My wise friend Meg once told me, when I was ranting and railing at all the playwrights who were not me who were getting produced, “Jealousy is a map.” My immediate response was “A map to where? A map to the party full of everyone who’s happier and more successful than me? A map to the nice neighborhood where I can’t afford to live? A map to a clear career path, one with a job description and promotions every 18 months?”
(Fair warning – don’t give me advice if you’re not prepared for sarcastic and hyperbolic backtalk.)
But I see what she means. Jealousy points towards what we want. Sometimes it’s not literal – I don’t want to write for television, but I am jealous of that room full of smart writers. That community. My goal isn’t to land a gig writing for TV, it’s to find my people.
Where does your jealousy map lead?