taming the green-eyed monster
I’ve struggled with being a jealous person my whole life. I’m the kid that had no interest in a toy until someone else was playing with it. When a friend in school would get an academic award, I would have a disgustingly envious moment before snapping myself out of it and into true excitement for them.
I think part of the origin of my internal green-eyed monster comes from the fact that I’m a bit spoiled. I know it’s usually taken as a negative, but to me, it just means that I wanted for almost nothing growing up. We weren’t rich, but I had everything I wanted. I had food. I had parents that weren’t divorced. I had friends that liked me. I had a yard to play in. And then, as I got older, I started to desire more concrete things and those happened, too. I wanted to be the captain of this club. I wanted to win this scholarship. I wanted to get into this advanced degree program in college. And all of those things happened. I’ve led a blessed and charmed life.
I’m not naive enough to think that all of these happened solely because of my hard work. I did work hard. I truly did, but I also believe I am a pretty skilled manipulator. That term has some seriously negative connotations, and I try not to use “my power for evil,” but mostly what it means to me is that I know what people want. What they want to hear. How what I do affects them. My awareness gave me the ability to game the system. I rarely studied in college because, to me, it was always easy to figure out what the professor wanted to hear when I sat down to fill out my blue book exam. It’s part of the reason why I excelled at the liberal arts and struggled with math and science. There is no gaming the system with a calculus problem. It is black and white. You either get it wrong or right. I could work hard and get it right most times, but the amount of work I had to put into doing well made me not enjoy the subjects. There is a reason I have a fine arts degree, and it isn’t just that I can draw pretty pictures.
So what does this have to do with my jealous streak? Well, it stayed dormant for quite a while. I got most things I wanted. Or at the very least, knew I could if I ever decided to want something. And that was enough. No need for jealous because I was at the top of everything I wanted to be at the top of. Until I started blogging.
I found something I am extremely passionate about. I love doing this. Will I love it forever? Maybe not. But for now, I am head-over-heels in love with being a blogger. Being a blogger is not an easy path to head down. You are literally one of millions and millions of people doing this. And you have to stand out to get noticed, make money and be successful. It doesn’t happen quickly, either. The most successful bloggers have been at this for 3, 4 or 5 years and are just now starting to see the kind of success that I want some day.
I don’t want this to come off as whiney, because I am eternally grateful for my readers, but I am small potatoes compared to the biggest bloggers in my field. Biggest doesn’t necessarily mean best. And because of those two facts, I find myself paralyzed with jealousy. It is a hideous and terrible emotion, but it is the honest-to-goodness me.
Anything “good” that happens to bloggers in my field and my immediate and guttural response is, “Why not me? I’m good, too!” and I despise that reaction. I don’t want to be that person. I want to be giddy and excited for my friends and colleagues in this field (although admittedly, there will always be a few bloggers whose success confounds me). Once rational thought takes over again, I almost always am overcome with joy and excitement, but it’s that split-second of seeing green that I am saddened by.
I want to work on my jealousy. I know I am good at blogging (and I’m not fishing for compliments, I promise). And if I’m meant to be extremely successful at it, I will be. But that’s not why I got into this. I got into this to have a place to spew all my ridiculous-ness and hopefully connect with a few people and that I have done in a depth and breadth I never even imagined. I am so thankful for each and every one of you stopping in and checking out what I have to say.
What I’m learning about blogging is that there is no gaming the system. There is no manipulating you intelligent and amazing people. I’m studying (unlike in college) and that just flat-out takes longer than just inherently knowing how to game it system. On one hand, it is insanely confusing. I feel like I have no idea what kind of content will get what kind of response. I’m tripping through the world of learning photography and PHP. I am heinous a time management. But on the other hand, it is completely liberating to be figuring this out piece-by-piece. I’m actually learning. Growing. Changing. Paying my dues. And that’s something I haven’t really had to do very much in my life. It’s a nice change of pace. I feel like I’m earning every single success I do get thanks to the blog, and I hope that fact results in a better end product. It’d just be a bit easier to swallow if I could get rid of my little green-eyed monster.