using your jealousy


(This post was inspired by Mara Glatzel's awesome post yesterday: Jealousy is my Greatest Teacher. You can read it before or after you read my words. I've been thinking about this topic for awhile and Mara's post gave me a good starting point to get into it.)

This is what i need to tell you today: it's ok if you feel jealous.

Use your jealousy, though. Don't let it fester. Don't let it eat you from the inside out. Make it your teacher. Let it teach you what you want enough to do-without for. What you want enough to work towards.

Let it teach you about your real desire.

I've had more than a few people jokingly (and semi-jokingly) tell me they're jealous of our going to Thailand for August. And I can totally and utterly understand their feelings. Earlier this month, several people I know went to the WDS in Portland and I felt that momentary flare of jealousy, because that would have been awesome. Seriously. There's a lot of places I would like to go to, things I would like to do, if I had unlimited funds. I don't have unlimited funds. That's just a fact.

Many of my amazing friends do not have the means to go to either the WDS or Asia. It would be super easy for them to be jealous and let that eat away at their happiness. I get it. I really, really do. I have been there for years and years of my life. Wanting to travel and not having the means to go where I felt I needed to go.

I used that desire, that burning desire (that jealousy of people who were going places I wasn't) to teach me what it was I really wanted. I didn't let it eat at my happiness that I couldn't go to the WDS or every writing/ photography/ blogging conference or to every belly dance festival. I knew what I wanted to save up for (this big trip - we've been talking about it for years). I had my eye on the prize, so to speak.

Not having enough money to do everything you want to do sucks. And using our jealousy as a teacher can't fix our shitty economy or years and years of racial/ class issues. We still all have to work together to fix our broken system. People who have no shelter and no food can't just manifest housing and food. I get that. I work towards social justice and equality and I hope you do, too.

In terms of the personal right now, right here, you can only do what you can do. Can only be where you are (right now). Sometimes, you have to wait for the things you really burn to do. (Sometimes you use fear to keep you from doing the things you really want to do. That's an entirely different issue.)

Make your long-term decisions based on what you desire, what you yearn for. Do you want to travel more than anything else? Get rid of one of your cars. Get rid of your cable TV. Find ways to travel for cheap. (Add income where/ if you can.)

This is your life. Live it consciously. Be who you are. Do what you love.