Jealousy is something that never goes away. I don't think it does for anyone. I try to humble myself and be thankful for what I have accomplished and what I do have, but occasionally I still revert back to my eight year old self. The one who has a plain paper folder on the first day of school with the same backpack as last year while the three girls around her all have Lisa Frank. The eight year old who is upset with their parents because they've never had a pair of sandals or freshly new bought pair of shorts. We didn't do that, we got practical pieces of clothing that were not season specific as to be able to wear them year round. That adolescent feeling comes back to me. It tells me to be upset with myself. While I do blame myself for letting jealousy get the best of me, I do think it is something that a first world country engrains in its consumers. You need better, more expensive, and it will bring you happiness. In all honesty it doesn't and I know that.
Another source of this problem is social media. Everyone is putting on a show of what their lives are like when they update a post or a photo. They want people to know that their life is great. They want others to be envious, isn't that only the natural way to feel better? Parading your life in the best times on the internet so you can convince everyone that it is indeed exactly like those photos?
I don't think this is always intentional. I think it is only natural to say hey, I'm happy look at my happiness and share!
I used to be really bad about jealousy. It consumed me. In my early twenties I was a completely irrational person who was chronically angry. I was a black and white thinker and was under the impression that their was no free lunch.
I thought everyone worked equally and after much hard work and dedication that we would all be rewarded equally. I was a naïve idiot.
College changed this perception very quickly. I saw students who had never worked a day in their life and didn't bother to show up to class only to graduate in the same line I did. Students who graduated to boob jobs, brand new sports cars, and financial support from all angles.
I once in undergrad had a fellow student come up to me and say, "Hey, the funniest thing happened this morning. I saw a girl driving this ugly blue old dodge caravan to Carbondale and she looked exactly like you. Isn't that weird?"
I never told her it was me because I knew she was making fun of my inability to wish for material things only to have them materialize. I wasn't about to give her the satisfaction of knowing that that van was paid for by my two of my siblings, me, and Mike because that was really the only available option at the time when the transmission went out of Mike's truck.
My mind gets very clouded when I feel like my hard work doesn't seem hard enough. When I get to view small glimpses of others lives that seem like they have it all. When their families seem so cohesive and happiness comes without effort.
It isn't just material things that I see that give me unexplainable jealousy. It can be really anything. It can be a simple status about how good and perfect someone's children have been, while I have spent hours with Gavin screaming and kicking me because he's mad I won't let him drink lemonade before bed.
It can be a picture of a very important life event where the individuals in the picture look perfect, like a wedding day. While I know nothing is ever perfect, it makes me reflect on my own experiences. It draws me back to negativity. I for example, think of how the morning of my wedding was filled with turmoil over the grooms mother explaining to him that I was not the right person for him and that our marriage would never last. That it would be filled with infidelity like most marriages are and that it would be cheaper to call everything off than to have to pay for a divorce. Then in the same breath coming into my changing room to tell me how beautiful I am. (Words can not express how much this woman has altered my suppose to be perfect moments. I'm sure I will eventually write a non politically correct anger post that directly relates to her). Anyway back on track.
I hate jealousy and the feelings of inadequacy it gives me as a person, professional, and as a parent.
I sincerely apologize if my social media posts have ever been a culprit for jealousy. I am truly not trying to convince anyone that I or my life is perfect. I want you all to know that I genuinely love everyone who is a friend of mine and if their is anything that I can do to help. Please reach out to me.
I hope that as I get older these feelings of jealousy will get less and less frequent as I mature. If you are struggling with them as well. Try to remember that everyone's life has a unique situation. That what we perceive isn't always reality. It's a hard concept to grasp, especially for me.