Monday, February 21, 2011

Seeing Green

For those of you patient enough to still follow along after a more than two-month absence, first of all: Thank you and, second of all, you're probably more than curious to know what compelled a new entry after such a prolonged lapse.

The last few months I have been quite busy with any number of things, including but not limited to the following: completing projects, beginning new ones, celebrating birthdays and holidays, discovering Justin Bieber, shopping for one of the hottest spots at the Sundance Film Festival, and eating candy of all varieties.

Being busy is good, of course. But throughout my busy-ness -- really, throughout my whole life -- there is always the niggling voice in the back of my head, comparing what I am doing to what everyone around me is doing. Being in a creative field, I am lucky enough to have friends and acquaintances involved in all sorts of amazing endeavors, many of whom have achieved all sorts of success; one friend has her own line of products for Anthropologie, one is a celebrated event planner and entertaining expert/TV star, another is a writer with several book deals in the works, another pens one of the most successful decor blogs, well, ever...and the list goes on and on. I am lucky to have such fabulous friends!

I get so excited for my friends' success, and often I get to benefit directly from them, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit to the occasional pang of jealousy when I hear of their brushes with celebrities, their meals and party exploits at the country's hottest spots, their seats at fashion shows and stylish swag received by drool-inducing companies.... I admit it: I. Get. Jealous. I am not proud, but as long as I can remember, I have struggled with envying the kid who got the best grade on the test, who got the lead in the school musical (I was always the funny bit player) -- for better or worse, I have always wanted to be the best. At everything. It's especially ironic because there are about 3 things out of, well, a million that I am actually good at. So as you can see, it's been a long road from there to here.

My point (and I do have one) is that a few weeks ago I had a very liberating realization that has dramatically changed my perception of reality: I realized that, with a few small exceptions, I really like my life just like it is. I don't want to be on TV -- I talk too much and too honestly to avoid humiliating myself and most people who know me. I don't want to travel often for work -- I would miss my family and our routines that outwardly make me crazy but I secretly like. I don't even want to be famous -- the idea of people pestering me all the time sounds pretty horrendous, and I would hate to have to worry about what I looked like all the time!

After thinking a lot about it, all I really want is to be able to do what I love doing (check), pay my bills on time (check), and pay myself enough to feel like a real paycheck (working on it.) Of course, if some professional recognition comes along the way, that would be welcome, but more as a validation of my talents rather than a validation of ME. It has taken me a long time to figure this out, to realize that giving up on my lifelong desire to be THE BEST is more of a trade for being happy with what I have.

Happiness is different for everyone, and I don't begrudge anyone's success, as all of our circumstances are different -- some of us have kids, some don't; some are married, some aren't; some have lots of money, some are forced to live a little more creatively -- but I share this with you in the hopes that it may influence the way you look at your own life. I'm sure the green-eyed monster isn't gone for good, but for now, he is sleeping peacefully.
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