It can be very easy when you are heading into the year X as an “Emerging Writer” to maybe get a little bit discouraged by the fact that while one is still writing, one is also still emerging. Over the past several weeks a number of my friends and acquaintances have had some rather lovely things happen for them which have poked me a little bit in my envy muscle. And it’s not that I’m jealous, for I have at long last figured out the difference between envy and jealously. Yeah, I know it took me long enough, especially since it is the sort of thing a wordsmith should know.
Jealousy is either the state of anxiety over someone being unfaithful (potentially or actually), or the resentment of someone who has received or achieved something which you don’t think they deserve, or that you wanted for yourself. Envy is coveting the something or someone that someone else has, so while I envy my sister’s new Honda CRV, ’cause I want one too, I’m not jealous ’cause I don’t resent her having it, God knows the girl deserves a little happy and a nice new ride with what all she’s been through.
There was a 24 hour period within this last year where I was variously and independently described as “a very jealous person” by one person and as “the least jealous person I know” by another. Both people who know me both long and well. Interesting huh? I guess you see the green of my eyes differently depending on how the light hits me. From where I’m squinting into the mirror though they were both inaccurate. In the first instance, I was thoughtless, not jealous, and in the second I was being joyful and supportive because I now really and truly enjoy when good stuff happens to people I know. Mostly because it keeps me hopeful that something great is going to happen to me and alright, maybe a teensy, tiny bit because they are a nice person or have worked hard or have been through something tough. See, it really is all about me.
Though I gotta say, learning to tame or harness, your own green-eyed monster is, I think an important part of being an effective and sought after creative professional. A few years back I made an intensely concerted effort to be a more positive person all across the board and, at long last, celebrating other’s successes immediately and whole-heartedly seems to be my default position. Not that the green-eyed monster doesn’t stick up its scaly paw from time to time with a wave and a mutter, trying to get my attention. But it usually shuts up and goes back to sleep after I give it a pat of acknowledgement on the head. It’s the elevated serotonin levels that make him sleepy. I’ve found out for my own self that what the self-help gurus and scientific researchers have been telling us is true. You can choose to be happy, and if you do, you will, eventually, feel genuinely happy. It has something to do with retraining the synaptic pathways in your brain, which is plastic by the way, which will be your word of the week since I’m using it for its early 20th century meaning before rigid hydro-carbon byproducts formed into containers for leftover goulash bogarted the meaning.
Back to the plastic brain and celebrating other peoples happy. Celebrating other peoples happy now gives me a pure rush of pleasure. And sometimes, I will dance. As I did when my dear friend landed a great and terrifically fun guest starring role in my favorite TV series – Supernatural. The fact that she got to spend two days with two guys who feature prominently on my personal Hottest-Guys-Ever list and on my favorite show (for which I have a polished spec script by the way, should anyone care to read it), did cause my eyes to move from their natural aquamarine to the greener end of the spectrum, but I was so over the moon for her. People, she got paid to pretend to be an expert on fairies and most importantly, paid to flirt with Jensen Ackles. She even got to touch him. Sigh. See dreams really do come true. So what if it was my dream and it came true for her. It means that these things are possible and they do happen.
Give it a try the next time a writer or actor or any kind of friend shares a piece of happy. Make celebrating for them your default stance. I also find it chases me back to my desk to keep writing as well as topping up the serotonin levels in the ole noggin.
And here is a shout out to some of the amazing folks that have shared their happy with me this week. Actor and Voice Coach extraordinaire, Trish Allen who guest stars in Supernatural this week (“Clap Your Hands if You Believe” on Space and CW network Friday night); Jessica Holt my new writer peep who not only got plucked from the Set Dec department and transformed into the Vampire Queen during a shoot last week, but also had her ½ hour comedy script win the CBC 3-2-1 award which will result in her first broadcast credit and thus open for herself all those funding doors so firmly slammed in the faces of emerging writers still out in the credit-less cold. Brava baby, way to resist being put in a creative box! To Elena Kirschner, talent agent, who looked happy and elegant, as all get out, in her backstage at the Gemini Awards photo, celebrating the success of her clients and cheering on the host, the oh-so-charming Cory Monteith of Glee fame. To writer /illustrator Paola Opal (author of Saffy et. al) who inked a deal for the creation of two more children’s books! You my dear are first, last and always my work ethic and artistic inspiration. By the way people, she draws every day. Every day. Mr. David Cormican, founder of the Canadian Short Screenplay Competition for taking not one, but two more of the winning scripts to camera next month, joining “Seeing In the Dark” in the “winning CSSC scripts produced” column. Quite simply YAH HOOO!
There are probably still more to mention, but now that I have mentioned these guys, I’m all fired up to get back to work on the stuff I’m writing. So that’s what I’m gonna do. How about you?