I wanted them so badly. Every other girl had them in 5th grade, and I wanted to walk around with that horse on my back pocket, its mane blowing in the breeze from my coolness.

You can have your own pair of Jordache jeans, ya know?  https://www.etsy.com/listing/93363561/vintage-1980s-mens-jordache-jeans-just?utm_source=google&utm_medium=product_listing_promoted&utm_campaign=vintage_mid&gclid=CI7wjfOci7YCFSSCQgodsxMABg

You can have your own pair of Jordache jeans, ya know?

I wanted to be like the girls I saw who could actually shape their hair into bangs that looked like Gehry designs and who wore Keds without laces.

The lining of my heart ached because I wanted that so much – to be that cool, that popular, that awesome. I was jealous.

I told my parents about the Jordache jeans. My mom took me to Roses and bought me the knock-offs that, I now realize, we could afford. Mom even permed my hair in an attempt to help me look like those girls, but instead, I looked like a poodle on a humid day.

As if junior high wasn’t bad enough without cheap clothes and bad hair.

***

He makes a casual comment on my FB page about how he’s sold 1,100 copies of his book.  She gets 20 blog comments on a day I only get 2. I learn that the woman who wrote 50 Shades of Gray is releasing a book on writing.

The lining of my heart aches again.

It’s a painful thing, this tendency to jealousy that seems hard-wired in my heart.  It rips me up and carves me out, leaving me a bitter pith that serves no purpose except for rumor and lesson.

I fight it with joy, with the enthusiasm of my own path. I fight it by imagining the joy on my friend’s face when two agents ask for her full manuscript, or the peace he will get when his first writing class fills.  I fight it by remembering there are people in the Jordaches and under the awesome bangs. People who get jealous and need affirmation, too.

***

By 8th grade, I had half my head shaved, and I could peg my skater pants with the best of them. I’d given up the dream of what it was to be cool, and I found my people (even as I, shamefully, left others behind). I embraced the artsyness and hung out with the theater kids.  I spent long afternoons reading microfilm at the library, engrossed in Mrs. Cable’s history project.

I took to my path with vim, gusto, and a lot of hair gel. . .

Until the next year, when we moved to Virginia, and suddenly my funky shirt with the roses on it didn’t fit in a town where camo and acid wash were the rage.

The lining of my heart twinged again, and I started all over.

When have you been jealous? How do you battle it? 

Tonight at 8:30pm EDT, we’re going to have a little book launch party for God’s Whisper Manifesto on Twitter.  So don your best party hat and your Jordache jeans; tease up your bangs and peg your pjs.  I’d love to see you there.  Just use #godswhisper to join in.