Honestly, it’s not something I normally feel. The last time I felt jealousy in a serious way, that I can remember, was when I was thirty years old, and someone I went to high school with had just published her first novel. That got me. Then I read it and things got so much worse. It was this wonderful, evocative, luscious, brilliant work. I felt just sick.
But I spent a week or so meditating on it, and I came to terms with what I felt, and I was able to both neutralize the feelings, and turn them into inspiration. I didn’t deny my feelings, sometimes people have something you want, or achieve something you’d like to achieve. It’s hard to explain, but I embraced them in a friendlier way. I looked at what I had and what I’d done, compared it realistically to the rest of the world, and then I took steps toward achieving what I wanted to achieve. Slowly, over time, I stopped feeling jealousy for the most part. It was very liberating.
Last night an NYPD helicopter was circling right over my block, coming closer than I’d ever seen a helicopter come before. People on Facebook reminded me that Obama was in my neighborhood having dinner at Sarah Jessica Parker’s house. I have to be honest, I felt a wave of envy. As that helicopter circled overhead, shining lights over the roofs (looking for snipers?) I desperately wanted to have a fabulous apartment and Sarah Jessica Parker’s wardrobe, and to not have to think about things like how much all this medication for my cat is costing me. I wanted the kind of fairytale life where a Barack Obama would come to my apartment for dinner, and all these magical whirlwinds of activity would start spinning around me as I was just going about, living my life.
I will feel much better when I finish the edits of this book, and if I can get it to a place where I love it. Because, in truth, I am leading exactly the life I have always wanted. I haven’t always been successful at all the things I’ve tried (hence the cat-medical-bills worry) but at least I’m trying, and the game isn’t over yet! I also realize how good I have it in so many ways, like living in the neighborhood I do, even if Barack Obama isn’t coming to my house for dinner. (And what would I feed him anyway? I don’t cook. Amy’s frozen pizza, my favorite dinner? Oh wait, do you think Sarah Jessica Parker is doing the cooking?)
I will also feel a lot better when my freaking camera is repaired and I can go out and photograph things like the president coming to my neighborhood for dinner! I’m not going to get over missing that opportunity for a while, I can tell you. (That’s Buddy giving me head butts above.)