Caryn: So I’ve hardly been able to recognize myself lately. Something about me has really changed. Or, I should say, something has gone missing. Here’s the deal: as I’ve watched our dear guru Carla progress on her GMA Guru search competition (Top 4! Go, Carla!), what should be making me envious on some level is just not.
I’m happy—nay, ecstatic—for Carla without being jealous. Even when I try to make myself. Even when Carla reminds me that most of the stuff to be jealous of (the summer homes, the jetting around the globe, the clothes, the inevitable friendships with Oprah) is yet to come. I’m just not.
And this is what’s new. The non-jealous, purely-happy-for-a-friend’s-success me.
It’s perfect that I’m getting to experience this new me during Carla’s guru run—because I think what we do here at the Rev has everything (or, almost everything—I did just write a killer chapter on jealousy and envy in my forthcoming book, Grumble Hallelujah….) to do with this new me.
What allows this non-jealous happiness is being secure in who I am and what I was made to do—as a mom, a woman, a writer, whatever. It’s living free of others’ expectations (though, to be fair, no one expects me to be a guru….) that allows any of us to be happy for others in their successes and we work toward our own callings.
I can be thrilled watching Carla dispense wisdom on TV with her freshly styled “I wish I had straight hair like Caryn” straightened hair (watch for Carla to go blonde any day now) because I know that I’m just no good at that. I’m not made to offer advice in TV friendly snippets. It takes me a long, long time and about 12 stories about myself to get to any real semblance of advice. And then, it’s still maybe not all that helpful.
One of the best things about truly knowing who you are and who God made you to be is that you do get to rejoice (and again, I say, rejoice!) when you see friends doing their things, doing what they were made to do. And this is what I love about seeing Carla in all her guru-ness. If ever Carla were born to do something, it’s this. And I just can’t be jealous. Which is not to say I won’t be pissed if she fails to mention my books, as applicable. And it’s not to say I won’t be jealous when she writes another book and it debuts at #9 on Amazon while mine languishes at #42 zillion and when she gets all the cool speaking gigs I’ve longed for. But that’s a different can of worms. We’ll have to deal with those fellas later. For now, I’m just proud of myself–and Carla, of course.
Carla, since I’ve been talking about you this whole time, is there anything you’d like to add? Maybe just a word of appreciation for your supportive, non-jealous friend?
Carla: Outside of your husband, I don’t think anyone understands better what a triumph this is for you than I do. Not because I think of you as a jealous person, but because it’s an icky trait we share–and discuss with each other at length in the privacy of our inboxes. But I’m almost certain I’d feel the same way if the roles were reversed.
You’re absolutely right that the conversations we’ve had here have helped both of us grow (if this is starting to sound like a goodbye post, it’s not.) This whole Guru endeavor has been a test of my confidence if ever there was one. It’s strapping on my character shoes times a billion. But from the beginning, I’ve believed the only way to get through this was to be myself, to do what I know I do well, and to never try to be someone I’m not. As much as I hope I get this job, I’m pretty sure I won’t sink into a deep depression fueled by self-doubt if I don’t. I’ve been true to myself and it’s felt great.
It’s amazing how good it feels to let go of who I think I should be and embrace who I am. It sounds like that’s what you’re doing too. And that’s exactly what we’ve both hoped this blog would be–a place for moms to get that nudge to let go of other people’s ideas about what their lives should look like so they can find goodness and peace in the lives they have. Whether life is hard and confusing and sucky or humming along and lovely and sweet.
Caryn: Well said. P.S. Just before posting this, I saw “Carla Barnhill” and “Carla Barnhill blog” on the “Top Searches” section of the Mommy Revolution blog dashboard and felt a total rash of jealousy. My name’s not even on the search list! Curse you, Carla Barnhill….. ; )