Green Eyed Monster

Truth - Sometimes people will say things to you that will stay with you for the rest of your life. It's one of those things that comes seemingly out of the blue and it's all you can think about. No matter what you do or what you say, you can't get that one person's comments out of your head. Maybe it's because you vehemently disagree with it or maybe because it's one of your biggest fears. Either way, the impact is the still the same and for the time being you're caught in the trap of other people's opinions. Criticism, jealousy, and envy can be show up in the most discreet ways. This is green eyed monster.
 
"The jealous are troublesome to others, but a torment to themselves" William Penn
 
Have you ever had one of your friends tell you that it was too hard being friends with you? Have you ever had people let you know that you should be doing less? Have you ever questioned the validity of others' criticisms of you? Definitely I have answered yes to all those questions but as of late I've really begun to negate them. Here's the thing, now more than ever, I value my own perceptions of myself over others. I don't think people get to have an opinion on who another person is - that has nothing to do with you. You can comment on behaviors and actions but they themselves, who they are fundamentally, is off limits. You're probably wondering what I'm talking about but it's also kind of vague in and of itself.
 
It hasn't happened recently but throughout my time in college there have been people who have come in and out of my life, or even stuck around who have proclaimed that knowing me was too hard for them. When I asked for them to follow up and add some context I received a few things that had me stumped. I would get the "you make me feel bad with how great you are; you come off as perfect; or I always have to be on my best behavior when I'm around you. I can accept those as they are which may be totally valid, but in retrospect they also have nothing to do with me. To put it bluntly, those are you problems. Those are your insecurities, feelings of inadequacies, and nonexistent comparisons that you made. Me, if I was able to befriend you, that was my investment in you that you were not only worth knowing but had something to teach me (as all people do). That's more than enough - the only requirement to know me is to let me know you as well.
 
What I think people don't get about me and other people in general is that we all have people who make us strive to be better. They make us want to work harder, go longer, and give more ourselves because we admire something about them. That again is an appreciation and inspiration to do self-work, not a criticism of them but rather a compliment. I would be lying if I said that I had never wanted to be someone else. I could list of a few people that I think it'd be interesting to trade places with for a day but be - nope, that's not something I actually want. I unabashedly love being me. I love the heck out of me and it's taken a long time for me to get this place. I'm all about me and that for me is a really big deal. Besides, like my old roommate's grandmother said "Be yourself, everyone else is taken. Everyone has their own path, gifts, and strengths. You can't go along, have, or use those that are meant for someone else, so focus on yourself and it'll all come together. The people that I see thriving are the ones who figured out their unique purpose and use it benefit other people; that's what I understand the meaning of life to be. There's nothing to be jealous of; everyone has a different potential to change the world - find and use yours.  Someone else's success should always bring you happiness or else there needs to be an examination of who you are as a person. Envy is for enemies, enjoyment for friends.
 
Having other people cite your "popularity" may quite honestly be one of the most uncomfortable things ever. Like no I'm not "popular" and that's not something anyone should strive for but I really do enjoy making worthwhile connections with people, and making them feel seen, valued, and heard. I think most people enjoy having their existence noticed and leaving interactions with other people feeling positive. That's it. I don't have a secret. I don't have magical powers. I'm not bribing people. I like people and somehow they like me too. I've noticed it in passing just the shear amount of people I ended up knowing (whatever that means) through Facebook friends (as superficial as that is). I feel like people make me out to be this mythical character, or a caricature of a person, or even worse - the closest thing you can get to being perfect; none of those or accurate or beneficial. Don't ever believe your own hype. You're a normal person, like everyone else. If anything, there have been times (well documented through this blog) where I wished I was like other people in that they can be conspicuous in different ways that I sometimes cannot. I wouldn't give away my gifts, personality, or experiences for anything though. No green-eyed monster can take that from me.
 
What makes me laugh to myself a bit is when people think that they know me, like really know me. I'm like you know of me but not me as a person. Even friends I would argue most know very little about me but have the perception that they have me pegged because of the detailed experiences I share when asked. You're not getting me though, you're still only getting my stories. Just because I seemingly post my "entire life" on social media again is not me; only the painstakingly put together part that I want people to see. Behind it all, I'm a mess in some ways, and also not - but it's not all of me; that's too much of a gift to bestow on everyone. Your life story is sacred; share it with those who can handle its truth. I could share about all the ways I'm weird, super self-conscious, or just plain ridiculous but they are besides the point.
 
And who am I forgetting, even those who read this blog - actually, you all probably know me pretty well but you'd have to have read through four years of posts, and honestly, I'm not that interesting or am I? The thing about me is I'm so simple and oh so very complicated. I realized a couple years ago that my impossible standards for myself were being unfairly placed on other people and I was missing out on opportunities to know them. Candidly, sometimes those feelings creep back up but I dismiss them because they're not productive in some ways. It was then that I decided to be me, unrelentingly, unapologetically, unbelievably me and it was the best choice I ever made. Now I'm this me that I really like and that apparently others do too, but I earned my own approval and that's all that mattered to me. Me - I'm only jealous of everyone who gets to be themselves, that's a true privilege not everyone gets and even I still struggle with that, but I'm working on it. Like seemingly everything else these days, it's a lifelong process. Green eyed monster slayed. X

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