Words by Hadiyyah Kuma
My lovely readers! I'm so hyped to be writing for you all. To kick off this month's theme of Victory, I've decided to start writing a themed letter each month to inspire your creativity, and mine.
I have this whiteboard that hangs on the wall at the foot of my bed. My and mom and I write messages on it sometimes. It's sort of like what Chandler and Joey from Friends have going on in their apartment with the Magna Doodle board, but more inspirational and wellness based. Two nights ago, in a fit of post-meditation vigour, I whipped out my white board pen and wrote this on the board: "forfeit comparison, competition, and jealousy." No, I don't think I'm some kind of life guru. Yes, I do believe affirmations help to shape to reality. It seemed like a good mantra at the time because it's something I've been struggling with a lot lately.
I've always considered jealously to be an ugly feeling. It's embarrassing to be jealous, because it makes you pathetic. I even feel grimy writing about it, because I'm not "supposed" to feel this way. Or if I do, I am some kind of villain that is greedy and hungry for power. That is not totally untrue. I am hungry for power. I don't want to the rule the world or control society's capital, but there are things I want, things that have turned into needs. Such needs are exposure as a writer, being liked, and having people that believe in me and lift me up.
I think that jealousy has its origins in need. This need if often dictated by the pressure we feel to do stuff and have stuff. We are very stuff oriented. People can also become stuff if I treat them as such. Sometimes it feels like people are avenues and materials I need to have in favour in order to be able to gain access to the outside world.
I've never considered myself a competitive person. I was always a person that accepted whatever life threw at me with a shoulder shrug. But the more I become passionate about creating, the more I started to feel a desperation about producing and achieving. It's really tiring. I get burnt out a lot easier than I did a couple years ago when I was just starting to think about submitting my writing to places. I think I had more hope back then, or maybe it's that I have more hope now, and that's where the stress comes in. That's why I keep doing what I do and pushing through rejections and other barriers. I know that there's always going to be more people saying "no" than "yes," and I'm kind of okay with that.
Kind of is the key phrase here. Sometimes I'm not okay with it, and drags me down for days. Sometimes it's just another day in the life. Either way, it's something to tunnel through, dig until you find that small piece of light at the end.
There are a few ways to do this. I talk to my mom and friends and remind myself that they care and will support me no matter what. Sometimes I log off social media and refrain from reading or consuming content that will plug my sense of acceptance and and give way to jealousy. Sometimes this means forgoing contemporary art in favour of older creations; this way, I know there is no active competition. Other times, it's creating as a response to my negative feelings. A rejection could mean submitting something else, or writing something else. And it's not just about writing or creativity. It's other things like other people's Europe trips or contest winnings I engage with this jealousy and ask myself I am feeling like this way. Maybe it is because I feel I will never live these dreams. I try to remind myself that there is always a chance. I also try to believe that even if it never happens, I'll be okay. I actually don't need anything besides my own sense of self and self-love.
If jealously is born from need, then need is born from internalizing a production-based society. We feel like we need to always be doing and achieving stuff. That's just not true. Why can't I just live and support the successes of others? Coming to that revelation is in itself a victory.
TDLR: Just live!! Get back out there superstars! You're doing your best, that's all that matters. I love you.
P.S. GO RAPTORS!! KAHWI ME A RIVER.