Envy’s dogged me my entire life. Not that I resent someone else having or getting something I want. It’s my desire to have that something. Recently, someone said “I sold a script to Steven Spielberg,” and my envy button went off. As I still haven’t sold even one of the novels I’ve written, it’s safe to assume that Steven Spielberg won’t call anytime soon.
Then there are my novels. I don’t envy the novelists. More power to them and congratulations on finding an agent and congratulations to the agent for selling the book. But I do envy the fact that they’ve succeeded where I haven’t. Yet. I hope it’s yet. Please let it be yet. Otherwise, why am I torturing myself? (You don’t have to answer.)
I’m not a religious person, but in the Old Testament, the sin of envy is related to envying people, so I tell myself “I’m good” since I envy situations rather than the recipients. My justification for envy and my inability to get rid of the emotion.
Envy’s actually been good for me. It motivates me. I want something someone else has and I strive for it. I’m motivated. I’m driven. When I was younger, I used to think that in my older years, I’d be less driven, but that’s not turned out to be true. I’m more driven than ever. The ticking clock of life is louder these days and I’m horrifyingly aware that a) I have less time to accomplish what I want to accomplish, and b) I have less energy to accomplish it. A double-edged sword.
So I drive on, impelled by wanting what I may never have. It must be the human condition. You think?