I hold a large amount of resentment for various actions (or the lack thereof) of my past self. It’s heavy to lug around and it’s hard to put down. Here’s the truth: what’s done is done.
I harbor envy for many people I follow. Successful artists who started as peers, or up-and-comers who launched far beyond where I had hoped to go after moving to the City after I'd been here for how long?
This competitive, surface level stuff is messy. When I dig past the shallowness of my envy, it’s not that I wish to have the show or act that some people have. At the root, it's that they've done work that seems to have sparked the great act towards finding themselves. I want that for me. A shiny glamorous show to tell everyone about, sure, at one point in time. I want my satisfaction.
Sometimes I’ll thank god I didn’t get famous like I had hoped when I was a 19 year old YouTuber. Or a 22 year old improv nerd. Or a 29 year old actor. Or a 33 year old dude running a twitch show in his living room. I see the creative confinement and expectations that my former peers are now forced to operate within. Some have it better than others. The perks, skills and fortunes were hard fought and well earned. And yet it still looks and feels limiting.
A significant chunk of my habitual resentment and envy stems from an unwillingness to break the cycle. I follow all these folks on Instagram. There's an echo chamber of praise and congratulations. It provokes me to compare my lot in life to theirs. It’s not helpful.
This is just another little rung in my ladder. It’s scary to cut ties with the desires of my former self. Rationally, I know it will be liberating to zoom out beyond this little personal imagined world that isn’t doing anything for me. Emotionally, there’s more security in the known misery than the unknown potential loneliness.