Angry, Jealous, and Looking for the Lesson

Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Ebb and Flow.

I cannot identify the emotion that has me in a quandary.  You’d  think,   considering  everything   I’ve  been through in my life, that I’d know all my own emotions by now. But whatever this is comes with the agitation of a two-year-old discovering emotions for the first time or a teen first hit with hormones. I can’t place this feeling.

The Long-Awaited Honest-to-God Secret to Being Happy

It’s a little like jealousy, but there’s anger in there, too. It’s dark, and it gets my attention.

An incident stirs all my triggers. I am still working an  8-5 job and forcing myself to keep it 8-5, so I can pay the mortgage  (though I think insurance is more these days) and afford the charity work I like to do. I have not made the jump to the work of my heart because I pay my bills, I honor my contracts, and I have no second income or rich  boyfriend or trust fund to cushion me if it takes a while to build a new career once I jump. I’m still working every night and weekend on my own  books and on my publishing company in a market that is sheer awful be- cause so few people read any longer and my focus is on spiritual literature instead of money-making erotica. But I love the books and the stories and the people.

I could go ahead and claim what it is I want to do in this new career, with my publishing, writing, and teaching skills backing me up, but I don’t really feel I have the credentials yet. That’s why I’m going through this mentoring process. I am learning firsthand, working toward professional certification, focusing on having all the skills I need to jump into it.

This is another case of where I feel I’m doing all the “right things.”  Don’t get my started on my college days when I had the super GPA, the right honor societies and activities, the career-related job, and did everything right, only to be told I didn’t have an engineering  degree so I could work for minimum  wage after all those  years of getting the  education  and doing things the “right way.” And yes, that was when  minimum wage was something like $3.31 an hour and yes, that’s when colleges were telling you you could get a starting salary in the 50’s if you did all the right things I was doing. Or at least in the 30’s if you were a moderate slacker or maybe 20k if you were the fraternity beer wench.

I remember  that  sense  of  betrayal at seeing  guys  I went to college  with get the higher  salaries  when their college resumes weren’t near  what  mine was. Maybe it’s that  same  sense  of  betrayal  and  questioning  my  work ethic.

I have been working so hard all my life, and then especially this year to make things happen and to do it with honor, integrity, and…credibility. And now this. This.

I’ve been  straightforward  with  a handful  of  people about exactly  how I want to set up this next career of mine, once I get the credentials. One of those people told me  today  of  someone   doing  something   similar  and thought it might help me to study how this other woman and  her partners are succeeding.  Good idea, I thought. She began to give me the background of what she’d ob- served.

Then I found out who and what she meant. The what, as it turns out, isn’t exactly how I want my future to be, but the similarities are  rather striking. I don’t view it as direct  competition.  She  lives  on  the  other  side  of  the country. But there’s anger in me and jealousy, too.

The jealousy is easy for me to pinpoint. She and her partners have married well and their husbands are enthusiastically  funding  their   venture.  So  I’m  jealous  that they’ve been able to quit their mundane  careers, secure more funding than they know what to do with, and—oh, boy—that  their mates  are emotionally  supportive.  That last one’s a biggie for me. Something I wanted so badly but never got. Something I wanted more than quitting my day job or having the funding to create a foundation and run it.

But the anger I feel as I read their brochures….  It’s righteous       indignation,    I suppose.  They are claiming credentials I know they don’t have. They are putting out a message  that  they don’t  live up to, preaching  (literally) what they don’t practice. They  are creating and living a life that looks in many ways similar to what I’m intending for myself, yet it’s all based on deception.

How do I know they’re not living what they are teaching?  Because  I’ve  been  personally  and  professionally shafted by this woman and her partners.  That’s the biggest shock in this—that of all people to be pointed out to me as people who are walking in the sacred way and finding prosperity, I’m shown people I know not to be what they profess. It’s not that they’ve changed over a decade and grown up and I missed it—the shafting I took is on- going, with our most recent  discussion taking place less than two months ago.

So besides  the fact that I’m now royally pissed off, jealous, indignant, etc, there’s got to be a reason why this is coming up now. My friend could have pointed out any of a dozen other people  doing  exactly the same things and I wouldn’t have known their background or had this reaction.

So why now? Why them?

Maybe the answer is that I don’t have to wait until I have all the certifications and connections made to launch my new career. Maybe I’m ready to launch anyway, while I’m still in my current career, backing it up with my publishing/writing/teaching capabilities, even if I don’t have the  certifications  yet or all the education I’d like. That’s daunting because  I  don’t have enough time now to do what I want.

So does it matter if I don’t have everything absolutely perfect and ready to launch? Because I do have the honesty that goes with what I want to do. I not only do my best to practice what I preach, but I preach it because I’ve already learned it the hard way.