Sunday, March 18, 2012

Nobody Likes A Party Pooper

I think all of us suffer from jealousy, especially bloggers. We only see a small window of people's lives in their blogs. And often bloggers only show the good bits. Who really wants to admit that they feel lonely all the time, feel under appreciated, or do lots of work for no pay. Once you write something like that, it makes the situation more real. I personally would rather focus on the positive.
As I blogger, I find it really easy to get depressed seeing what I perceive as other people's success. So to combat the blues that accompany reading other blogs, I have three messages that I regularly tell myself. They usually happen in this order.

1. Don't be jealous. It seems kind of obvious, but I will chant to myself, "Don't be jealous." Until the general angry feeling goes away.
Don't get caught in the web of jealousy. There's usually a large spider nearby. (Photo credit to Justin. I think he was playing with my camera when this was taken.)

2. Don't compare yourself. I think it's alright to admire someone's work, but comparing yourself to others is never going to end well. It leaves you with a dissatisfied feeling. The internal conversation tends to look like this: "I can do that. I can do that even better than that person. Why are they getting all that attention for something I can do better?" Or: "Wow, I'm really not good at what I do. Maybe I should copy some of there ideas, then I can get more attention." Or something like that. The minute you start comparing yourself, you set to go back to step #1. If you get past the comparison, you get to pass Go and move to #3.
Comparing yourself makes you feel rather small. But everyone has to start somewhere. Even trees.

3. "I'm really happy for them." You have to mean it. Usually I'm looking a someone's wedding or vacations photos when I start having to chant #1. In order to pass #3, you not only have to be genuinely happy for the person, you are not allowed to think, "They will probably get divorced in a couple years." or "Their art will be irrelevant in a year because it is so trendy." That won't improve the situation for anyone. But being happy for someone else's success will make you feel better in the end. Seriously.
Happiness is an open road. If you start looking towards someone's headlights, you'll crash. Freedom lies ahead of you.

The last little thing I have to remind myself on occasion is that even though some has been featured on a TV show, magazine, or something else you wish you were featured in, it doesn't mean that they are paying all their bills with that one job. It means they got a feature. And you should be saying to yourself, "I'm really happy for them." You should tell them too. Everyone loves a celebration, unless you are being jealous, comparing yourself, and wishing ill will towards them. Then you are a party pooper. And nobody likes to hang out with a party pooper.


Cindy said...

I will hang out with you even when you feel like a pooper!

Jennifer said...

These are good thoughts to have. I could benefit from repeating these things to myself, because I am always comparing myself to others, always berating myself for what I perceive as a failing on my part by comparison, and just wanting to give up doing anything. I think the grass always seems greener in someone else's world, but really, you have no idea what sort of failures someone else had, or what they had to do to get to where they are. I have a few patterns that I really really invested myself in, spent a lot of money on yarn and editing (etc., etc.), and then they totally BOMBED. Totally and completely bombed. And that is pretty devastating, emotionally, because then I might see someone release a pattern for a garter stitch baby blanket and it's the most popular pattern ever, and I just want to hide in my cave and never emerge.


Self-deprecating thoughts are never productive. For me, I think my choices are to hide in my cave and never emerge, or move forward with pursuing my dream of being a knitting designer in whatever capacity I can handle.

Good luck!

Andi said...

I think reminding myself that I like the choices I've made helps. It's easy to imagine that people got successful by chance, but if you really think about all of the behind the scenes work they must be doing and the sacrifices they made to have the time to do all that, it's easier to not be jealous. I wouldn't give up some of my fun experiences to be more successful and I'm happy that I make the choice to not work nonstop.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for posting this- I totally agree. I guess it's not so much in the big picture, but when I see someone who has just finished a really, really beautiful piece of knitting and all I can see are the miles of work I have to go or all of the mistakes I've made, it can get pretty hard not to be jealous.

peglegparadiddle said...

You're so awesome! This is the best blog post I've ever read EVER!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely true Audry. I've been thinking along similar lines lately, and you have encapsulated it all. I like what fern1knits said too... right now, I think I am hiding in my cave!

Keep on at it girl, because I think you have a bright future and the guts to keep at it (success is 90% toil and 10% luck, or something like that, isn't it?)

Anonymous said...

This is the best advice I have read in a long time Audry. I've been blogging a few years now and I would say that probably over the last couple of years some people seem to have become so comptetitive with their blogs and I always just find myself asking why?!

Carol said...

You have a great blog. You always have something interesting to say and your photos are really well done. Keep up the good work!

Alina Sayre said...

I like these photos that teach honest life lessons. Especially, "if you're looking at someone else's headlights, you'll crash." :) Facebook can often blow that temptation out of proportion.

This 3-part chant reminds me of The Help: "You is is is important..."

AC said...

I'm a little jealous that you finish projects so fast. ;) And they always look so good too! I'm so slow.

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