Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Green-Eyed Monster in Me

I friggin' hate being jealous. And it happens far too often for me to ignore.

The most recent case in point: A high school friend of mine just launched her first book with the help of a proper agent and publisher. She has an ungodly huge blog following, each of whom were chomping at the bit to buy her book the day it came out. As part of her launch efforts, she sold one autographed copy of her book on eBay which netted more than what I made last month in book sales. Just recently, she had a book signing where 60 copies of her book were sold (the number would have been higher if the bookstore would have stocked more). At my last book signing, I sold 6 and practically begged each customer for the sale. She did 15 phone interviews in one day; I can't remember the date of my last one. To put it mildly, I am INSANELY jealous of her.

The thing that really sucks about my mental malaise is that this chick is totally nice, funny, and talented. She was like that in high school, and she remains so to this day. (She was one of the few girls in high school I actually liked; she was a delightful flash of realness in a morass of pretentious, teenage phony-baloney.) She deserves to have huge success, and I am genuinely happy for her. However, I cannot escape my own insecurities, doubts, and fears whenever I hear about her latest score.

Why do we silently curse the successes of others? What is it about someone else doing well that rankles us so? I should have more sensitivity to this particular condition, as I have encountered it on the other end from people with whom I thought were my friends. As I dip my pinky toe in the pool of literary success, I have discovered that not everyone is overflowing with joy for me. Somehow they think that going for one's dream is unseemly or that I have become "too big for my britches". I have spent many a night kvetching to my husband about so-and-so giving me the cold shoulder simply because I am enthusiastically pursuing my career as an author, speaker, and bringer of the Mojo.

Yet, I am not immune to it. Unfortunately, this fog of envy that occasionally envelops me is not a new phenomenon. I have been jealous for as long as I can remember. As a kid, I was jealous of Mary because she had the first pair of Jordache jeans in school. I was jealous of Kim because she had cable before anyone else did. I was jealous of Angela because every guy (and more than a few girls) wanted to do her. I was jealous of Lindsey because she had the most phenomenal hair and always smelled like pretty French perfume. Bear in mind, these chicks were my best friends. Can you imagine how psycho I got about girls I DIDN'T like?

Jealousy is like a virus. It seeps into our souls and convinces us that who we are, what we do, or what we have is not good enough. It casts a pall over our Divine light, insidiously whispering in our ears, "You aren't good'll never have what she'll never be that pretty/successful/popular/insert desired characteristic here". It makes us sick, unhappy, and afraid.

Enough is enough! I'm tired of it. I have been jealous for far too long. I think my friend's rapid rise to stardom is my chance to rid myself of the green-eyed monster once and for all. Every time I read of her latest accomplishment, I will say to myself, "Good for her! There is more than enough to go around. I'm glad to see another female writer succeed and know that I, too, will achieve my goals." There is no reason why her success can't pave the way for my own.

At least that's the plan.

Oh great...the drop-dead gorgeous waitress with the perfect body is sauntering over to my table to deliver my southwestern wrap and fries. Damn her! Who does she think she is, anyway?



For your comment and/or consideration:

Who or what brings out the green-eyed monster in you?


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1 comment:

Dot-Com said...

Keep up the good work and make sure you win your own goals, no matter what anyone else is doing. Just be your wonderful self :-)