friend!

naturally nina said...

yep yep yep, we all feel this! thanks for verbalizing it. and p.s. yes, i am jelly of your incredibly stunning skin and paper collection :) ha!

wishful nals said...

i think everyone can relate :) thank you for sharing!

Revisionista said...

great post!

and thanks for the sweet comment you left on my blog. i love the speech kell gave at the beginning of epi 4, re all these pretty junior girls walking around looking nice while the senior partners were working their asses off & looking like crap. hahahahaha love kell!

Bonjour Madame said...

Great post!!! I think it's common and you are right, the internet makes it very easy to envy others. I struggle with it too.

Melita said...

we are all jelly of each other in some respect or another but we are ALL perfect just as we are. if we were all alike that wouldn't be very interesting now would it?! :) i love it that you call your bf pony. love & hugs!!

Ashe Mischief said...

This is such a wonderful post dear! First, I appreciate all of the kind things you had to say, and I DEFINITELY get jealous of people ALL the time (like all my ladies who went to NYFW and the IFB Conference? Totally jealous, even though I was having a ruckus of a good time in Mardi Gras Land...)

I love that you & your friend were so honest about having jealous moments of each other-- and that something so positive came out of it!

Your quote at the end is amazing-- and so utterly true. If we had every we wanted at any given time, we wouldn't really have a reason to be happy.


Nina (Femme Rationale) said...

i think everyone gets jealous of something or someone all the time. i know i do. but i always remind myself that not everyone's lives are as fabulous as it looks and i should appreciate what i have. i admit this doesn't work all the time (haha) but it's still a good reminder to look at what u have going for you.

TheAnalyst said...

Love the post, because it is so true. Honestly, sometimes I take blog breaks because I get sick of reading about this perfectionistic world people create through their blogs. Sometimes I just want to scream at them, oh come on. Yes, readers don't necessarily want to read all the debbie-downer stories, but who wants to read fake stories too. Btw, this rant doesn't pertain to your blog. :)

I too feel the same way as you when someone tells me they are jealous of me. I'm shocked.

We are all jealous at times, and you know what--it is okay. As long as we can acknowlege the feeling and thoughts, and then move on.

Sallie Ann said...

I second Nina's jealousy of your paper collection, and I'll one-up her on your crafting supplies!

Is is totally self-centered of me to say I don't think I'm jealous very often? If I really want something I figure out how to get it. And, like you, I was competitive in grad school, and often will see another designer's work and admire her/his tallent, but I don't think I'm less skilled.

We were talking about jealousy in relationships last night (I've been in Jackson, MS with my BFF) and I've never felt replaceable. I've felt sad that a guy picked someone else over me, but my thought was, "she must fit his life better." I've always felt I was special...not better or worse, but definitely different. And I wouldn't be anyone else but me.

You are DEFINITELY special (in the most wonderful kind of way) and I believe your drive will always get you want you want, eventually. What sparkle and joy you sprinkle on everyone you touch!

Farzana said...

er, ok this is weird, im just about to tell you things that make me upset and i dont know anything about you!!

so here i am at school thinking why is everyone elses life so nice and simple? so on google i went and typed in "would you want my life" and ended up on this blog of yours

my mate just started uni and shes loving it, its ok for her shes pretty,confident and can socialise, unlike me. People do things with heir life, they work play, go out, have fun...and me? you know what i do? come home from school and sit on my arse on msn cuz i find that stuff fun! :( even though im runnig out of people to waste my time with.

My 1st job lasted 7 days and i think im good at nothing..i try and not complain and cheer myself up by telling myself that in other countries there are probably people out there who would love to swap lives with me...but then again i say that i cant compare with the poor, we have 2 different lifes.

ok well thats it...thanks, i had no idea i would be sharing my business with someone i thought never existed lol. may be i should see what your blog is about.

Carolyn said...

Oh Farzana,

Not sure if you'll ever see this but I hope you do. Thank you for your honesty! It's tough - I have beautiful and very talented best friends, and it's impossible for me not to compare myself to them. I struggle every day with jealousy, and I'll admit it, it's tough! But try to turn things around. Ask yourself: Do you want to be that social butterfly? And are you truly content sitting at home? The first step is figuring out what you really want and then mapping out the (small) steps you can take to get there. Hang in there, sweets!!!