journal

Envy Eats Away at My Heart

At the end of 2009, I purchased a small journal from Target. This little notebook serves the purpose of collecting random ideas that hit me at random times. It fits neatly in my purse so it goes with me everywhere. Assuming I actually have a pen in my purse (and not only eyeliner or lipstick to write with, which has happened on more than one occasion), it’s a nifty little tool to have.
I was waiting for an appointment last week, and began thinking of topics to blog about and I kept writing the word “envy.”
Envy is an odd duck.
Since having a book (and now almost two books) release, I have had a few people mention they were envious of my life. And by “my life,” they confessed they were envious of what they perceived about “my life” because of my blog, or my books. A few days ago, a wonderful author named Rachel vulnerably shared about how she resented me (it’s a very lovely and honest post).
When these conversations pop up, even as seldom as they do, they confuse me.
Why? Because my life is well – just life. It’s nothing to be jealous of and find it interesting while people are wishing they may “be me” in some ways…
…I’m wishing I was someone else.
Don’t get me wrong: I feel incredibly lucky that during this season I can write books for a modest living and travel a bit to share a little hope here and there. I have also eaten enough humble pie to know this has little to do with me, if anything at all. As much as writing and speaking is not a “normal job” it’s still work. It’s still frustrating. There are things I hate about my work sometimes. It’s easy to get lonely and lazy. Questions of “am I good enough?” or “am I as good as…” or even “am I better than…” cycle in my mind day in and day out.
And truth be told, envy plays a large part in that cycle.
I see other bloggers and authors and speakers who seem to float from one puffy white cloud of God’s blessed goodness to another, whose marriages are picture perfect and friendships are solid and complete. They never seem to fight loneliness, or writers block, or carbs, or bad hair days. They don’t say “um” forty-seven times in a thirty minute talk and their words flow seamlessly from one noun to one verb. They are never “too passionate” and write thoughtfully instead of from a place of raw, immature emotion. They’re wise. Stable. And go to great parties or dinners and tweet about it and it seems like everyone else is there but, well, me. They’ll get credit for something and I won’t. They’ll get more money than I’ll get. Someone will review or endorse their book that won’t return my emails.
And I get envious. (Obviously. And very whiny, too).
It’s scary to admit that perhaps I’ve even allowed myself to become so envious that my heart is becoming bitter. I’ve forgotten to celebrate the good things others do and to mourn (and not silently rejoice) their falls.
(Please tell me I’m not the only one who does this little mental happy dance when someone perfect makes a mistake…)
Envy eats away at my heart, slowly, and quietly, and daily.
And is it tragically ironic that I hate it when people perceive me in certain ways, and yet I do the exact same thing and place those exact same perceptions on others?
Comparison. Perception. Assumption. Envy.
This life thing can be messy and ugly sometimes.
I’m so glad there’s grace. Aren’t you?