Sunday, June 22, 2008

Can Jealousy Ever Be Good?

Jealousy has a bad rap. And with reason. It makes us feel bad. It makes us act bad. It can ruin friendships. It can cause divorce. It can make you turn an awful shade of green that does not go well with your new hair color.

But sometimes it can make good things happen. Or more precisely, it can make you make good things happen.

Around 2005, I developed a little crush. Not on an uncle or movie star, but a country. I started to have this thing for Australia. Kind of came about from some dreams I had. Not a huge thing and I didn't talk about it much. It was more of a mild attraction.

I did want to visit Australia, but I pretty much put it in the category of NOT going to happen.

I'm not plane-phobic, but I don't enjoy long plane rides. I especially couldn't imagine doing a plane ride with a young child. I figured...MAYBE when he got older. Or maybe I'd just wait until my next life. I would request to be reincarnated somewhere in Australia.

I was actually fairly okay with all this. The wish would appear in my brain every so often, but I would just push it away.

Then two things happened that changed everything. I don't actually remember the order though. But anyway....

A) my sister's husband casually announced that he and my sister were going to travel to Australia. They're free and childless and could do such insane things.

I was incredibly jealous.

B) My cousin sent an email out announcing that their family was moving to Sydney.

I was incredibly jealous

Nothing happened immediately. Well, just the fact that my cousin would send me photos of their life in Australia and I'd come to close to exploding. On one hand, I loved looking at the photos and seeing their adorable little Aussie life. Well, my mature-self did. My less noble self would scream out. Why can't it be me??????

In August (about two months after my cousin moved to Sydney), we got passports for an upcoming family cruise. It had taken us months to finally get this done--major procrastinating.
After we left the official government building place, my husband jokingly asked where we should travel to. I chuckled a bit and did my usual speech about waiting until our son was older (he had just turned six). I said the cruise was enough.

About a week after that, I had a very rough day. I read my cousin's blog and she was having a rough day too. One thought led to another and I suddenly decided I should go visit her in Australia. The I soon turned into we, and when my husband came home I asked if we could go to Australia. He had been dying to go anywhere overseas and agreed immediately. We searched for good plane tickets and bought tickets by the end of the day.

We had three months to plan the trip. And in those months my little crush on a country became ....well, a bit of an insane intense crush.

I feared I'd end up being disappointed by Australia. Sometimes our fantasies are much better than reality. But in this case, that didn't happen. Australia was as wonderful as I imagined. I feel I was meant to go there, but I don't think it ever would have happened if it wasn't for my sister's planned vacation and my cousin moving there.

So there you go.....

Sometimes jealousy can be a positive thing.