Vicarious living

I like to see my people winning. I really do. Even if I’m taking L’s and not doing so hot, it’s nice to see somebody on my team getting them W’s. Because that way, there’s a slim chance I’m gonna benefit. But seriously, it feels good. Hating takes a lot of energy I don’t have. Self-deprecation and staving off my descent into madness is a full-time job. So keep on making moves y’all. I’ll stay rooting.

Especially seeing people leaving shitty relationships and being with someone that appreciates them in totality. It’s beautiful to see that genuine happiness on both ends. Doubly so if you have intimate knowledge of what that person was dealing with prior. There’s something about seeing someone go from shit to shiny. For me it’s like I went through it too because I was so close to the madness. I was the one being called at odd hours of the day giving advice on the fly. I (generally) was the one trying to diffuse the volatile situations without it being awkward for everyone involved. Playing both fields is never fun.

Despite my happiness for others doing big things, I sometimes fall prey to my humanity. And by humanity I mean envy. See there’s a large difference between envy and jealousy. The latter implies possession and ill will towards whatever or whoever it is. It’s a desire to have what they have, rarely mutually. This person is seeking to correct this perceived imbalance with imbalance in their favor. For me, jealousy is wholly malicious. The jealous person wants to be their subject in every way if that’s what it takes to be “happy.”

Envy, on the other hand, is more so wanting to be on the same footing as someone else, but not at their expense or desiring favorable imbalance. I, for instance, am envious of some of friends that have great paying consistent jobs, places to call their own, and nice cars as a result of their hard work. I don’t want them to lose any of these adulting assets. I don’t desire selfishly to be better than them in any way. I just want to be in the club so to speak. I want to be on their level so we can have a “we’re adults” party with tons of wine, Fireball, bad decisions, and call-ins to work on Monday. This happens on the regular, but I still feel like a poser. I know what becoming a full fledged adult entails and I’m willing to sacrifice a piece of my sanity (what’s left of it) for some autonomy in this world.

For one of my friends, I’d rather him be on his way to being a big deal than me because he is literally carrying the team. Without him being where he is now, his whole family would be struggling a hell of a lot more and he’d be worse off than me. I’ve been blessed with the fortune of a highly educated, supportive, and loyal familial unit. I may feel like I’m a piece of shit for not being where I expected myself to be by now, but they’re not sweating me for it. My family’s livelihood isn’t resting on my shoulders like it was for my friend. So for that I’m so happy for him and how his life is turning out. I’m envious as fuck, don’t get me wrong, but I understand that’s how things have played out thus far. I’m sort of okay with it in a “fuck you, why couldn’t we just share the success” kind of way. Seriously I’m good.

The one thing I hate about being envious of the people around me is the feelings of inadequacy. I feel like I didn’t do enough or I did something wrong in the course of all of us making moves. But I’ll reiterate what that friend likes to remind me of every so often. He says I’m not lost, I’m just taking a few detours. I’ll reach the destination, but I need to focus on the road ahead to understand what it all is going to mean once I reach that checkpoint. I’m at the checkpoint of desperation and post-mortem quarter-life crisis, but I guess it’s some indicator of progress.

I guess it also helps that I live along a parallel line with another friend of mine. We’re both in the same situation except he has a supportive honey dip and I don’t (yet). But he mentioned something that was sort of profound in a way. He said that we both don’t like working for other people and that our next jobs may be our last, then we’re gonna take off for real. When I used to hear stuff like that years ago, I’d just scoff and say “Pfft, yeah right.”

But with the way my life is set up now, I kind of believe that’s a plausible scenario. A  scenario I wouldn’t be wholly opposed to either. Being my own boss would be badass and stressful beyond measure, but once you get the ball rolling you just have to maintain. Additionally, the people that I’ve been connecting with lately are also reinforcing that little slice of fate. So I dunno, maybe my media/production company will become a thing sooner than I thought. Or I’m deluding myself further and staving off my inevitable mental collapse. Either way, something big is gonna happen sooner than later.

But everything happens for a reason as much as I hate stating that out loud. It’s true and being without the power of precognition, I’m going to have to play this one out to see what’s really in store for a scalawag such as myself. Sailing those high seas of prosperity or drowning in the depths of my own incompetence…the plot to next Pirates of the Caribbean is writing itself y’all .