The Jealousy: I Haz It

Right now, I’m fighting the Green-Eyed Monster on several fronts.

Writing

I think I’m a fairly decent writer.

However, I know a guy that can evoke emotion much more strongly than I do in his writing, seemingly effortlessly. I get more out there for others to read, and I proofread more, but he can blow me away with a turn of phrase or a strong emotion.

And my friend D. She writes these long, informative, researched and really good posts three times a week. She’s only been blogging since November last year, and she has only 20 or so fewer posts than I have, and she already gets more hits per post on her blog, has more readers.

I know how she does it. She’s consistent and she advertises it and sends messages and stuff to places and people where/who she thinks will be interested in her individual posts. (Although as I’m updating this for publication, I note she hasn’t posted in a month. I know she’s had some personal things going on, and hasn’t had the energy to write lately).

That is more than I do. I tend to only pimp posts I’m proud of, like the Compliments post and now the Intuition vs. Fear post.

But I could do more. And I’m starting to, now. But I feel as though I’ve been spinning my wheels staying in one spot too long.

I’m also jealous that she *always* has a point, and some research and/or quotes.

I *want* my posts to be more like that, but I tend to . . . whine about my life.

Health & Fitness

For awhile last year, I was doing really, really well. I was lifting on a schedule, counting calories, not only losing “weight” but reshaping my body, dropping body fat. There were so many great people that I connected to on My Fitness Pal that were doing the same things I was doing. And their results were way more dramatic than mine. 
I fell off the wagon, and I stopped connecting to those people. I stopped writing on my fitness blog.
Now when I get emails from the fitness inspiration people I signed up with, I feel guilty and just delete them without even reading them. 
To make matters worse, I’ve gained most of the weight back. Because I’m not lifting, my belly has grown again. I feel sluggish. I hate it. 
It seems like a lot of the blogs I read have this women who are in good shape. I mean, have you seen how hot Marie Forleo is?
Even those that aren’t slender, they’re all talking about eating organic, making green smoothies, going vegetarian or paleo, juicing, hitting the farmer’s markets. . . . and I’m just trying to keep food on the table which means a lot of rice, beans, potatoes (cheap and filling and lasts a long time). . . . 

Money, Career, Business

This one is hard to talk about for a lot of reasons.
I’ve spent much of the last 13 years posting on a set of financial forums. I know how to manage money. But I need an income stream to do it.
And through those forums, I know people. . .  I know people that travel and live part-time in foreign countries. I know people that have the money to travel, that can take vacations, that have homes, and jobs and retirement savings, and horses, and . . .  stuff I don’t have.
And I know this one fabulous guy who deserves everything he has. He has a job that makes damn good money, that he’s really good at (if a bit overwhelmed at the moment), and he just bought a house. Not just a house, a HOUSE. One of those dream neighborhoods, in fact a neighborhood where the median income is $126,000/year – and he fits right in income-wise. This home is huge, gorgeous, lots of trees, a pool, more rooms than they need. . . He deserves it. He’s a genuinely nice guy, he totally loves his wife, he’s very involved with his kid, he works hard, has a great education. And he’ll be the first one to tell you luck had a lot to do with all of it.
But when he was house-hunting, he’d send me pics of these . . . . manors. . . and I’d look around my one-bedroom apartment (that I share with a teenager) and I’d be soooo jealous. I’m happy for him, I really am. And he is the first one to say that it amazes him that he’s arrived where he’s at. I also know that it wasn’t easy for him to get there, and the last two years before now have been pretty rough. But yeah, the green-eyed monster is definitely there.
And business-wise. . .  I’m just starting here. I know that. I’m just starting to sell readings, and I’m writing a couple of things to sell, and I’m trying to flesh out some talks I might be able to give in the future. I’m in the beginning stages.

But I’ve spent the last 6 months completely immersed in reading and listening to amazing people, mostly women, who are already doing some things I would love to do. I look at some of their stuff and say, “I could totally do that!” And I think, “Why haven’t I done this earlier?”

All of these years I’ve been un- and under-employed.  . .. I could have been doing this all along. I could have used some of these techniques for my tutoring business. . . I could have started doing readings years ago. I could have taken courses when I had the money to do it. . . .

The truth is, I wasn’t ready for this until now and I know it. But I keep thinking I could/should be so much further along.

And of course I’m jealous about being able to afford to have someone design a real website and everything. I own my domain name, but I don’t have my own host. I want to use WordPress.org because of all the fancy plug-ins, but I can’t because that costs money I don’t have.

I would so love to get deeper into some of the business courses I’m aware of, particularly Leela Somaya’s new Quantum Leap Your Business course, but I have no hope of being able to afford it.

And teaching. . .  One of the women that I did student teaching with, another math teacher, got a job at my daughter’s high school. If I hadn’t fucked up, I could have had that job, since I knew most of the staff already.

Stop whining, already!

There’s always going to be someone in a better position than I am. Even if I win the lottery tomorrow, someone else will have more than I do.
Someone will always be smarter, stronger, prettier, more consistent, better at something, etc.
That doesn’t mean I’m not good at what I’m doing. It doesn’t mean I can’t or won’t be successful – it just means I haven’t gotten there yet. 
And everything isn’t bad.
I won third place in a video contest and got access to Leela’s Diamond package. I have been able to make a few small investments in the business, and I’m slowly moving towards making it what I want it to be.
I finished one of the TPAs. I didn’t pass it, but I’ve had a conference with the dean of my education department to figure out how to fix it.
I’m on the Board of a fledgling non-profit that deals with addictions.
I was able to get my pet declared an Emotional Support Animal, and now I know that no matter where I move, even if there’s a “no pet” policy, I can have my fat cat with no deposit or pet rent because of that (and I handled that situation timely and well, which is good). 
I’m taking part in a couple of mastermind groups, which are helping me with ideas for the business.
My gorgeous, smart, talented daughter graduated high school last week, and I made a small step towards repairing a relationship with a family member last week.
Some things are moving in the right direction for me, and I need to concentrate on those things instead of comparing myself to others. 
When I started to write this post, a couple of months ago, I posted in one of the Wild Sisterhood forums asking how others deal with jealousy. Only one person responded and she is Buddhist and said that she doesn’t deal with jealousy often. 
I know everyone deals with jealousy from time to time. It just seems like we don’t like to talk about it often. 
Have you had to deal with jealousy recently? How have you dealt with it? 
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Posted in Business, writing
21 comments on “The Jealousy: I Haz It
  1. Anonymous says:

    Anyone who hasn't dealt with jealousy at some point in their life is a saint. And I don't know any saints. I think every so often, all of us look around us and say “Wow, isn't that person lucky? I was I was more like that.” But we never see the sacrifices they made to get where they are. You have made some incredible progress as a single mom that would absolutely terrify me. I can't even begin to tell you what an inspiration you are!

  2. Sheryl says:

    I am dealing with a lot of the same jealousy issues and I guess my answer is that I am not dealing with it well at the moment. Between medical bills, moving, trying to get a business started, etc, financially I am a mess. It is embarrassing lately to have to tell people, oh hey, I can't do that because if I do that I can't eat this week. I look around me and wonder how people are doing so well when I can't seem to make anything work lately. I have friends who would rather the commission go to an online agency than to give me a shot and it makes me wonder if I am even any good at anything I am trying to do. And then this move…I love where I live, but am surrounded by people who routinely spend over a car payment on one dinner out.

    I know this is all whining and probably doesn't help much. In my better moments I try to remind myself that everyone has their struggles and just because I don't see them doesn't mean they aren't struggling. And I think you are awesome in everything you are doing. I look up to you as an example of how I wish to be in your commitment to your business.

  3. Unknown says:

    I've also been feeling really jealous lately. Jealous of people who are creative enough to have ideas for their own businesses, people who have children (ESPECIALLY when those children are about to move out ;)), jealous of people who have relationships, or who are even capable of relationships which I don't seem to be now, and of course jealous of people who have disposable income.
    What I think is that jealousy is a symptom of the problem. The real problem is that I don't just live my own life, I'm constantly value-judging it using the values of other people's lives – of friends and family and all the perfect people on TV. I really have no clue how to address that.

  4. I don't get jealous very often any more, but it does happen now and then. I'm more likely to feel a small bit of gentle envy (like that beautiful HOUSE you mentioned). But that's more a feeling of “Wow, wouldn't that be nice” rather than one of “I wish I had that” or “I'm disappointed that I don't have that”. I don't know if that makes sense to anyone else, but to me it's a spectrum and I usually stay on the “How nice” end of it. But to be fair, my life is already pretty much how I want it to be. If it weren't, I'd probably be jealous more often.
    I used to be very jealous of how attractive other people were. My looks haven't changed since then, and certainly the rest of the world hasn't gotten uglier, but somewhere along the line I guess I just stopped trying to make comparisons. I can say “what gorgeous hair” without the thought of “my hair looks nothing like that” followed by “I'm upset that my hair doesn't look like that”.
    Funny you should bring up this subject, as it was one of the things I was really ruminating on last month. I'd read a story of someone and found myself feeling so bad for them… and then realized that I'd actually gone through a lot of the same bad events that they had. But if you catch me off guard and ask me if I've had a difficult life, I immediately say (and think and feel) that I've had it pretty easy. So what is the difference? I don't have an answer to that yet. Maybe it's just that most of it is firmly in my past, so I've been able to let it go. Maybe it's that I've learned not to dwell on the negatives. I honestly can't say.
    I remember (and was also thinking about this during my ruminations) talking to a pessimist who thought that I, as an optimist, was choosing to pretend that the bad things weren't there. I remember thinking at the time that he was choosing to think that the good things weren't there. We can both see all the same things; we both see the positive and the negative. But where do we choose to focus our brain power and emotions? Because that decision IS in our hands. Since he focused so often on the bad, things always looked bad to him. Since I focused so often on the good, things always looked good to me. Even though we were both looking at exactly the same situation.
    Final thought: I recently moved out of my beautiful house in my wonderful town, and I now live in an old, ugly, broken down mobile home in Compton. I could certainly dwell on that. Now and then I do laugh about it in a rueful sort of way. But I *choose* to focus on the joy of living so close to work, and so close to a lot of great food and culture. Both sides (negative and positive) are equally true – but if I'm looking at the things I love about it, I don't feel dissatisfied. And without that, jealously has no place to take root.

  5. Sheryl – Oh, I know what you're feeling, on so many levels. I hope things pick up for you with the new biz. 😦 I remember how excited you were when you sold your first house.

    And yeah, having people completely skip over you to do something else is rough. 😦 Have you told them how you feel about that?

  6. Ah, yes, jealous of relationships – didn't even mention that one. I've been alone a long time, and my relationship history is Not Good.

    Yes, I've been communicating with someone lately, but it's not like I can even see him right now.

    And yes, the problem is I'm not living the life I want to live and I do judge my life by looking at others.

  7. Does it help if I say I've been completely jealous of your life the last couple of years? 😛

    You've had a lot of good things happen in the last two years. 🙂

  8. 🙂
    No, not even a little.

    1) You being jealous means you're unhappy. There's nothing about that to make me feel good.
    2) Yes, I've had a lot of good things happen. And I've shared them. I've also had things that weren't so good, and some I've shared and some I haven't.
    But I guess that's my point. You and I both tend to focus on the good in my life. But that doesn't mean that's all there is going on.

    I love my husband… I'm also really enjoying NOT living with him for a while. He intrudes on my space (mental and physical) in a way that makes me tense as all hell.
    I like my new job… I'm also tired of answering emails and phone calls 7 days a week, 18+ hours a day. Not to mention that it required the aforementioned move away from a home I loved into a place that's an embarrassment (and will require time and money to make tolerable, not to mention safe for my cats).
    I love that my new job pays more… but I actually have less money each month because DH hasn't moved out of the other house yet, so I'm paying for two complete households.
    I love that DH is a house spouse and does the cooking and cleaning… but that doesn't mean much when I live in a totally separate house where he's not doing any of that for me. And it also doesn't help with the finances since he's got a complete house of expenses while having zero income.

    You see the positive in my life, and the negative in yours. But my life has plenty of negative and yours has plenty of positive.
    Jealousy isn't warranted here, believe me.

  9. You are so sweet, really. 🙂

    It's funny, because I can always help other people focus on the positive, but I have a hard time doing it for myself (except when manic, of course. :P) I have even been accused of being an optimist by a couple of people. And I just think, “If only you knew what goes on in my head!”

    And I understand, everyone has challenges, and we don't always see what they are going through behind the scenes.

  10. Karen Grothe says:

    Hi Ishtar! I have felt pangs of jealousy when friends have found new jobs quickly while I have been unemployed for the last 2 years. One friend at the company from which I got laid off recently started a new job down the street from her old one. She decided the old company didn't appreciate her enough, so she found another job. Old company is still laying people off, but she managed to find another job while she was still employed. I know we have different skills, so I should feel jealous, really, but there is a bit of that green monster floating in my head.

    Perhaps the jealousy is a sign of insecurity. I'm reminded of a quote I pinned to my quotes board on Pinterest (and posted on Facebook as well, I think, but it's easier for me to find on Pinterest): “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else's highlight reel.” – Steve Furtick

    Hang in there. You are moving in the right direction, at your own pace. Keep up the good work, and things will get better.

  11. Karen Grothe says:

    * I shouldn't feel jealous…

    Darn typos!

  12. My neighbor down the street has a backyard that's MUCH bigger than mine and is laid out in a totally awesome way. I'd say I'm jealous of that yard…but, I'm not, really. I mean, it's great, and in a way I wish my yard was like that, but I'm fine with what I've got. I was also looking online at homes in the Dunthorpe region of Portland, and sighing and Wishing I Was There, but heck, it's not bad now, is it?

    If this makes sense…I think we tend to get the most “jealous” when people not only have things we want/would like, but when we don't see any way in our own lives that we could ever get “that”, whatever “that” may be. I remember being completely pissed off in college that a couple of my flaky friends had gorgeous girls flocking to them because the girls found them cute or whatever, because at the time I had no hope of any female ever liking me. Yeah, well, that changed, mainly due to a change in my attitude more than my looks, and it all turned our pretty well. By contrast, years ago when I was broke and living in a crappy apartment I didn't feel overly jealous of people better off in nice houses because…well, I just figured someday I would be, too. Maybe not REAL better off, but doing OK. Yeah, I exceeded expectations there, too.

    We take what we have for granted, we aspire to things we believe we can achieve, and we fixate the most on things we want but don't see a clear path to achieving. Obviously jealousy interferes with accomplishing our goals, but maybe its best use is as a tool to reveal where we are A) insecure about ourselves and 2) what we actually desire (which we may not be totally honest about to ourselves).

    Dunno if any of that helps. And no matter where you are in life, you'll always notice the crap that's messed up. Our pool people claim they billed us a month ago (we called to check on that). Our fancy-schmancy house needs a table and chairs we can eat at. I've got 4 people at work pestering me for stuff they wanted last week (because their preferred turnaround time is always “five minutes ago”), there's weirdness in our office from the New Regime, and I need to find a doctor and a dentist to do Some Work, as well as lose about 70 pounds, before my body's minor issues become Serious Problems. But it could be much worse, and I know that. And if you think about your life, you'll know that it's been worse for you, too, in spite of everything you find suboptimal now.

    And never forget – life doesn't have a rewind button.

  13. The pool people thing – we never got a bill, no matter what they claim. We (well, my wife) asked them to send another one – since she talked to them I don't know if they sounded pissy or not.

    Yes, I'm bitching about my Pool People. If that's not the definition of a First World Problem…

  14. Well, you eventually landed your “hot chick”. 🙂

  15. I keep telling myself that. Some days I believe it more than others. 😛

    Thanks, Karen!

  16. Took long enough. 🙂 It's tough, but I've found that actively saying “no I won't feel jealous” doesn't help much, but rather getting back into a groove where I can focus on myself and improving things makes it go away…because, as noted, we most feel jealous when somebody else has something we A) want, 2) don't have, and iii) don't feel like we'll EVER have (or at least not have for a long, long time). Sometimes it's like, say, taking an exam – you don't WANT to study for it and do it, you'll never convince yourself that you're ENJOYING it, you're jealous of people who seem to be able to do it easier…but you do it anyway, even though you might think you'll screw it up. Because when you're done and you have your degree, you can go “hey, wow, I accomplished something!”, and that's one less thing to be jealous about and you've opened more doors for yourself and life feels that much better…at least until you encounter the next difficult challenge. 🙂

    Easy in retrospect, tough while you're going through it. To quote from Bill Watterson's foreword in the complete Calvin & Hobbes collection I recently bought, re: his travails working a crappy minimum wage job for a boss who “politely speaking, had rage issues”, living with his parents while desperately trying to get someone to pick up his comic strip: “Four years is a long time when you don't know the story will have a happy ending”.

  17. I deal with it by realizing that THEIR path is not MY path. And it took a long, long time, and a whole lot of inner work to reach that point. Inner work that is now becoming my signature system in my budding coaching practice. Everything that's happened to me happened to bring me exactly here. I wouldn't be where I am if any one thing had changed. If I'd grown up rich, I probably wouldn't have experienced the turmoil that I did. BUT on the flip side of that, the turmoil made me who I am, and prepared me to be able to touch the lives of others in a way I wouldn't be able to if I hadn't gone through what I went through!

    So right now, I'm struggling to make ends meet, launching a business when I'm broke as all get out, and I would LOVE to be skinny like Marie Forleo, and have that kind of money, too. But I also know that that's not my path. Well, not at this exact moment. It's part of my Life Vision (well, the success and money part, I've given up on being skinny 😉

  18. Serenity says:

    I don't experience Jealousy a lot at all these days because I finally stopped “self-abusing myself” by comparing me, my life experiences and results to others. For example, If I have only just started a project and someone else has been doing it for 10 years and taking action then they have that much head start experience….. it is self-abuse to me to compare me to them.

    In the why not start earlier…. I wasn't ready until now so NOW is the perfect time (we are always…. right on time, right on target). I guess you can say that I stopped “going to the wrongness of me” and started living in the realm of “what's right about me”.

    I also realised that a large part of this comparing myself to others that created the jealousy in the past was simply me coming from the place of “wanting” (not having something) and thinking and believing that I'm “not enough”. Now I know that “I AM enough”.

    I have moments these days where I seemingly “fall off the wagon”, though they are only moments.

    The single most powerful thing I ever did was going deep within me and understanding how me and my gifts work. Eg, I can talk up a storm of facilitation for someone to have that “breakthrough” though ask me to sit and write a blog post from scratch without a topic like this thread and I am dead in the dust. Then I used to stress that I will never write a book as a result blah, blah blah. Now I know that for me to create a book I would simply create a teleseminar series, have people pay in advance, create the content as I go, pay someone on eg odesk.com to transcribe the teleseminar, and either pay a ghost writer to turn the transcripts into a book or I can do that. ahhhhhh, for my gift to work, I need at least one other consciousness to have fun and play with. (very powerful for me to learn that about myself as I can now stop beating myself up, self abusing myself and comparing myself to others as I am sure it is just that their gifts work differently to mine).

    What are you gifts and how do they work?

    INFINITE LOVE

  19. When I talk to others, this is the kind of thing I tell them to do/think. On good days I can do this for myself, too.

    Bad days. . . I revert. 😛

    Thank you for commenting!

  20. As I just said to Gwynne above, on good days I can think this way, but on bad days it is more difficult.

    I'm still uncovering my gifts. For a long time I suppressed them – and I've started a post about that, but it will likely be awhile before it gets published.

    Thank you for commenting!

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