Falguni Thareja

“Why does that kid have that toy?”

“Why am I not as smart as he is?”

“I wish my car was as fancy as his.”

“Can I go back to being a kid, when I was not required to make all these decisions?”

Such questions have always plagued our minds. Envy and jealousy are emotions that all of us have experienced since we were kids. Be it because of a crayon set of a classmate or the academic scores of another. Be it because of somebody’s pay scale or the kind of relationship someone has. But, as humans, I believe we all experience these emotions and are forced to deal with them throughout our lives on various scales.

A lot of the time, this emotion of envy is what drives us to thrive for more and do better at life. But for some, like me, that might not be the case. Well, at least not entirely. We may wish to do something about the situation and achieve better results, but the emotion that accompanies envy and jealousy is what ends up driving our primary instincts instead. Oftentimes, with jealousy comes a sense of self-loathing. Now, I am not saying that any other of these are healthy emotions, but rather stating that it is something we all experience, on a small day-to-day kind of level, or at a life-altering level.

For Example, for me personally, I have realised that I often envy people who know what they want to do in their lives. People who have an aim, a goal, and understand how to go about achieving it. I am not one such person. I am one of the most indecisive and confused people I have ever come across. And then, when I meet someone sure and confident about their choices (or at least appearing to be) I feel incompetent.

I often know what it is that I do not want, and have been able to eliminate those choices from the list. One would think that elimination should narrow down what it is that I want then, but it does not. Just imagine, you know that you don’t want vanilla and chocolate flavoured ice creams, that still leaves you with at least 25 other odd flavours.

Back in school, I was sure that I was never going to pursue medicine as I knew it was not something I would be able to do well with. So I turned down that option, but that still left me with others to choose from. Thankfully for my stream selection in school and for most of my other decisions in life so far, I have had my parents help me out when I was being too fickle with my choices. But, the older I get, the more I realise that I cannot keep practicing the same behaviours for long because in the end it is my life and I will have to live it. You know how they say to make your own mistakes? Yeah, something like that.

With globalisation and the advancement of technology, I am able to see people do so much with their time and efforts, most of them being around my age or way younger. This is exactly where the sadness sets in. I am not saying that age has anything to do with knowing what you wish to do, as I know that even a 40-year-old could realise that what they had been doing so far is not what they wish to do any longer. Julia Child, the successful celebrity chef, is one such example. She left her job in advertising media and secret intelligence, to pursue her love for food. And that is absolutely okay. Age is just a tool my mind uses to compare me to others around and make me feel sadder about my achievements. Or rather lack of.

I know all this makes it sound like I am in a bad place and totally unhappy with life, which is not the case, so please do not call the authorities just yet. I know I have a lot to offer to the world. My issue is figuring out exactly what it is and how to go about it. Though I do know one thing that I’m efficient at — evading things that do not fall in my area of comfort, thus making me feel unproductive, later on.

Once again, this is not for anyone to feel bad or sad for me, or for themselves. This is just me putting my thoughts out there for the world to read because I am sure that there is at least one other person who feels the same way, and this is to let them know that all is not lost and taking tiny steps towards something you wish to do can lead to leaps of changes in your life in the longer run.

Envy. Jealousy. While one stems from the desire of something that one does not possess and the other from the fear of losing what one has, both evoke very similar responses from humans. These responses might be on two opposite sides of the spectrum for two different individuals, as discussed above, but it is the effort one puts to walk the line and work their way from one side to another that makes all the difference.

So now, I am going to try and not focus too much on the creepy paralysing feeling of sadness and doubt, but on the things that I wish to do. I am only just starting, so I do not know how I will fair, but I want to see how far I will go and what all I will learn.

Also, one choco-brownie fudge ice cream, please! One step at a time, right?

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