I have a dream. My dream is not nearly as important or memorable as Martin Luther King Jr.’s; my dream won’t be taught to generations of students as the pinnacle of justice and empowerment. My dream won’t alter our society in any way, shape, or form; but it’s a dream—my dream—nonetheless.
I have a dream that one day I will be able to feel not a pang (just a pang! A twinge?) of jealousy when my friends gush over their boyfriends. I hate the word “jealous”. Maybe it’s because I grew up associating jealousy with some green-eyed monster, hiding under my bed waiting to snatch me if I admitted to feeling one of the nine deadly sins. But it’s a natural, human emotion—just let me have my feelings!
It’s not that I’m jealous of their “in a relationship” Facebook relationship status—or their boyfriends for that matter. I wouldn’t be happy dating their boyfriends and they wouldn’t be happy dating me, but that’s beside the point. I am not jealous of their houses, kids, pets (OK, maybe pets), finances, husbands, boyfriends, significant others; I’m jealous of their state of love.
I reunited with a friend from high school, Faith, a few days ago, and we finally had a chance to catch up—like really catch up. We spent a great deal of the time talking about her boyfriend, Daniel. The two of them are so weird (in the best possible meaning of the word—I’m talking Portland weird where it’s a compliment) and quirky that they’re perfect together. Before they saw Jurassic World in theatres (dressed as dinosaur wranglers, I might add), they had a dinosaur-themed movie night where she wore a dinosaur t-shirt, and they whipped up dinosaur shaped pancakes. At some point, I’ll share with you their meet-cute, because it’s a good one—and a happily ever after (which is a nice change from my usual dating horror stories).
Anyways, she filled me on the past six months or so of their relationship. (I’m pretty sure wedding bells are on the horizon!) The great thing about Faith and I’s friendship is that we (in addition to being huge classical lit nerds) are both babblers—like talk-over-the-other-person-until-one-of-us shuts-up babble (but in a nice way, not a shut-up-and-listen-to-me way). We just have so much we want to share that we try and unload in the span of a few hours. We only see each other maybe two or three times a year.
So as she’s gushing about Daniel, she said something that was so genuine and sweet that for a moment—clearly more than a moment, because here we are—I felt jealous. In the midst of a long babble (did I just make a new noun?), she smiles and says, “I just love being in love with him.”
How could I not feel a twinge—a pinprick—of jealousy? I’ve never been in love; I know that, and more importantly, Faith knows that. Faith expressed her—I don’t want to say concern?—wonderments about my forever-single status, and I think she worries that I’m missing out on this amazing thing called “love”. For Faith (because I know you’re reading this), don’t you worry about me.
I am doing just fine (which you might not believe if you count the number of times I used the word “jealous” in this article alone); but I am. Yes, I admit to feeling pinpricks of jealousy from time to time. But I don’t wallow in those lapses of self-pity.
I write about them and hope that others find entertainment in my pain. I know what I need for myself, and I’m doing everything in my power to take care of me right now. It’s exhausting just doing that.
Of course I want to know what love feels like someday; but that day isn’t today. I am only 20 years old. I am not ready to settle down right when my life is about to take flight—that couldn’t have been more cliché, but you get my point. I know it’s hard to believe this when you’re snuggled in the bliss of love and a happy, functional relationship, but I am happy being alone.
Right now, I’m more than enough for me to handle—hell sometimes, I’m too much.