October 18, 2010

On Envy

I just got off the phone with my little sister, Kristy, and I couldn't help but feel a twinge of envy swim inside my stomach. You see, Kristy is a sophomore in college and I always get nostalgic whenever I talk to her. Ah, to be nineteen again! Giggling with my roommates, going skiing for the first time, flirting with cute boys...


I guess I've always had a problem with envy. Out of the seven deadly sins, this is the one that I have struggled with the most. In the fourth grade, I totally coveted Ashley Johnson's wardrobe; and in high school, I really wanted to look like Lindsay Fox (she always got all of the boys! No fair!). Even today, I find myself staring at Justin's new iPhone and all I can think is, "I want, I want, I want!" After all, my own cell phone could surely use an upgrade...

For the most part though, I've usually been able to contain my little green monster of envy. Whenever it rears its slimy head, I try my best to banish it to the bowels of my consciousness. I focus on all of the wonderful things I've been blessed with--good friends! a full tummy! new books from Border's!--and I'm often able to suppress these spurts of envious longing.

But but but...

Writing! Oh my goodness. I've never been tested this hard before. I swear, my little envy monster leaps out of his hidey-hole whenever I start reading Publisher's Weekly or the various writerly blogs on my blogroll. I feel it each time I read stuff by Kate DiCamillo or Ann Brashares. (Man, these women can write!) And I feel it each time I read about a new book deal on Absolute Write. It chews on my shoulder and rubs it scaly hands over my eyes. Oh, how I hate Envy.

This is what I imagine Envy to look like: that freaky character from Spiderman.

Honestly, I have had enough of envy. It has plagued me for my entire life and I'm really beginning to understand why it's one of the "deadliest" sins. It weighs on you. It prevents you from being grateful for what you have. It blinds you from seeing all of the wonderful things in your life.

And I really have so much to be grateful for! A wonderful husband who makes me feel loved. A warm house to sleep in at night. A great city at my fingertips. Health, happiness, and a bit of money to keep me fed.

Yes, my life is good. So...begone Envy and never come back!


  1. I certainly wouldn't want that nasty creature on my shoulder!
    Envy isn't so much my deadly sin, mine's gluttony. Food, books, yarn, etc. I gotta always have more;0)

  2. Envy always manages to rear its ugly head at the least appropriate times, especially for me. It's at its worst when I am at work and I get to serve customers who aren't working. Envy just needs to go away and never show itself again, except in the context of story.

  3. I envy other people like Caroline's sleep.

  4. Oh my god Caroline! Go to my blog and look at what I posted about today. It's like we were sharing brainwaves or something. *snort* too bad for you LOL!

  5. I feel you. A lot. I'm so grateful for everything I've been blessed with ... but arg arg arg! lol.

  6. Envy is not your friend. You're awesome for banishing it. You have a great agent too. ;-) Don't forget that.

  7. caroline, it has been awhile since i had the chance to visit your blog, but love that it still always gives me things to think about. keep it up (and i'll try to visit more regularly, as a fan and all:)

    also, thanks for putting up your 'writing thoughts.' from an aspiring writer to an actual one, you are awesome! i look forward to reading more.

    PS: this is your old roommate kristen's old roommate, we met at her wedding years ago.

  8. Cinette, oh gluttony! That would probably be my favorite deadliest sin. I could spend weeks gorging myself on delicious cupcakes and ribeye steaks!

    Jeffrey, I agree! Envy does sneak up at the worst of times. For me, I hate it when I feel envy when something good happens to a friend. I want to be totally happy for them! Grr, envy...

    Adri, hahaha. I still sleep like a champ!

    Linds, we're twinners! OMG, I'm sending you an email right now.

    Lynn, indeed! Argh, argh, argh is exactly how I feel too! We need to grab dinner again soon, I think!

    DH, you're absolutely right! I really do feel lucky to have Jim as an agent. I need to remind myself of that more often!

    Meredith, it's so good to hear from you! I didn't know that you're a writer too! Very very cool. How are things going with you, by the way? What sort of things do you write?