Cleareyedgirl

moments : words : images

Social Media often has a bad press.  On a bad day it is true that posts I see on my timeline can trigger feelings of envy.  Below are the kinds of thoughts I have noted down as I have thought about what triggers these thoughts:

I am envious of everyone and it makes me sick.

I envy the people in long term relationships that can introduce others into their lives without it totally fucking everything up.

I envy those that can talk honestly about their desires to each other without someone flouncing off in a sulk that could last for days and threaten the business that they own together and the stability and happiness of children they parent.

I envy people who can still talk about a soulmate, a one true love, that can hold onto the fairy tale that I can no longer see the magic in.

I envy those that seem to be able to be human with each other, not perfect, or seeking an unattainable state of unconditional love.

I envy people who like themselves, who can carry on liking themselves when they get things wrong, who can forgive themselves for not being perfect and not getting it right all the time.

I envy those who can speak their mind to each other, unafraid that this will be the straw that breaks the relationship’s back. The ones that can actually be mean about each other, and hear it and still love each other, or even go a little way into not loving each other and then come back together again.

I envy those that can have ‘the talk’, can decide to stop living together and not have to bad mouth each other because of it, those that can divide things equally and fairly and who can set a good example to their children.

I envy those that can enjoy flirting with others without the guilt of the ‘one and true love’ story and without the expectation that they will be everything to each other from that point on.

I envy those whose relationship stands up to the test of time, who when they have to work on the relationship are not trying to reweave something that should just be unpicked and started again from the beginning.

I envy those who leave and don’t look back, who don’t carry on second guessing themselves in every relationship afterwards.

I envy those who have a partner who will take photos of them to their specifications. Who will join in with their project and not just ‘leave them to it’ which is really just a convenient way of abdicating responsibility and alleviating themselves of the requirement to be involved.

I envy those who have and appreciate the kind of partner I was. Committed, involved, proactive and endlessly willing.

I envy people who have the kind of freedom that I have and who are able to enjoy it to the full without looking back like some kind of Lot’s Wife figure.

Social Media exacerbates this envy.  Showing me images of what I feel I don’t have.  Encouraging me to contrast, compare and find my own life wanting.  Showing me where I have failed.  Showing me what I have lost.  Showing me what, it seems, others have that I covet.

It’s a fine line between envy and jealousy, between recognising that what I see is what I want and aspire to and feeling that someone else has both my slice of that particular pie and their own, and there is no more to go around.

And yet, without social media I would still be moving blindly through life on the relationship escalator (a term I have been introduced by social media).  I would not have met the wonderful people I have met.  I would not has tested my wings and learnt I could fly.  I would not have a safe perch to return to every night.  Social media is many things, to many people but to me it has been a connection to something I have struggled to identify most of my life and that is what I actually want.  In my envious responses to other’s posts I can access my desire, my needs and my aspirations in a way that I had, until now, found pretty much impossible.

This seems counter intuitive doesn’t it?  Surely for social media to be a good influence it should impart healthy positive feelings?  As I write this I realise that in fact what I encounter here is my shadow, my despised other, my difficult self and that is actually a good thing in my world.  As I imbibed the ‘good girl’ ethic from birth and strove most of my life to be one to the detriment of my personal development and that of my relationships social media allows me a) to have a glimpse into a world where women are not being good girls and b) recognise through my reaction to that world what I actually do want.

Social media is a mirror. An intensely personal mirror, one that I have grown through looking into and one that I am grateful for.  It is also the primary method of almost continual contact not only with my love but also with many people I now count as friends who see a different version of me to the one many people who have known me for years have.  An authentic me, able to articulate desire and envy and upset and joy, filled with curiosity and empowered to fulfil that part of myself by the support of the people here.

My list of envies have become a list of aspirations, some of which I am in process of achieving.  Cheered on by my social media friends.

 

16 thoughts on “I am envious of everyone

  1. I suppose I would have to say that “envy” is not always a healthy, or good emotion to feel. But it is of course a completely natural one . . . and like all emotions, can often motivate and inspire. And I think it is wonderful for what you have achieved and will continue to I’m sure.
    Oh, and by-the-way, I’m positive that I am not the only one to envy your “eye” for your sensual and stylish photos !!!
    Xxx – K

    1. I think envy is very different to jealousy which I agree is a very unpleasant feeling to experience. We see ourselves through such a tainted mirror sometimes, that the positive responses I receive here and on twitter really help to counter that view! Thanks so much for commenting x

  2. This is a very interesting perspective. Social media can be a cruel place, showing us our deficiencies, limitations, short-comings and highlighting our miseries. As much as we know it’s all an illusion it’s hard to counteract what we feel.

    And then there’s the good side. New friends, expanded horizons and finding how to get out of the personal traps we’ve caged ourselves into over the years because we didn’t know otherwise.

    Finding personal authenticity is liberating – go you.

    melody xx

    1. thanks Melody. I think the cruellest place is our own mind tbh. No one else can make me feel as bad as I can. Embracing my deficiencies and seeing them as not so much as short comings as part of who I am has been a long journey but it feels so much more comfortable in my head now.

  3. The last paragraph says it best

    But with your beauty and experiences I think you are the major subject of everyone else’s envy (or aspiration)

  4. Oh I have to say I would include so many of your envys in my list. I tagged u in the tweet about this topic because I think you really are someone who explores in your own mind how social media helps and hinders. And I was right. Great take on the prompt – and fab writing as always x

    1. I thought you would get it! Thank you so much for the tag, having you draw it to my attention meant I was thinking about it and so writing was easy.

  5. Great post!
    I recognise many of the envies, which for me, leave a bad taste in my mouth. I don’t want to be so negative and of course I want my friends to be happy, but why can’t I have what they have?
    It’s a double-edged sword.

  6. Oh wow, what a thoughtfully constructed and thought-provoking piece. You express yourself so well and you’ve trodden where many of us wouldn’t dare – I applaud you and I hope soon you can embrace more of your ‘new normal’.
    View yourself the way your Twitter friends and supporters do. You are probably more ‘Eye’ than your previously-formatted persona now, you’ve spread your wings and felt what it’s like to fly, don’t put yourself back in that cage. x

  7. Love this post! So many of us have been where you describe and really understand. I too have learned so much from having access to social media and the lovely people I have made friends with. Yes, there are the bad sides to it, but more than naught I have benefited a lot by learning more and more about myself. Thank you so much for sharing this. xx

  8. This is an deep honest look into how most of us can feel about social media. I like how you made this a positive, knowing how you feel and why you feel that way. Thanks to May for tagging you in the tweet I’m happy she did and that you wrote for #sb4mh. Reading your post made me realize I need to not be so negative.
    Happy Thoughts…

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