"The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible." -Vladimir Nobokov

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Life Jealous

Comic by Mark Stivers

Sometimes, I just want to live someone else's life. Specifically the people I admire most. Successful writers, my favorite Youtubers, people who I think are more beautiful or smart or funny than me. That's not to say I sit around all day and mope about how terrible my life is, but sometimes the feeling is strong enough that it scares me a little.

I call it being life jealous. For those of you who haven't experienced this before (which I find rather hard to believe), here is a quick definition of my own making:

Life Jealousy: The overwhelming desire to live someone else's life. I'm not talking about wanting someone's wardrobe, or wishing you had a cottage by the lake like they do. This feeling is characterized by a desire for another person's job, friends, family, and experiences. Sometimes it gets so bad that you find yourself wanting their problems, too (because hey, they're bound to be better than yours, right?).
Note: This often leads to the thought that if only you could become more like them, your life would be magically imbued with the potential for awesomeness.

But the truth is (and this is a hard thing for me to come to terms with, too) that these people you admire so much for their spunk and creativity, and for whom life seems to come so easily, would probably laugh at you if you told them you thought they had a perfect life. No one's life is a piece of cake. No one is spunky or creative all the time. Everyone has bad days, and everyone deals with their own bouts of life jealousy.

When you're caught up in the fantasy of someone else's life, it can be hard to see your own with an unbiased eye. But when you think about it, (and I'm going to get kind of cheesy here) our lives are already imbued with the potential for awesomeness, and when we find it, our own potential, we won't need anyone else's.

So let's think about who you're life jealous of. Most of mine are listed in the People Who Rock My World post I did back in November, but I have one addition: Robyn Schneider. She's a writer, fashionista, and generally an all-around beautiful person. Oh! And she's friends with some really cool people, like Kaleb Nation and other great YouTubers. Obviously getting over my life jealousy is still a work in progress, but I'm trying to see them as role models and not people I constantly compare myself to. Let me know in the comments if you've experienced this and who your role models are!


  1. I was chatting with my wife earlier today about jealousy, and how I've never really been a jealous person. And...it doesn't sound like you are, either -- I get what you're saying. You're wise to focus on people like the Vlogbrothers and all the other people you look up to as just that: people you look up to.

    You said it best here, I think: "our lives are already imbued with the potential for awesomeness." I'm not sure I got that until sometime in my 30s; you have a great head start! I always did the things I loved doing and hoped that I could turn them into something more (because I had role models who did), but I lacked the confidence in myself. Weird thing: I never doubted my abilities, but I doubted the person I was.

    I'll always have my list of favorite writers I look up to, but the people I find myself looking up to more, lately, are people who just...do lots of things. Chris Hardwick, Adam Savage, and many other people who do several things they love and share it. But more than that, I look up to friends who've made it, or those who have never given up their dreams. The coolest thing about looking up to people you know? You have access to them and they will do all they can to help you out, even if all they may do is remind you that they've known you for a long time and see in you the same awesomeness (not even potential for awesomeness, but full-blown awesomeness!) you see in them.

  2. I love this post. It's something I've been going through so it really spoke to me! But we need to remember that God gave us each our own lives that are unique, beautiful and that suits us!