I read an article by Ryan holiday. It was about how to deal with jealousy.
Yesterday my girlfriend left to go to Firefly music festival. I was helping her pack and leave. I was tired, my girlfriend was about to leave for five days, and I was in a downtrodden mood.
Instead of partying it up at Firefly, I was scheduled to work for the next three nights. I’m not going to Firefly because instead of having my parents buy me a ticket, I told them, no, put the money into my travel fund. So that’s what they did.
If I’m taking a gap year to travel to Southeast Asia and I have to save the money myself, then these sacrifices have to be made. That thought didn’t keep me from feeling deep-seated jealousy. As much as I don’t want to feel jealousy. As much as I want my girlfriend to have a great time at Firefly, there’s envy in my heart that I’m not going.
And that day an email popped up in my inbox. An email from Ryan Holiday all about jealousy and posted on Thought Catalog.
He says that when we’re jealous about a specific thing like… A work of art. Or a music festival that you’re not going to but your friends are. It’s completely unfair to take that one piece or event out of context and compare yourself to it. For every person, there was a whole journey. An entire lifetime of experience that got that person there at that exact point in time and space.
So rather than comparing one thing that you want but don’t have, you have to compare your entire lives. Every hurt and struggle got them to that Firefly music festival just as much as the fun times in their life. Would you switch lives with them if you had to switch everything?
Typically, the answer is no.
So no, I’m not at Firefly music festival right now and my girlfriend is. But she’s also going to be attending college come September. I will still be working. And while she’s in school in December, I will be leaving December 1 to travel to Southeast Asia for hopefully close to eight months.
I wouldn’t change her life for mine because I’m satisfied with my trajectory. And if that means I have to miss a Firefly music festival to get there, that’s completely fine by me.