The Trailblazer's guide to Joy and Jealousy

Lately many of my friends have been experiencing major breakthroughs, which is great and also reminds me of when I was 16 and in a quintessential moment of adolescent angst, I asked my parents what was so wrong with me that none of the (straight) boys liked me. Some of my friends seemed to easily flit from boyfriend to boyfriend while I was (repeatedly, and for longer than I would care to admit) ramming up against disinterested, disdainful, and downright dull dudes.  


If 16 year old me had known anything about Scotch and I had a time machine that let me chat with her, I probably would have said that some people, like alcohol, have really intense qualities that take a while to mellow, and that even then not everyone develops a taste for them. Among those that do, however, those unique qualities that seem to drive people away earlier on become what is most highly prized. Of course this is not a talk I would have with a REAL 16 year old, (rest at ease friend with kids that call me auntie), just the ghost of the one that still occasionally moans through my subconscious sighing "NO ONE LIKES ME! EVERYONE LIKES EVERYONE ELSE SO MUCH MORE! I WILL NEVER BE LOVED" 


Scarcity thinking is a bitch, and we've all been steeped in it. From mates to money, there is this undertone of fear that there isn't enough to go around. We compete for status and success young, with the underlying belief that the student at the top of the class is inherently better than everyone else.  Then you see your friends with a slice of the pie and it almost feels like betrayal, which you know is utter BULL, but these are feelings we're talking about and feelings don't care if something is real or not, they just feel.  What's worse, chasing that green eyed beast is self loathing because what kind of jerk secretly wishes their friends were failing, just a little bit, just so you didn't feel QUIET SO FAR BEHIND.  I know this pit.Chances are good you have also become acquainted with this pit. It's ok that we are human and occasionally fall into pits. Let's climb out now.  


Joy is a swiftly renewing resource. We're not in danger of running out of good experiences to have in our lifetime just because someone else has good things happen to them. I mean, think about how ridiculous it even is to think that! ,What's more everyone's blueprint for "success" or "happiness" or whatever the end goal is, is a little different.  16 year old me was still sort of holding the ol' "get married, have kids, make money, buy things" blueprint up, and so not being able to keep a "relationship" felt devastating at the time, but underneath that beat up old thing was a blueprint for a marvelous NEW thing that was way more me, and it didn't require the same components to function. I ended up being stressed out about a lot of screws (HA!) that I didn't even need.  


So what I'm saying is when your friends are making major progress on their personal happiness blueprints and it feels like you've been looking for your fucking Allen wrench FOREVER, it's totally human to get a little jealous so don't beat yourself up. It's also really silly, because the parts that make up you're bliss are completely separate from the parts that make up anyone else's.  There is room enough for all of the marvelous and delightful contraptions our souls can dream up.