With my long, garbagey history of comparing myself with other people, I surprise and delight myself nowadays with my ability to celebrate the victories of others. I am far from perfect along these lines because I can still make the mistake of feeling unloved if I don’t get what I want, and then feeling worse about it when someone else gets that thing. Very silly and embarassing to take it personally, as pre-school aged kids do. Fortunately, I don’t actually frown, cross my arms, flail, or scream when I’m disappointed, but I do sometimes feel emotions that make me want to.
Now that I am more grown up (note that it is a relative statement), I am sometimes able to put myself out of my mind and completely focus on someone else. It’s refreshing to have a break from myself.
Today, one of my dear friends shared with me that a book proposal that she has bled, sweat (sweat? sweated? not swote. hmm. okay, just looked it up, and if what I found is correct, one can choose between sweat or sweated.), and cried over has been submitted and given a nod. When I think about how she has worked for hours at her sometimes unreliable laptop to tell human stories that are thoughtful and soulful and now her work is being accepted, it feels like justice!
Twenty years ago, my thoughts might have been more along these lines: “She is so smart and talented. I am a dumb loser. She writes, dances, plays soccer. I don’t do anything. She’s even pretty and she has a trim stomach. I feel like a beluga.” Then, I would have likely sought out some of my favorite fatty food in which to take a swim until all I could do was float in a comatose state.
This new way, this non-horribly-mean-whale approach, is much better. I see confetti and streamers in my head. There is a sign with her name on it. I’m happy to see her name there not only because she deserves it, but also because I love her. And if I love her, perhaps that means that I am finally gaining some regard for myself. And deserving it.