Friday, August 31, 2007

Not My Favorite Emotion But One I Definitely Feel Often

As you can see I changed my page.

I was going for something a little more clean, mature, and visually appealing in that Mac way.

Really I was getting sick of pink and becoming green with envy.

Yes, I felt jealous this week.

Frankly, I usually feel a little jealous all the time; it gives me my competitive edge. Sad, isn't it? But, at least, I'm honest with myself and others about this very gross and usually-kept-secret emotion.

It got really bad Wednesday night.

I was reading my bookmarked blogs, and I started reading one in particular that made me totally lose my cool. Background: a few months ago one of the popular girls from high school friended me on Facebook. We weren't close at all in high school and still aren't, so I was honestly a little surprised she chose to friend me. I mean we were friendly at our class reunion, but I didn't hug her and want to steal her away to the bathroom so we could get some quick good-talk-alone-time. I accepted her Facebook offer, though, and perused her profile. I discovered and clicked on her website/blog, and was genuinely excited to read her smart, humorous, Bridget-Jones-esque musings. Since then I have become a regular reader. And am very proud to be one. Believe me, this story makes her look good and me look bad.

On this particular post she contemplates the blog and pays homage to the BlogHers and the awesome women writers she respects and admires. Cool, right? What's the problem? In my delusional world (where I had convinced myself that my Pops over the past year secretively had restored my '79 VW SuperBeetle Max for my 30th Birthday and that he was going to drive it to our house on my birthday and give it to me, and, lo and behold, when he showed up Max-less I cried a little and all my family was like, "What the???") I actually thought my blog would make her list. Immediately, I felt like that dorky-punky-pimple-faced kid in high school who looked up to the popular kids and wanted to be one so badly while at the same time equally hating them for being so popular. Seriously, WTF?!

Here was this cool girl giving a shout out to cool girls, and here was me all Mean Girls, all Jawbreaker, all other-teen-girl movie-ish.

And once I felt the left-out-ness and jealousy, it just snowballed. I obsessed over all the other better BlogHers, all the other better girl poets with their published books, all the better lyric essayists. All the funnier kids. The smarter kids. The great instructors who never have a class discussion go poorly. The PhD getters with their soon-to-be tenure track jobs. Whata shocker, no one even showed up for my pity party! That's how bad I suck!

I barely slept Wednesday night. Sadly, FD couldn't even snuggle me back to self-confident.

Thursday morning I did an hour of meditative yoga. It helped a little.

Then I sped-walked (speed-walked?) 8 miles at the rec, praying the rosary with a priest and parishioners the whole time via Ellie the iPod.

In other words, I knew I had I get rid of my jealousy or I was going to be a goner and screw up a perfectly good long weekend.

The sad thing is I think I have to work through this emotion at least once a month. And guess, usually, around what time?

It's not easy admitting it. I'm Amanda, and I'm a Jealousy Addict.

Really I just want to be one of those cool hippy girls who always loves everyone no matter what.

But as I was praying and sweating and forcing myself to go faster and beat my own record for each lap, I realized something: That in admitting my jealousy and understanding it and learning from it, I actually can see myself letting go of the emotion which helps me rid of it faster each time and then I truly can appreciate what it was I was jealous of.

I feel like Sufjan Stevens has a song that would say what I'm trying to say way better than I can say it. (And I'm very fine with that!)

I feel like my jealousy addiction stems from my label-whore-ness, my inner consumer. I have trying to be less of a consumer lately...

I hate it (jealousy & consuming), but I learn so much from it.

And then I wonder why is it that I observe that girls are more jealous than guys. Where's the love?

I'm doing what I can. As Sufjan sings, "I'm working it out inside..."

In the end, I'm glad I learned about the other BlogHers. They really inspired me to do something more with my blog.

I just wish Jealousy wouldn't have led me to that conclusion.

Thank God (Mary and Jesus) I am back to my old self. With a little newer self insight.


Katherine said...

I'm glad you mentioned that you changed your template, because I read your feed and thus wouldn't have known. Until I got less lurky and commented, of course. :-)

The difference between self-perception and how others perceive us is always so fascinating to me. You always struck me as one of those cool hippy girls who loved everyone no matter what.

I totally feel you on the jealousy thing. Case in point: I'm so jealous of all y'all Kent poets who have MFAs. I want one! Will I get one if I stamp my foot hard enough??

I love that you blog.

Travis Schafer said...

Although I can't provide much help in the greatest sense, but I can relate with you. It's rough, and I have always had a bit of a jealously sting to everything.

The horrible truth in life, whether we want to admit it or not: There will ALWAYS be someone above us, no matter how much progress we make in life.

Also, a small question: Do you meditate (or meditative yoga, in your case) daily? Doing so will help much more than sporadic doings. Its hard to get in the habit, but once you do, the results are amazing!

Amanda said...

Travis, Dude, I wish I was as smart as you are at your age. I might be a little less self absorbed. ;)

I meditate/pray/have-quiet-time every day. It helps me A LOT! It sounds like you do too!