Do you remember being jealous of someone when you were a kid? Were they smarter, more popular, or a better athlete than you? How do you feel about them now?
When I was in junior high, a kid moved to our school. He was smarter than me, more popular, and it frustrated me. The worst part was, he was a nice guy. When we got to high school he wrote for the school paper, starred in all the plays, was in at least two or three of the school bands, and he did the announcements in the morning. I’d start everyday to the sound of his voice.
I got over my jealousy of him after junior high. The funny thing is, I’m proud of him now. See, this guy I heard everyday on the intercom is David Greene on NPR, and I still hear his voice telling me the news.
There are some other people from my past whose success are public. Maggie Mowry, who I worked with in high school and college, now makes a living creating art. I own one of her t-shirts and I’ve seen her paintings displayed in galleries. Doug Bucci, a grad student who taught me metalsmithing and stonesetting in college, has been in Metalsmith magazine. I’ve seen Deb Adelson at shows and in magazines and April Reigart was also in Metalsmith recently. Erin Waxman is a co-owner of Art Star, a gallery and boutique in Philly. Deb, April, and Erin were all classmates of mine at Tyler.
I could be jealous of their successes, but I’m not. Do you know why? They’re doing exactly what they want to do for a living. I’m working hard to make that my reality, so it gives me hope to see people I know who’ve made it.
What about you? Are you still jealous of people who are doing what you want to do? Or do you use them as role models and instead spend your time and energy focusing on your own path? Who do you know that inspires you?