I've always been grateful that, for all my other shortcomings, I've never suffered much from envy. Sure, I admire and often wish for what I don't have (thick hair comes to mind, as does the ability to go on road trips without worrying about rest stops every two hours, and, you know, a savings account would be nice...that sort of thing), but it's never been all-consuming or kept me up at night. No, I have other worries for that.
And it's not that I'm so comfortable in my own skin, because I'm not, though certainly moreso now than I ever have been. And it's not that I don't have regrets, because I do, on occasion, but I also know the futility of past-life-living and, really, who has time for that?
But the other day I was struck so exquisitely with a sensation I could not name, that I hadn't felt often enough to assign it one, and only after a restless night did I realize it was by-the-book/Shakespearean-tragedy-level envy. (And, of course, it was brought to me by that devil-and-his-fiddle, social media).
The post was a classic road-not-taken success story, one that could have been mine had I put one foot in front of the other at that last fork. The fact that I didn't, that I had so little interest in where that road led, made no difference to this pure, hungry, wasting, suckage of energy.
And suddenly I was glad--grateful, even--not for the path I'd taken (because you cannot reason with envy; it doesn't work that way), but that this was the first time I'd really succumbed to this variety of sticky sweet poison. Because now I see how one could live and die by such a tempting, niggling addiction, and how difficult it is to turn your dealer away once the sweet singing begins.