I distinctly remember the first time I let extreme jealousy and bitterness into my heart; I was around seven years old, and I was in my living room watching a youth cheerleading exhibition on my town's local TV station. I saw dozens of teams full of little girls my age performing in front of hundreds of people- dancing and cheering, doing cartwheels and flips. I remember sitting in front of the television with my mouth hanging open, desperately wishing that I could be just like them and be exactly where they were, doing just what they were doing.
I felt an unfamiliar mixture of anger, disappointment, hopelessness, and sadness wash over me all at once. I didn't understand why I felt that way, but in that moment, I hated those girls. I was so, so, so jealous. Envy is such a toxic emotion. It feels like heavy black smoke that starts in your thoughts and slowly spreads throughout your entire body until you become one huge dark cloud of negativity.
It's happened to me a few times since then-I've been jealous of people in beautiful and loving relationships, people with amazing jobs and gorgeous apartments, or anyone my age who already seems to just have it all figured out. It happened again today, where I realized the four years of school that I slaved over working towards my Sociology degree is slowly turning into something I somewhat regret. I started talking with a guy who majored in graphic design, and he showed me some of the work in his portfolio as well as a few projects he was currently working on. I was amazed, and I was jealous.
There was a time where I wanted to be an elementary school counselor because it was the only career I could really see myself pursuing, enjoying, and being successful at; but now that I've been blogging, writing, and designing for the past few months, I'm really starting to wish that I had chosen a different path.
I don't think it's too late, I don't think it's impossible, and I don't think the degree I have is useless. I just want to follow my dreams and see where they take me if I pursue them hard enough, and I wish I could go back in time and pursue them just a few years earlier. But, in the words of George Elliot, "it's never too late to be who you might have been", so I've got to keep my head up and follow my heart. I can't let other peoples' success and talent discourage me from starting my own journey, and I can't listen to the negative voices in my head that try and persuade me that I'm not good enough. I can do it, and so can you. Let's follow our hearts and chase our dreams.