That's What She Said: Turn that green-eyed monster into motivation
- Dawn Dumont | August 03, 2017
For the past year, whenever I’ve seen a woman in a bikini, my first thought has been, “show-off” with a silent hope that her thong gives her a yeast infection. Although I am generally a Judgemental Judy, I realize that this is an unusual amount of negativity even for me.
Years ago, I dated this guy who was obsessed with Jennifer Lopez. I thought it was cute until one night we were chatting on the couch. His responses were a bit confusing and disjointed. Then I realized that he was actually talking to Jennifer who was TV at the time. Stuff like, “Hey, I just want to brush away that hair in your eyes,” and “gosh, you look so beautiful in red.”
As I was wearing black at the time, I couldn’t pretend it wasn’t happening. However, I was much nicer back then (read: dumb as a treetrunk) and so I laughed it off. His Jennifer obsession continued unchecked and my fake laughter grew as unhinged as a toddler in a toy-store. Our relationship ended a few months later when he broke up with me. He said it was because we were incompatible but I know it’s because I was not a Latino superstar.
After the relationship ended, I became obsessed with Jennifer Lopez – not in a loving way but in a jealous way. Every time she was in a new movie or released a new album, it was like being stabbed in the gut. Which sucked because this was in 2000s and her career was taking off big time. She was literally everywhere – on billboards, in movies, at Lloyds of London insuring her butt for a billion dollars.
One night I sat down and thought about this jealousy of mine. It had continued far after my feelings for my ex had ended. I realized that it was actually about something else. I was envious of Jennifer because I wanted what she had. Not the adoration of my lunkhead ex-boyfriend, but the spotlight. I wanted to be on stage, I wanted to perform, I wanted to insure my butt (the most SGI would offer was $15.)
Once I realized what was driving my behaviour, I took action. I enrolled in acting lessons, I went to auditions, I started performing stand up comedy. Within a short time of taking action, all of those crappy feelings faded away. Because once I realized that I wasn’t jealous – which is fear of someone taking something away from you – I was envious, which is wanting something that someone else has, then all I had to do was follow those feelings.
Now, I am not famous or rich or ridiculously fit like Jennifer Lopez – in case you need reminding. Following these feelings –which were so strong that they kept me up at night whispering JLO’s name like a misguided Arya Stark on Game of Thrones—does not mean that you will “make it.” But it will lead to other things. Sometimes it might lead to being an extra in one scene in the movie Skulls which paid $45 and a pizza pop, other times it might leads to a co-hosting gig on an APTN television show. You won’t know until you try.
Which is why I think envy is not a bad thing. When you feel it curling inside of you like a poisonous snake, think about what you’re really pissed about. Like my surliness over women in bikinis has nothing to do with the woman showing off her business, it’s because I haven’t lost my pregnancy weight and it bugs me. So, I’ve started working out, training for a 5 km race and watching what I eat. So far, my miniscule weight loss could only be measured by a scale invented by NASA but it’s a step in the right direction.
People always say that it’s important to follow your dreams in order to honour your soul or whatever. But I feel it’s important to follow your dreams just to stop yourself from being an insufferable asshole.