No, you know what, fuck calling it Envy. Let me really name it: Jealousy. Addressed as Envy it sounds like some kind of charmingly mischievous winter sprite, who takes rainwater baths and runs naked through the woods, except she has really long hair that is always, somehow, very strategically placed over her boobs, butt, and vagina.
Jealousy is most certainly not a charmingly mischievous winter sprite. Jealousy fucking sucks. Jealousy is a no-good tramp who wears too much makeup, and skips around whispering in your ear, “Fuck that ho,” until the acid in your stomach begins to boil.
Jealousy is toxic.
My relationship with Jealousy is complicated, because it involves another bitch—Inferiority Complex. Jealousy and Inferiority Complex are BFF, and they both, collectively, are the worst. They tag team each other to throw blow after blow at my self-confidence, and at their strongest and most diabolical they collaborate to hold separate ends of a curtain that blocks my view from rational thought, essentially blinding me from the idea of what it is to act like a calm and decent human being.
The oddest thing is that Jealousy and Inferiority Complex will appear in the most unexpected ways. Sure, sure, there are the twinges I feel as they run their fingers along my spine when someone I know has a good thing happen, but those instances are neutralized by the simultaneous introduction of Happiness, a natural enemy. I oft walk away from those circumstances wishing that good thing had happened to me, yet happy it befitted my acquaintance.
However, Jealousy and Inferiority Complex decide to give it their all when I have no relation to the outside party whatsoever, which goes to show what a pair of twats they are. There are mornings when I’ve left the train for work crestfallen after hearing about all the goodies the duo of models standing next to me are expected to receive after their catwalks in New York, London, Paris, and Milan fashion weeks. Or I’ll walk down the platform with knots in my stomach, envisioning the month-long Asian tour the finance bro in front me was bragging about to his coworker. I’ve even stood in line behind a wonderfully tanned and toned person at the grocery store, comparing my shopping basket to theirs, only to conclude that this miracle of a being has only fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins to buy, and the piece of shit I am is going home with tortilla chips, animal crackers, cheese, chocolate, and beer.
Because you see, at the end of the day, Jealousy and Inferiority Complex know the button to push. It’s the big, bright, bulbous red one, with the question “Why Not Me?” printed over it. I’ve made it too easy for them to access.
But I’ve also started to implement a strategy restricting them. It involves building a nice, clear, plastic, heavy-duty box around it, the kind that would protect the nuclear launch codes in an overly produced macho thriller. And the way I’ve started to build it is by spending time alone. This is a tricky solution, because the temptation of following spiraling rabbit holes can lead to awful places, but the subtraction of other actors—of anything else I could compare myself to—provides the clear stage I need to practice a monologue helping me understand why I feel and react the way I do. What I have to recite is this:
Life is not fair and most likely never will be. It wasn't built that way. What you feel doesn't make you a bad person until you begin to let it interfere with how you treat people or yourself. It's normal to want good things, why would you not? But the blessings of good things upon others does not make you less worthy, or less able. It just didn’t happen that way. Life is random. Or, as random as you will allow it to be. You may have to work harder. That might be the way it is for you. You may never get what you want. Or it could be that one day you’ll wake up and it’ll all start to fit, because the other key players got in line. It isn't entirely up to you, not in that regard. What is entirely up to you is how you feel about what you produce and contribute to the world. Are you proud of it? Has it made you happy? Has it made you better? Just you, personally; not better based on the opinions others have. If yes, then you’re okay. Because everything is layers, everything is detail. Strip away what you covet in another person and you’ll find that at the core, you and he are the same. What is going to differentiate you is whether at that core, without the layers, without the details, happiness can exist on its own.
I’ve got, like, maybe close to two-thirds of it memorized so far.