When I was in middle school I moved during the summer between 6th and 7th grade. My first experience at my new school was summer band. Waiting outside the band doors with my clarinet, in the heat of August, surrounded by people who had known each other since before they could read... and for some reason one girl caught my eye. I decided right that moment that she was the coolest person. She was basically everything I wasn't confident enough to be. The way she dressed, carried herself, even the friends she had... her life just seemed so awesome. (I'm not saying it actually wasn't... I'm guessing her life really was awesome, I just didn't know her well enough at the time to state it as fact). This girl and I never really had that best friend experience. I hand it to the fact that she was always just on that side of intimidating to me. However, one year in high school (probably senior year) our yearbooks got exchanged, and when I read what she wrote, I was really surprised. She said something to the fact that she was jealous of how smart I was (or something like that). This girl that I had spent 6 years basically mystified by, found a trait I had admirable. That, my friends, was a turning point in my personal ideology.
What if instead of being jealous of people; instead of wishing we were others, or wishing we had their lives, we took the time to acknowledge the actual traits in that person that make their lives so desirable. I wrote in one of my previous entries (The 21 things I learned in 21 years) that jealousy is a sin but admiration is a virtue. And I wholeheartedly believe that to be true. Jealousy just has such bad connotations. Also, when you think about it, jealousy very rarely actually leads to any action or growth. I could say that I'm really jealous of my friend's style, but what comes after that? ...nothing usually. It's just a statement. However, to say that I admire her confidence in her ability to wear whatever she wants, I'm actually taking notice of what it is about her as a person that makes her style what it is.
It's been just over 5 years since I got that yearbook signed. I still have to remind myself of what it taught me. Sometimes I have to repeat it to myself: jealousy makes you sad, admiration makes you grow. I just wonder how different we would be if we tried one over the other...
Thanks for reading :)
1. It's weird not having an image to go with my post, but nothing really seemed appropriate with the topic. Let's see if it affects readership.
2. Please comment! I read them all :) And I think part of a blog is the reading community! Without you all, this is just a public journal... And your comments can only add to the reading experience :)