I truly hate feeling jealous. It is just the absolute worst on all fronts, and it leads to a vicious cycle. It goes like this: jealousy, followed by guilt because of said jealousy, followed by insecurity, then more guilt. I am insanely blessed in my own right. This isn’t even in comparison to anyone else, but just looking back to where I was just a year ago compared to where I am now is still unbelievable to me. I firmly believe in trusting God’s timing, and that whatever is for you is already yours as long as you put in the work, the law of attraction and all that jazz. So you can understand why I feel pretty shitty being jealous of anyone.

It all started yesterday. I came in to the office super amped up on bulletproof coffee, ready to take on the day and make Tuesday my bitch. As an aside I find Tuesdays are the hardest weekdays to get through, because there’s nothing special about a Tuesday. Monday is the first day of the week, and while some look at it as draining as hell, I try to look at it as a fresh start. Wednesday is the middle of the week, so there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Thursday is the precursor to Friday, and it’s Shondaland day for a few months. Friday is the best day of the week. You work on Fridays so you have permission to have well-deserved fun. You can stay out late and make questionable decisions without having to wake up early the next day. All good things happen on Friday. Tuesday is just blah, so I think of it as the day you should indulge in something. Break your diet, have a drink, drink a coffee with an obscene amount of calories, just do something to get you through.

Anyway, back to the story. I did my usual morning routine of looking on fashion sites and social media to immerse myself in the social zeitgeist. This gives me inspiration for stories and sometimes life. As I was cruising through Twitter I saw that a fashion blogger I casually know was invited to hang out with a woman who is basically my fairy fashion God mother. I haven’t seen anyone with the actual career I want, but if I had to liken my career goals to anyone’s, it would be hers. I’ve been around her a few times, but was too nervous to say anything, plus I didn’t feel confident in my look at all. How can I present myself as a fashion writer when I don’t look the part? If back in the day when Kanye met Jay and he wasn’t prepared to spit bars, where would we be? There would be no ultralight beams!!!  Upon reading this I instantly felt green with envy.

More often than not, jealousy is a sign of insecurity…or is that just me?  This dreadful feeling is a signal that I need to do some major self-evaluation. I started to wonder if maybe I’m not working hard enough to get my work noticed. This is a looming fear of mine, because no matter how much writing I do, how many events I attend, or how much reading and research I do, I always feel like I could be doing more. Seeing that tweet reinforced that fear, and made it seem completely rational.

I reached out to a friend who is a publicist to rant vent about how I feel overlooked in the industry.  I RSVP’d attending to my own pity party as I started in on the “maybe I’m not working hard enough, maybe I’m not good enough speech.” She cut me off before I got too deep with it, and gave me some pretty solid, level headed advice.  This is what I call a “Relax Bitch” moment.  “You need to make you the face of your brand. More of you. Less of them,” she said matter of factly. “Your Instagram is full of other people, but we don’t see you. Look at Karen Civil, and these other people. They have a brand and they are the face of that brand. That’s not the case for you. You’re basically selling two different things here.” I thought long and hard about what she was saying. None of it was foreign to me. I’ve known that I need to do more style pics of myself for a while, but I thought I could skirt around it. I’m just not that confident in my style or my body these days, so putting both of those things on display sounds like the worse thing. People around me tend to think I look great, but how I feel and what they perceive are worlds apart. Style, much like body image is a very personal thing.  So even if someone is telling you, you look great, if you don’t feel it, it’s like white noise.

Great style starts from the inside out.  Even people who I think look ridiculous can still pull that off because they are comfortable looking ridiculous.  I have seen so many girls who don’t have the prettiest faces, but because they carry themselves with a certain level of confidence, and therefore have great style, they appear stunning.  They have this great energy that radiates off of them and attracts the right kind of attention.  The kind that gets you noticed by the right people.  Looks obviously aren’t everything, but having confidence, and therefore great style makes a world of difference in the way the world perceives you.  Have you ever noticed how differently people at work respond to you when you like how you look?

I know this sounds insanely shallow, but we live in such an aesthetically driven society these days.  For example, I literally got turned down to write for a publication because they said I didn’t have enough Instagram followers.  As ridiculous as that sounds, it’s valid.  Fashion models nowadays actually get hired based on their following.  While I have no interest in modeling, I do want a name in fashion, and in order to get that I have to prove my knowledge with my own look.  Is that scary?  Hell yeah.  Is it odd that the success or failure of my brand relies on me promoting how I look?  Hell yeah. But this is fashion, and fashion is visual, so I have to give the people some visuals (deep sigh).  This means being comfortable with my weight (even while I’m transitioning to a smaller/healthier me) and confident in my style.  It’s not just clothes and makeup.  It’s really about how I feel about me.  That lack of confidence is holding back, and has held me back for a while.

Jealousy will bring all kinds of hidden insecurities to the surface.  When you start comparing yourself to others, hating on others, and being jealous, it’s time to self-evaluate.  You can sit in it and be one of those people who comments horrible things under celebrity Instagram photos, or you can get to the root of it, and use it to motivate you.  Otherwise it will manifest itself in ugly ways.  Are you comfortable being Azealia Banks?  I think not.