(Oh sequins…the mortal enemy of mid-life woman…)
I’m picking up the thread of a blog I wrote a couple months ago. It was a story about a time when I got caught up in envy and, dare I say it, jealousy. The life lesson was this: jealousy has nothing to do with anyone else but me. When I feel the slightest twinge of that emotion, it’s a red flag that I need to take a hard look at my own life. That person – the object of my envy- must have something I feel I’m lacking, so I better get my own butt in gear and correct it. In fact, it’s a great exercise to closely examine what you are jealous of, and ask yourself what you could change in yourself in order to not feel that jealousy any more. If you follow the trail of emotion inward, it leads you to your heart’s deepest desires.
When I’m happy in my own skin, following my bliss, I never feel jealous of anyone. And I’m happy to say that I haven’t felt jealous in many years. I mean, I’m not saying I haven’t had my opportunities! Just last Saturday I was on a gig sharing the stage with a much younger, much thinner, much LOUDER singer. And the costume I had to wear….oh, the humanity! Try squeezing a skintight yellow sequin dress over your spanx (humming to myself in the dressing room: nowhere to run to baby, nowhere to hide) then stand on stage, under bright lights mind you, next to a gorgeous twenty-five year old wearing the same dress all night. But believe it or not, even that didn’t bother me. I thought…Eh, let her have her moment. I was once twenty-five and stick thin…I had that moment already. It’s her turn to shine. You know why I wasn’t jealous? Because I’m pretty happy, and because I know there’s room for all of us to be who we are, just as we are.
These days I am in the company of some mighty, amazing, strong women writers and a friend asks me the other day – isn’t there competition and jealousy amongst all of you? And I said No, you know what? There’s really not. At all. Because each of us has our own voice, our own unique perspective on the world, and we share it in the way that only we can. I don’t write like any of my friends, and they don’t write like me. Some of them are much funnier, much more direct, much more poetic, fluid, dark, light…and that’s what’s so great about it. We all get to be exactly as we are, so there’s no competition. Like my girl Oprah says – do “you”. Nobody can do you better than you.
The bottom line is: There is room in the world for more than one insight, more than one pretty twenty-five year old girl, more than one brilliant book, great song, piece of poetry or artwork. There’s room for every blooming flower in the garden.
So no, I’m not feeling the jealousy. Not at all. And god it feels so good. You know what doesn’t feel so good? Squeezing your 46-year old ass into skintight yellow sequins. So wrong…so wrong…