Musings, rants, rambling, general nonsense


Posted on | December 10, 2012 | No Comments

Covetousness: The desire to have something that belongs to another. “My neighbor has an awesome car. I want my neighbor’s awesome car.
Jealousy: Anger about what belongs to another. “My neighbor has an awesome car. It isn’t fair that my neighbor has such an awesome car. I will never get to have a car that awesome.
Envy: Admiration of what belongs to another. “My neighbor has an awesome car. I bet he worked very hard for that car, and he seems to really enjoy it. I would like to have a car like that. I bet if I worked hard I could get one, too.

Envy perfumeI don’t know if these fit the dictionary definitions, I will look those up at the end to include them. I list these definitions as my understanding (or interpretation) purely as an illustration for what I’m about to tell you.

I recently had occasion to reconnect with an old friend, and I found I envied her. I do not think this is a negative emotion as my envy was clearly rooted in admiration.

Bear with me while I tell a long story to get to the point…

JJ Design circa 1996I first met “Joan” * over 15 years ago when I was living in Florida. We worked together at a fabric store, and I was always impressed with her creativity, talent, and skill. At that time, she was in design school learning to make the most of her gift. Her dream was to be a designer, creating beautiful things. I was fortunate to see some of her designs on paper and, even better, I saw many of them when they were completed. Besides her beautiful work with standard textiles, she often amazed me with her command of the more challenging materials. (She once even made a ball gown out of newspaper and vinyl that would have been a hit on any red carpet.)

When I left Florida and moved back to Arizona, I lost touch with most everyone there. Fast forward to just a few years ago when I reconnected with Joan via Facebook.

I was pleased to discover that she is working as a designer. In her work with a major wrestling organization, she is responsible for creating and constructing much of the gear you see during those televised Thursday night matches. Believe me, creating gear that is both strong and skimpy is enough of a challenge. For wrestling gear it is also vitally important that everything stay in place with no wardrobe malfunctions. That means the pieces must be made precisely, as the wrestlers have to rely on fit, not tape or glue. She also makes good use of her experience with difficult fabrics; spandex, vinyl, Nomex, Lycra, sequins, foils, etc. Fabrics that cause considerable headaches for other seamstresses.

The wrestling organization filmed a pay-per-view event here in Phoenix, which gave me the opportunity to not only see her, but see her at work. It was hectic, high–energy, and I was thoroughly impressed watching her handle the pressure and time crunch. And this is when the “envy” really became clear. It is not that she is doing a job that I wish I were doing, but that she is in a career she always wanted.

I’m not suggesting that as a young girl she dreamed of one day making a booty shorts and kick pads, simply that she wanted to design and create. She is doing just that, and on a large scale. That is what I envy. I never decided what I wanted to be when I grew up; at least I never decided on anything I could truly set my mind and heart to.

There are people who have always known what business they would be in, because they were expected to follow in their parents’ footsteps. That always seemed like it could be a blessing and a curse. Less common, I believe, is finding that path you desire when you’re young and having the vision & fortitude to work towards that goal.

I always wished I had one of those burning bush moments that would point my feet in the right direction. So, when I run across people who have set, followed, and achieved those types of life plans, I admire – and envy – them.

In this spirit, I admit that I envy my old friend, Joan. And I don’t think it is a bad emotion.

What do you think, is it wrong to envy her? Or, have I named entirely the wrong emotion for what I feel?

The dictionary definitions

  • Covetousness: inordinately or wrongly desirous of wealth or possessions; greedy.
  • Jealousy: resentment against a rival, a person enjoying success or advantage, etc., or against another’s success or advantage itself.
  • Envy: a feeling of grudging or somewhat admiring discontent aroused by the possessions, achievements, or qualities of another

* Not her real name, changed it ’cause that’s what people do 🙂


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