It’s no secret that one of the universal languages of women is that of jealousy. So when you have come to create a life that is full of happiness, produced out of hours of hard work and goal-setting (instead of hopes and dreams), how do you confront and share your life with others who want to sabotage your success?
Women have always found it hard teach themselves to be happy with their own success. I have often found myself picking up my cell phone to call a friend to tell them about the concert tickets I scored or the $100 bill I found on the ground, and then I realize that I may not be ready to deal with their responses. Not ready to deal with retorts of “Must be nice to buy $60 concert tickets” or “Why doesn’t stuff like that ever happen to me?” So what do you do when you have something to share, but no one secure enough to share it with?
It’s funny, because as I type this, I worry about how the people reading it will judge me. How they will think that it is uncouth to share an acknowledgment of jealously placed upon them. But really, it all goes back to the same basic idea—women hinder their own potential simply because they are unwilling to think beyond the judgments of others.
As I second-guessed my uploading of another Miami sunset to my Facebook profile, posted for all my friends and family back in blizzarding Kansas back to see this week, I wondered who I am hiding from. It’s my profile, I can place anything on it that I wish. Am I bragging? Nope. Just sharing a little slice of life and abundance, just like I would if I paid someone’s cell phone bill or bought them dinner. Is me sharing my happiness my way of saying, “I’m better than you”? Absolutely not. But for some reason, I think that the great “they” (whomever “they” happen to be) will think so, and this prevents me from sending postcards to friends or telling my mom I’m buying a brand new car.
This all goes back to the need to share—why do I have the urge to send postcards, the urge to celebrate my raise or recent new plans to visit Greece? Some of it is out of habit, making sure those close to me know what is going on, but other parts of it include simply wanting someone to share it with. And while happiness is occasionally squashed by the “Must Be Nice”-ers and the sideways glances, the satisfaction of working 50-60 hours weeks to live a life I sit and wonder at, is all worthwhile.
Do I sometimes self-censor? Yes. And it is done on auto-pilot. But why should I (or women in general) be ashamed of our own success? While my husband and his friends gladly tell each other their salaries with no apprehension of judgment, the thick silence I receive in response to our planned house-buying budget or the fact that I lost 10 pounds makes me think that us as women are sabotaging eachother’s success and happiness. Believe that you are worth enough, that you are worth your dreams and the ability to make real magic happen. Being woman doesn’t mean being miserable.
Sloughing through life will never be something I will have to face, simply because I choose to work with what I want instead of “accepting” that it will never happen. And while jealousy gently pauses me enough to keep my hubris in check, shouting my magic is something I am trying to tell myself to never be ashamed of.