Jealousy is a natural component of human nature.
From your childhood days, when you were jealous of the kid that had the best set of crayons, to elementary school, when you envied your classmate who got Heelies (when they were all the rage) to high school, when you were heartbroken after realizing that girl who you definitely dislike, is dating your crush.We can’t escape it.
Jealousy is like a seed that’s planted in us when we’re born, that begins to germinate once we are cognizant of those around us, whose leaves begin to unfurl once we’re in school and bombarded with the struggles of puberty and peer pressure, and which blooms by the time we’re in college and have entered the rat race of the entire world. (Forgive me for my nature metaphors).
As natural as jealousy is though, there is a kind of jealousy that I hate. The kind that guts me whenever it sneaks up on me because it confirms how much of a bad person I am or can be. It’s the jealousy of a friend, worse the jealousy of a best friend.
I’m fortunate to be surrounded by and connected to intelligent, successful and beautiful friends. Honestly, when I hear the word ‘squad’, I grin because I know that I have the best squad of friends ever.
But as much as I love them, sometimes it bothers me that they’re just SO awesome because it makes me jealous. It’s one thing to be jealous of someone and pass it off as human nature, but when you’re jealous of a friend, it’s almost as if you’re not happy for your friend’s accomplishments or that you want them to fail. It’s not that. I am, and will continue to be, proud of my friends but I can’t help the green dwarf in me that wishes that I were as successful as they are.
Let me give an example. I have a friend who is the genius and financial whiz of our group. She’s great, friendly, kind, super intelligent, and she’s a guru when it comes to all things money-related.
My girl gets giddy when she talks about life insurance and CDs (certificates of deposit). Giddy I tell you! Instead of me to be simply awed and leave it at that, I’m overcome with jealousy because she knows what I want to know.
I’ve always loved money. In case that makes me sound greedy, let me clarify by saying I’ve always loved the art of making and dealing with money. Economics was one of my favourite subjects in high school, I’m always discovering and downloading some budget app or the other, and one of my favourite words is ‘mogul’. You get the picture.
Like I’ve mentioned before, I want to own a business (more like a conglomerate of businesses) when I grow up. But I’ve always told myself to wait. I couldn’t get a job when I was younger because the Nigerian job market is a mess. It’s barely worth it to buy stocks because the economy is permanently on a rollercoaster (it’s currently in free-fall at the moment). I’ve basically filled my head with all of these excuses but after meeting my friend, I realize how silly I’ve been. I’ve been stuck focusing on the roadblocks instead of planning, and putting things in place, for the future ahead.
So yes, that’s my green-tinged rant.
PSA: I actually wrote these posts a few months ago but I didn’t post it because I felt ashamed afterwards. But I returned to this post because:
- I’ve been remiss by avoiding this blog for the past few months because school was a never-ending struggle (filled with work and responsibilities)
- I’ve got the opportunity to spend more time with this gem I call my friend and my jealousy has turned to simple admiration. I’m no longer envious about her knowledge and ambitions because I know more about how she’s accomplished all that she’s done. More importantly though, another dear friend of mine recommended that I actually follow the Bible’s advice.
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” – Matthew 6:33
Essentially, this Bible verse advises me to stop worrying about my progress and what I could or should be accomplishing, and instead focus on improving my relationship with God so that on the way, He will reveal His purpose for my life, and my passion will shine through.
The problem with jealousy is you become so focused on a person’s accomplishments, and start to subconsciously assume that you can only succeed or achieve through that person’s path. This mindset is very limiting because there are multiple avenues available for people to explore and find their niche. So my pseudo conclusion from my initial rant is to avoid jealousy, despite how natural it is, and focus more on God and myself so we can figure out a way for me to succeed, in my own specialized way.
If you’ve ever experienced this kind of jealousy, feel free to comment and share how you got over it, or if you’re still experiencing it, tell me what it’s about.
Anyway, it’s summer now so perhaps I’ll get to rant more often.