Tag Archives: jealousy

*GUEST SUBMISSION* Letter 52: Jealousy Ain’t Pretty

30 May

Lauren writes:

Dear me at 15:

Jealousy ain’t pretty.  Since you hit the double-digits, you’ve found a way to analyze, dissect, and find ways to be jealous of pretty much everyone who walks down the hall in high school.  This girl’s hair is longer and more manageable than yours.  That girl has two thighs that are separate and don’t make brushing noise when she walks down the hall.  This girl has a boyfriend and sucks face with him in front of the lockers (however, that boy has atrocious acne and is a supreme jackass, so she can keep him).

My dear, it is time for you to learn a valuable lesson:  Don’t be so jealous!  It doesn’t do anything to empower you. Staring at This Girl’s long, shiny hair won’t make yours any more luscious.  You just start to pick on your own hair that much more viciously, becoming that much more frustrated, making you feel that much more doomed to live your life with a frizzy Jennifer Aniston “shag.”

Not only will being jealous cause your self-esteem to plummet; it also wreaks havoc on how you view your friends.  When your good friend (who grew up to create The Hindsight Letters) sang in the talent competition with a voice that brought half the audience to tears, you couldn’t even be happy for her.  Instead, you wished you had a voice that didn’t make mirrors crack (and let me tell you right now, you never will.  End the dream now.)  When you saw how excited everyone was for her, and how no one could stop talking about how wonderful her performance was, you felt the Green-Eyed Monster take over you more and more.  When she was later was walking in the hallway, surrounded by congratulatory fans, you pouted in the corner, fuming.  Now really, is it so hard to tell her how wonderful she was in the show?  Deep down, you ARE happy for her.  And you know that wishing won’t make your voice angelic, your grades better, or your boobs bigger.  Being jealous of those things won’t help you get them.  Not to mention, having most of the things your are so jealous of (see “bigger boobs”) won’t make you happy.  The things worth having in life are the things you have to work for.  When was the last time you took a singing lesson, hmm?

So stop looking on with a critical eye, put down the padded bra (you’re not fooling anybody), and go hug your friend!  High-fives and grins beats pouting and premature wrinkles any day of the week.

And relax, by the time you hit 19, you’ll have filled out and discovered the magic of flat irons.

Lauren still can’t carry a tune, but she did grow out her hair and is thrilled for all of the things her talented and brilliant friends have accomplished.

_________________

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Letter 40: All, Only and Best

28 Feb

 

Dear me at 17:

Retract your claws a little bit, please. It’s so unladylike.

You are sitting cross-legged on a beige corduroy couch. You’re in one of the more quiet rooms at one of Jim’s infamous house parties. You’d be completely by yourself if it weren’t for the couple making out in the corner. Your arms are crossed over your chest, and, whether you want to admit it or not, you’re doing some big time pouting.

You are an extremely passionate person. You feel everything very strongly. You love strongly. You hate strongly. You wallow strongly. And when you’re having an insecure moment, well, you’d better believe you dig your heels right in and stay a while. You like to roll around in the emotion. Really experience the misery.

Right now, you are consumed with jealousy. You are convinced that some girl, some friend of a friend of a friend, is trying to move in on your boyfriend. You are convinced that she is crazy in love with him and is lurking behind every closed-door at every house party, just waiting for a moment alone with him. A chance to convey her lust and general superiority to you. Every time that your boyfriend has a moment by himself, you agonize over the many ways in which he could be betraying you. The many ways in which this girl could sway his opinion in her favour. You grill your boyfriend about every detail of the moments you were apart. You demand answers to questions you shouldn’t even be asking. You generally act like a douche bag.

Let me tell you something here: There is nothing less attractive than insecurity. And nothing drives a person away faster than jealousy.

Jealousy is really one of the only emotions that is completely and totally negative. It’s all bad. It’s completely seductive and insidious because it’s based entirely on speculation and assumption. It draws on the magical power of the unknown. It creeps into your mental landscape and asks you to doubt yourself. And for whatever reason, it can be extremely convincing in its argument.

You have always been a jealous personality. As a child, you wanted ALL of your Mother’s attention, one hundred percent of the time. As a student, you wanted to be the teacher’s ONLY pet. As a friend, you wanted to be the BEST friend they’d every had. Essentially, you have always wanted to be everyone’s ALL, ONLY, and BEST. And anything short of that has driven you downward into an envious spiral.

Honey, you really need to take it down a notch.

Not only because you will drive away the boyfriend that all this jealousy is trying to keep (although that is a fact). But also because feeling this way will drive you absolutely, completely, stark-raving crazy.

You could sit on that beige couch for hours, stewing in your own juices, fantasizing about how this girl or that girl likes your boyfriend. You could flesh out all the details of their romance in your head. All the moments in which they could have realized their passion behind your back. You could sit on that couch for days, weeks and months, and still never have the real story. Because that story is based on emotions that aren’t yours. Maybe this girl does like your boyfriend. But maybe she doesn’t. Maybe your boyfriend might consider cheating on you. Or maybe he might be so completely in love with you that he couldn’t imagine being with anyone else.

Here is the scary thing about relationships (and I mean all relationships: romantic relationships, friendships, business partnerships…): They are based completely on trust. And trust is a choice. It involves a great deal of faith. You choose to trust your partner. You choose to believe what they tell you. And you have faith that your trust isn’t in vain. Because in the end, the only person whose heart you can be inside, the only person whose emotions you can know with one hundred percent certainty, is yourself.

At some point in life, you have to choose to believe in your own value. And you have to choose to believe that the people in your life understand your worth. After all, how can you expect people to put their faith in you, when you can’t take a leap with them?

So please, get up from that couch, step over the massive PDA and go find your boyfriend. Grab a Wine Cooler and allow yourself to laugh a little bit. Forget about what’s-her-name and focus on having a good time (There’s a reason why Jim’s house parties are infamous. Go take advantage of it). And the next time you begin to wonder whether you’re still someone’s All, Only, and Best, just tell yourself to quit pouting and move on. It might be tough, but I guess you’ll just have to trust me on this one.

_____________

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