Excavating the paradigm of pre-teen disquietude.
Jealousy has always been a foreign concept and the few times I have ever felt it left me feeling perturbed. What on earth do I do with this disconcerting feeling? Call me a late bloomer or bizarrely content with the intricacies of my blurry demeanor but I truly didn’t experience jealousy growing up. Not even when all my friends got a cabbage patch kid and my parents found them too expensive; until I made one out of tan nylons and all of my mothers cotton balls did she finally heave a heavy sigh and buy me one. In school, when the pretty girls in class would tell me I was ugly and weird I would shrug and saunter off into a notebook, creating stories where they would star as the villains that, not surprisingly, were tossed into outer space by a magical unicorn. You can never really hate unicorns and I hoped that my imaginary readers would understand the necessary hurling.
I recall the very first feeling of jealousy I ever had. It was in my pre-teens when my sister, a model at the time, had very long hair and for some reason my mother had decided to cut mine. Staring at my reflection dismally at the unrecognizable boy in front of me in a pink dress and blue tights I couldn’t help but want to send that fictional unicorn into my sisters room with scissors to cut off her hair. Recollecting the feelings of angst that bubbled to the surface of my thoughts, I looked into the brewing cauldron of my mind and realized that jealousy had made me look like a wicked witch, in a pink dress, blue tights and horrid short hair. It wasn’t a feeling that I welcomed, nor did I the image.
So I did what I knew best, pen in hand, possibly with some bubble gum stuck on it, I executed a list of how the emotion made me feel. I lay on the floor, wiggling my toes in my tights, eating a chocolate and wrote my little heart out. It’s interesting; at the time I defined jealousy as not being grateful for what I have. Looking back, that was a very accurate articulation that I concluded upon, and in my pink-penned list I told myself that I was going to embrace the dude-like hair. I decorated that scalp with every possible hairpin, spikes, hair spray and glittery clips until my hair collapsed in exhaustion and finally grew out. In a way that incident shaped my belief that when a person harbors jealousy they are not aware of the good grace that is bestowed upon them.
Later on, I read some poignant literature, which eventually turned out to be one of my favorite books of all time. It was called The Greengage Summer by Rumer Godden, a coming of age novel for the susceptible tween and was based in France. I was drawn to it immediately and discovered it in Junior High school on one of my many long Saturdays in the library. I actually found a way to buy it from the library and still cherish the tattered copy, or maybe I told the librarian that I lost it. Maybe. There was a sentence in there that reverberated so deeply that I never forgot it. One of the characters discussed jealousy and said that the act itself wasn’t wrong but what you did with it was. Somehow that really stuck. The competitive nature in me experienced jealousy in terms of getting to the finish line of life first, which was pretty idiotic because when you compete, abstrusely you’re only going head to head with yourself, everyone has his or her own pace, but that conclusion came later on too. It’s amazing how many stilettos have dropped on my head to create the epiphanies of my life.
How do I feel about it now? I know that I’m so content with a beating heart, clean water, and good friends and family with a pile of stilettos that anything that comes into my life is a bonus. I know, I’ve said it before but it composes the tip of the hayrick of things that I am in appreciation of. I have no room for jealousy; it doesn’t rear its pink head in my hood. Most of the time when faced with something that seems unreachable at the present moment, I visualize that I have attained it, I stick a heart-shaped post-it on my fridge and tell myself every single day that I can achieve any goal as long as the intent is humble and noble and that I am thankful for what I have now. I’ve come to realize that the pre-teen excavation I embarked upon evolved into a quiet disregard of jealousy and turned it into a passion for all that I have been blessed with instead. It is indeed an honorable paradigm to encompass.