Of what really couldn't have been1:17 PM
I am going to have a real moment. A real, honest moment here. Where I tell you something about myself that I don't usually like to admit. And it isn't pretty. It isn't even something that can be turned around for you or me to learn a life lesson from, unless that lesson is simply that I still have some work to do. Which shouldn't be a secret of any sorts at all. Because while I thought I'd have everything together by this age, clearly I do not.
If you do please let me know how you did it.
Here is the big secret:
I'm not a jealous wife. I was never a jealous girlfriend. Not that I didn't or don't care where he is or what he is doing, it is just that I know if I can't trust him there is not reason to be with him.
So, since I am not a freak-out woman who checks her husband's telephone or email or gets mad when he talks about his girl coworkers, etc, I naturally thought I was not a jealous person.
A few weeks ago I took the two oldest girls to see a local performance of The Nutcracker. It was a dance studio that put it on. One that is well-known enough that they got an actual dancer from the New York Ballet to make an appearance with them.
Surprisingly it was very good. Very good. While I could have done without the teenagers singing carols all the time in the first act, the second was incredible with some out of this world talent.
Coming out of the show I met up with a friend whose little girl was in the show and she told me that the main female dancer, the Sugar Plum Fairy, was a whopping THIRTEEN years old.
She was amazing. I mean, beyond what I have ever seen a thirteen year old dance in my life.
But that was not my first reaction. My inner heart reaction wanted to say something like, "Oh, yeah, well, you know, I mean, she isn't THAT great, I mean, she isn't perfect, like super PERFECT, you know."
I held my tongue, though my heart constricted and actually felt hardened against the young, talented girl. And something within me, a small voice, asked me, "Why are you so jealous?"
But I'm not jealous! I tried to answer, but the thoughts fell flat and suddenly I realized that I WAS. I was jealous of a thirteen year old because......why? Because there was a time when I wanted to be that? When I wanted to be the most talented dancer and never got there? Even though I knew it wasn't my calling to be a professional dancer? So, really, what is there to be jealous of? Because she is so clearly supposed to be something I dreamed about but realistically knew I couldn't be? There wasn't even a YA novel moment of a broken heart mending from a broken dream. I walked away from dance knowing full well I would be wasting my life trying to be something I wasn't meant to be.
So why the jealousy? How was it that a grown woman couldn't e amazed and awed and happy about the talent of a young girl? Because she is younger? Because her parents have the funds to help her develop that talent? Because she will have opportunities earlier and probably easier to reach than me?
Of course all of this was just in my head. I made some polite conversation and then excused us to go home. The ride home was filled with some personal reflection that was as black as the Dallas night sky. What a strange thing to be faced with: the truth. And when it is an ugly truth one cannot help but wish it had never surfaced at all.
But you know, once I admitted to myself that I was actually a jealous person I found myself able to work somethings out in my head. The next time the girl came up in conversation I can honestly say all of my compliments were heartfelt. I can't say it will never happen again, but a few weeks later I can say that I am glad I heard that voice, although I am sure it wasn't the first time it tried to speak to me. In fact some of my memories of being so pig-headed or criticizing with vigor I now realize were done in jealousy.
Gracious, I'm jealous. What a terrible thing to be.
And so it will be part of my 2016 list to learn not to be. Or rather, when the feeling arises pinpoint it, work it out and then rip it out. Because there is no way I want to stay like this, no matter that I've always been like this.
What about you? Any deep, dark secrets you feel like 2016 is a good year to get rid of?