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Listen to your Jealousy

“I had been a seamstress for 8 years when I saw an ad to start a clothing label here in India with a partner. I moved to Goa from LA, then the place I was living in burned down and I decided I didn’t want to make dresses anymore, but I want to stay in India.”

This was the woman’s intro on an HGTV show where she was going to find a new dream home for the next step in her career, which was becoming “a digital nomad.”

She was also radiant. Bright, vibrant eyes, flawless skin. In hindsight, her beauty probably struck me especially cause I’m at least a decade older and bought my first wrinkle serum this week, but still, who needs to be that stunning?!?

As she wandered through the streets of Goa in search of a perfect home, I had a lot of thoughts. These included, but were not limited to, “What a space cadet. You’ll just stop your career and start a new one in a foreign country? Okay.” “She thinks she can just get everything she wants in a home where she has no actual job? You’re not in Kansas anymore, sweetie.” “Seriously, how is her skin so smooth?”

In all honestly, I was nearly vitriolic. I disliked her immensely. And that’s not my vibe. I like liking people. We’re all smart and wise and interesting in our own way. So this harsh reaction was out of character. But here’s where it gets interesting. I am learning that when something makes me react strongly, it’s time to take a look inside. Why all the snark? What was happening inside me?

The voice in my head came up with an answer pretty quickly. I’m at a point in my life where I’m ready for change. I’m ready for something new. I’m ready to work on smooth skin and a new lifestyle and a job that earns me lots of money and challenges me and aligns deeply with who I am the gifts I have. But, y’know, there’s been a pandemic on the go, and I’ve been laid off twice and started two new jobs remotely in 17 months. I’ve moved twice. I’ve faced the mortality of people that I love. I’ve made long overdue health-related changes. And yet, despite all that, I’m not as far along as I want to be. I’m doing great, all things considered, but I haven't started working on the big, audacious dream I have yet.

So that pretty, relaxed, idealistic beauty made me want to scratch her eyes out because she’s living my life. Because I’m jealous. She’s running free and listening to her gut, dreaming so big that she won’t fail and has total belief that she’s in the right place at the right time. She’s not the idiot here, is she? She’s pure and unafraid and is going to live a big, bold adventure, even if she doesn’t make it as a digital nomad.

I don’t hate her, I’m just excited for it to be my time to fling myself into the unknown, and for the first time in 17 months, to do it on purpose.

small//shift: Listen to your Jealousy. The next time your temper rises or judgement takes over, pause and turn inward. What’s your unmet need? What’s struggling to make its way to the surface? What’s the dream you’ve been squashing? Jealousy isn’t about what others are doing, it’s about what we’re not.

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