Saturday, February 20, 2010

Jealousy Jane

Bird on the Street is one of my favorite blogs. I started reading when the author was a teacher, and followed as she became a parent of a special needs child. It is absolutely captivating to read her insight and optimism, her realism and disappointments, and the successes of both her and little Charlie.

In this post, she said: "Sometimes I think it's good to get stuff off your chest--it lets you breathe. I want this blog to be about living joyfully and sometimes you have to bare your soul a little to get to the joy." After that, she went on to list some things of which she was jealous. And because I've been thinking too much the past few days, I was inspired to do the same. Yes, I've gone a little overboard.

I'm jealous of:
- Women who are confident in their bodies- who wear shorts without feeling self-conscious, who can think swimsuit shopping is ever a joyous experience, who don't have to change outfits over and over again before they decide they look passable. (Note: This is not necessarily women who are "attractive" or "ideal"- though I'm jealous of them, too- but it's women of any size or shape or looks that FEEL attractive and love their bodies no matter what.)
- My brothers, who can eat whatever they want, and three times as much of it as I would eat, and still stay on the low end of healthy weight. (My little brother has been told by the doctor that he should TRY to gain weight, and it's been a challenge. A CHALLENGE.)
- Women who may not be confident in their bodies, but do something about it- who have the motivation, the persistence, and the courage to plan and work and sacrifice to be healthy and meet a goal.
- Women who don't let their insecurities invade their relationships and friendships to the point where jealousies, frustrations, and paranoia arise.
- People for whom faith is constant and feels certain.
- Teachers with a calm, obedient classroom- who don't have to yell at students on a regular basis, who can get more teaching done than disciplining, who can still be in a good mood at the end of a day, who have the patience to deal with the everyday.
- Teachers with their own classroom. (While I love the teacher I work with and in most ways wouldn't want my own room, sometimes I wish I had ultimate authority and the chance to do it all my way.)
- Teachers who make it look easy. I know it's not- ever- but some teachers are just so talented. See also, teachers who can go into a principal evaluation without being terrified.
- Teachers with tenure, or at least more than half a year of seniority. Or anyone with job security, really.
- People with dogs and cats. Can't tell you how much I miss having one when I come home.
- Women with a true girl best friend- who run to one person with any big news, who can talk about boys without a second thought, who they don't have to share with anyone else, who they can regularly spend lots of time with, and who have someone that knows them almost better than they know themselves. It's even better when you know that you've earned that kind of friendship, and lately I'm jealous of people who feel that way, too.
- People who have plenty of money- who don't have to worry about debt or payments, who don't have to be cheap sometimes, who can buy the expensive things they've wanted for so long without reservations even when the money is in the bank, who don't have to worry about compromising or putting off a wedding because of finances. (Yes, I know most of this is just being new to the adult world.)
- People who will get to have their father walk them down the aisle and dance with them at their wedding.
- People who have close relationships with their siblings. With one of my brothers, I almost dread seeing him in person because we usually end up fighting and I usually end up feeling terrible.
- People who feel a deep sense of deserved appreciation for whom they are and what they have done.
- People who are in a close-knit group or club- who spend so much time with the same people that they feel like family and even when they annoy you, you love them. (I miss marching band, drama club, winterguard... all of it.)
- People who are and feel smart. I used to feel smart and I miss that feeling.
- Neat people. Punctual people. Organized people.
- People who have the commitment to spend time and money doing enjoyable things- seeing more plays and musicals and concerts, regularly reading books for fun, dancing, traveling.
- People with the energy and time management to come home from a full day of work and actually get something done.
- People who don't go into random times of being moody and thinking too much. Sometimes for days at a time, I'm in a funk and can't seem to snap out of it.

Most of the time, I'm extremely positive and optimistic. I know that overall, I have a great life and a lot to be grateful for. All things considered, I don't really have reason to complain and I know that.

I'm not fishing for compliments. I know many of these things are well within my control to change. Some are materialistic, some are selfish, some are wistful, some are unrealistic, and some are just plain stupid. I hate that most of these are on my list.

So... here's the optimism. Hopefully someday I'll be able to use them for good? In the meantime, feel free to share the jealousies you need to get off your chest.

1 comment:

Katy said...

Thanks for posting.

I think a lot of what you're feeling sounds completely/totally normal. I'm not sure how long you're been doing the teaching thing, but someone told me it takes three years to get your feet under you. I was ready to quit after three years, but I stuck it out and the last two were by far my best years.

I also felt a lot of lonliness when I left school and entered the working world. I didn't feel smart any more--I felt horrible at my job and my friends had moved all over and that was hard too.

Good of you to put this all out there--I really think everyone goes through this stuff and it's nice to know that we're not alone.