I ask for an apology in advance because you may not like what you will read in this letter below.
You see, we have lived together in peace for years now. But, off late, I have started feeling dizzy having you on my side. Please don’t feel bad because I will soon explain my reasons for what I’m feeling now with respect to our relationship.
I remember you as early as the age of five, when you clouded my mind as soon as I saw my richer cousins with remote-controlled cars, nicer clothes, and bigger houses.
You stayed with me even as I was passing through high school. Those years, you made me jealous of my friends who scored higher marks then me and thus got a greater appreciation from the girls in the class. Then, when I was in college, you held my hand tight as I saw other classmates who arrived in their own cars while I took rickety buses. When I saw them also having cell phones, I felt your hug even tighter.
There were also times I found myself jealous of people who had no conscience and were famous for that. You made me think that I should become just like them. Thank God I didn’t!
When I got my first job, you stayed with me as a live-in-partner. I found you much closer to me whenever there were appraisals in office. While any salary hike would make me happy, you would appear beside me as soon as I realized someone else in the office got a better hike!
Somewhere deep down, I was happy with my job…but you always reminded me that I deserved something better.
You see, Jealousy, you have been the only constant in my life.
When I was five and now when I’ve crossed thirty-five, you have been like an alter ego, like a shadow that has never left me.
I still find myself wrestling with you.
Despite the fact that God has given me such an amazing life, I am sometimes jealous of people who seem to be living an even better life than me, parents who are better than I can ever be, bloggers who have achieved success greater than me, and writers of my age who are busy writing their second or third bestsellers even as I struggle to pen this simple letter to you.
If that’s not enough, you have had a lasting impact on my investing life. I’ve always found you by my side whenever I see price charts of stocks like Titan, Page Industries, Symphony, Eicher Motors, and so many like these. You make me wonder what I was smoking when these stocks were so cheap just a few years back! But where were you then?
I can see some 4-5 baggers in my own portfolio, but somehow you’ve always managed to cover my eyes and instead push me to look only at the multi-baggers I’ve missed.
You make me feel rotten by telling me how lucky the other guys are who got rich by investing in these multi-baggers I missed. It’s another matter that I don’t know who these other guys are and whether they got their multi-baggers through skill or sheer dumb luck…but you still make me feel rotten.
Now, as I sit here pondering over how much I’ve loved you over the years, I realize that I gave in to the beauty of your close cousin ‘Fear’, which also brought me closer to you.
It was Fear that taught me to compare, always compare. Somebody else has a better house, somebody else has a more beautiful body, somebody else has more money, somebody else has a more charismatic personality, somebody else owns better stocks. Fear has always led me to compare myself with everybody else I pass by, and great Jealousy, you have been the outcome…a by-product of the conditioning for comparison.
So, I have been double-timing you and Fear…and both of you have hurt me immensely over the years. I will write to Fear later, but for now, I seek an apology from you.
I’m sorry to tell you that you make me feel awful and helpless. You’ve controlled my body for so many years – from the tip of my toes up to the highest point of my head…travelling all over my body, through my veins…making me feel an oversized, painful knot in the middle of my stomach.
If everybody was in misery, you made me feel good; if everybody was losing, you made me feel happy. If everybody was happy and succeeding, you made me feel bitter.
You have not allowed my own blissfulness to grow. You have not allowed my own being to bloom. Hence I’ve always felt empty inside, and you made me look at everybody’s outside because only the outside can be seen.
I’ve read Mr. Bertrand Russell saying that you, dear Jealousy, are one of the fundamental causes of human suffering. How much I know this for a fact!
Then, the 18th Century French philosopher and mathematician Marquis de Condorcet said, “Enjoy your own life without comparing it with that of another.” But with you firmly on my side, I’ve never been able to enjoy my life because I often find myself busy comparing myself with others.
But now I am feeling nauseated just by your presence within me. So I’m breaking up with you. No more patch-up discussions. We’re through. Whatever kept us together just isn’t there anymore. Let me tell you that you no longer have that kind of power over me.
We’ve lived through so many years together, like unhappy couples. Now, as I bid you goodbye, I am occupied by a strange feeling of freedom. I don’t expect any of this to make sense to you. It never has before.
But I can’t express all this to you in simpler words. In fact, what I’m feeling now after erasing all our memories together is beyond words. I know you hate it when I talk like this, but this is an honest truth that you must face. I know I’ve tried to let you go in the past as well only to welcome you back the very next moment. But not this time!
My friends think I’m crazy. They wonder what I’m going to do without you, Jealousy. They’ve seen what happens when we’re together, the crazy highs and lows, the bizarre behavior, but they still question my decision. But I know from the bottom of my heart that unhappy relationships like ours don’t get better, they just get unhappier.
It’s a small world and no doubt we may run into each other in the future. But please, please let’s try to maintain a respectable distance. As long as we maintain a proper distance, we’ll be fine.
You see, I need to be far enough away from you to clearly hear my own voice. So please don’t come barging into my life anymore. You don’t live within my heart anymore.
Finally, thank you for being with me all these years even though made my life a living hell. Thank you, even if you have no clue about what I just said.
Life is one big road with lots of signs, and I don’t want to complicate my mind. I thus want to flee from you, dear Jealousy. I want to wake up and live!
I hope you understand.
P.S. My inspiration for today’s letter lies in an amazing post I read here.