8/22/13

thoughts on jealousy

I feel like lately it's gotten easier for me to be jealous. It's easy to compare myself to others.

That's hard to admit.
But I get jealous.

I'll start with confessing a little thing I get jealous over.

I get jealous of over people's toenails.

No joke, but I am missing a few of my toenails and the ones that I have aren't so pretty (blame it on running). So I see people with perfect pedicures, rocking wedges with confidence, and I get a little jealous because my toes are not pretty. And even when I paint them, I don't really want anyone getting too close. (One reason to hope for boot season?)
That's a little thing. Toe jealousy.
But then there are bigger things that I find myself bogged down with jealousy about.

And what I have just realized is that my jealousy is often my way of making excuses.
Take for example, my jealousy of others and their success with a handmade shop or blog.

I start making excuses-- that they live in a place that's far more affordable that Seattle, so they can afford to make a handmade shop their only income. They are married to a photographer. They know people who work for magazines. They have connections. They have this, they have that. I begin to make excuses for why it's ok to for me to be jealous.
And that's not OK.
The thing is we are all here, right at this moment, in one place and it's going to be a different place from someone else. We are going to measure success differently than someone else, we are going to have experiences and friendships and moments that are different from others so it's no use becoming jealous. Jealousy can only bog us down.
In the moments where I find myself becoming bitter-- scrolling through someone's instragram feed and thinking that they must have it so easy, and that's why they have this success, I stop and remind myself that everyone comes to places differently; everything is cyclical
I need to remind myself that I don't need to copy what someone else is doing, or wondering about what they do to find success. I need to worry about what I'm doing to find success.

What is a good time for them now, may not be a good time for them in a year. I need to trust that God has me here, right now, in this place and He has them in a different place. I need to continue down the map He has marked for me. And that route He's traced is going to be my own, different from anyone else's.
It's actually quite beautiful to think about.
So I'm on my own path. There's no need to compare to anyone else's path. Or anyone else's toes.
What do you do when you're jealous?

xo, erika


18 comments

  1. Swag. Jealousy can lead to making excuses.
    When I get jealous, I get selfish and think I deserve more than them.
    Or act bitter and downplay all the things I'm jealous of: They aren't THAT good at guitar, etc.
    Or start coveting things they have: job, grades, looks, etc. forgetting all that happened up to that point in their life.
    Good post
    -Your littlest brother

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, jealousy...it's hard int he blog world, right? It always seems (to me) like there are a 1000 other ladies that are bigger, better and more successful than me. It makes you wonder why we do it? I try to be me and be honest, and take success one day at a time. The picture you posted says it all, comparing our lives/businesses to others when we don't know the real deal won't help us at all. Plus, who said there isn't someone out there looking at us and thinking the same thing? P.S. Your shop and YOU are amazing, I was just admiring your shop last night:)

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is SO ME!!! Thank you for posting this. I am bad about getting jealous over things that I haven't even TRIED doing...haha.

    For example...whenever a "successful" blogger talks about getting a book published, I get really jealous....but here's the kicker...

    Is my book finished? Have I even attempted to network or contact publishers or editors or research how to get a book published? NO!!!

    Haha...that is the most hilarious thing about all of it....why do I think I "deserve" it when I haven't even put in any of the work.

    I also get jealous of people's cute babies...and HOUSES! House envy...don't even get me started!!! Hope you have a great Friday!

    ReplyDelete
  4. mmm, this is so good. i love that jon acuff quote. i just finished grad school and it's super hard with the job search and comparison to our friends here who already have the house, the decor, the job, the baby, the everything. we always want more, don't we? this is such a great reminder to follow God in all this and not your own wants/sin/etc.

    p.s. i totally get you on the toe thing! and to add to my woes, i have really narrow heels (from my dad) + genetic bunions that running has probably only made worse (from my mom) so shoe shopping is a nightmare, and sandals are the easiest shoes for me to find. i just loving running too much to quit for pretty toes :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great post Erika!! It's hard not to be jealous when you are surrounded by such amazingly talented people doing such incredible things!! I've often thought of that quote and it makes life seem a little easier to handle!! PS I think that your life is pretty great and I love reading all about your adventures + seeing all the lovely new things in your shop!! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great post! I think we all have moments like this-- it is human nature! I was having a similar conversation with my sister just two nights ago. She was frustrated with her Etsy shop because she wasn't making as many sales in her hat shop as other people within her niche. She was feeling like she wanted to give up and wanted to know how I wasn't always frustrated too. To me it's simple-- about a year into my shop, I made a conscious decision that I couldn't keep comparing myself to others. It's definitely hard to do and I struggled a lot. When I finally started in on this full time in June, I decided to block out anything that was frustrating or annoying me and to keep my head focused on what I wanted to do. If it was something that was giving me bad vibes, I stopped doing it, reading it, following it, whatever it was. I stopped worrying about what other people would think and just did. It was the most freeing thing I could have possibly imagined both mentally and creatively. I think figuring out how to get to that point can be the hardest part of all, but once you get there, it feels amazing. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Such a good post.
    I cling to that quote "comparison in the thief of joy." And constantly remind myself to find joy in MY journey. Also my husband reminded me once when I was struggling to take my eyes off myself and put them on others. So I chose to pray for certain people who are going through difficult times. It put my jealousy issues into perspective.
    Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh I totally get it! It's hard when there are so many talented people in the world. I want immediate success and with three kids I know it's just not possible. I made a conscious effort to put blinders on and just try to find something I'm good at and build my brand based on THAT! I'm still working on it and I definitely have moments of jealousy. No one comments on my blog and I have days where I wonder if anyone reads at all. It definitely makes me want to quit sometimes. I just remind myself that it takes time. I enjoy following your blog and I love your stuff. You're incredibly inspiring to those of us just starting out! And you're from Seattle which makes this Seattle girl even happier!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I struggle with this a lot. I find that gratitude is the best remedy for jealousy. I don't always remember it when jealousy hits, but when I can remember to be grateful for the things I have, and take a break to think of them, it helps.

    But if one more person posts a vacation picture on instagram, I might cry a little.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I've always battled with jealousy. I don't want to be a jealous person. And I try to remind myself that people, especially in the blog world, tend to only let their shiny side show. We don't get the see the dull, imperfect side.

    It's part of the reason I try to blog about not just the good things in my life but the bad things as well. When people read about my life I want them to know I'm a real person and I don't want them to feel jealousy.

    Typically if I remind myself to not be jealous I can stifle it pretty well. But sometimes it takes WORK.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, the big green monster. I admit I often get bit by that bug too but I guess it's pretty normal. To be honest, and this is kind of sad to admit, but sometimes I need to unplug. No more facebook and unfortunately no more blogs. When I'm feeling down, it helps me focus on my life instead of comparing it to others. I'm sure there's a better way of coping but sometimes it seems like the only thing that helps.

      Anyway, new to your blog! Just wanted to say hi :)

      Delete
  11. Thanks for sharing! I have the same problem; comparing my life to others. I saw a quote a few months ago that read: "Comparison is the thief of joy." I just love it. And it's so true! It's nearly impossible to be happy where you are in life, if you're comparing what you have against someone else's stuff/life.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love that quote. I hate comparing myself to others, but I do it all the time. When I get jealous, I remember that whatever people put on their blogs or their Instagram feeds is the best of what's going on with them. There are plenty of hard moments and struggles that everyone has--it's just that usually they're not pretty, so no one wants to share those moments with the world.

    P.S. I get jealous of people's toes too. I have the tiniest toenails (they're practically nonexistent) so pedicures never look great on me either.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Man, that must have taken some guts to put this post out there. I really admire you for having the courage to post this. I too, find myself getting jealous of others and it's hard to deal with. It really brings me down. But it's important to turn that jealousy into working harder to achieve what you want.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thank you for sharing this because I have been dealing with the same thing recently. I want to have a successful blog, handmade business, family, etc. And I am realizing that I have to work on realizing that God does have a different plan for each of us at each stage of our lives. Right now, God has you making beautiful things and me cleaning up after two kids. =P Praying for you, friend.

    ReplyDelete
  15. i get jealous too. I think that's common when everyone is showing their best self and the best side of their life on instagram, facebook, etc. I try to remind myself that my life is pretty good and we all have our own path but it still sucks. It's a bad feeling. Also, you're killing it with the great posts this week....now I'm a little jealous of you ;).

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love this, Erika! If it makes you feel any better, I just found your blog and literally said, "oh, I have blog envy!" :)

    ReplyDelete

oh that's so nice of you to say hi :)
i read every comment and would love to respond to you as well! if you have a question for me-- make sure your email is linked to your blogger account so I can get back to you or leave your email so I can get in touch! (see how to do so here!)

Theme created by Andrea Mehner Designs