Being envious or jealous is very normal.. at least I think so! I am always amazed by friends and colleagues of the skills they possess and their ability to play and perform so effortlessly - to the point of jealousy, but not in a bad way! Think of it as admiration maybe, because I know that with time, patience, and a lot of hard work and effort, I could probably get there.. I hope hahaha. But that's another point for another day.
But as with everything, there are always 2 sides to the coin, and I feel that there are 2 types of jealousy. We have a positive-type of jealousy, sort of an admiration as I described earlier, and we have the negative-type of jealousy where the "if" scenarios are always playing - "If only I could play like that"; "If only I was rich"; "If only I had time" and the list goes on forever. Of course, it's great to let our minds wander and think about the "if only" possibilities we conjure in our make-up reality, because we can use that as goals or aspirations for the future. But more often than not, the negativity is always more alluring because no one loves self-pity more than ourselves.
Again, bad example but I'll use myself here.
As with all jobs and employment, there are pros and cons. Being a freelancer, I'm quite certain that most will agree, the greatest positive factor for us is the flexibility of our working schedules (to a certain extent). We're not bound to sitting at desks from 8am to 5pm every day, and every work day is different (for the most part). It keeps things fresh, new, and lively, and we can sort of look forward to work every day. (Sidetrack: Whenever, people ask me if I'm on off, I always joke that I have work days instead of off-days.) And of course, friends with the 8-to-5 jobs will be envious and say something like "man, I wish I could have your work schedule" or " you have it good, working whenever you want to". And while it may seem like we're having the time of our lives working odd hours (maybe only 2 to 3 hours a day, and then having the rest of the day's time for other things), our greatest fear is actually worrying about when that next pay cheque will come. So while these 8-to-5 people are jealous of our flexibility in working hours, freelancers on the other hand, are jealous of their very consistent (and sometimes fat) pay cheque.
And this is a real-life struggle! In our tiny island, we welcome financial stability with open arms, especially since costs are always rising. Many friends I've met and known through school are in day jobs, some even in fields non-music related. Some also have day jobs yet play at pubs or bars at nights because they enjoy it and have to make music part of their lives, but cannot commit to having a freelance-based schedule.
Of course it's going to be really tough and difficult! I often wish I could have a consistent and regular pay cheque (the negative-side of jealousy), but I also enjoy my working flexibility as I am able to spend time with family. Unfortunately, there isn't a middle ground where you can have the best of both worlds (minimum input, maximum output).. at least based on my experience as a freelancer. But I still do believe that working on the craft is the most important aspect. A close friend also mentioned this during a gig,
"Take care of the music, and the music will take care of business"
and it pushes me every day, to be open to new ideas and possibilities while also working hard, practicing and honing my craft. It also aligns with my beliefs on this post I made last year.
Jealousy can be both good and bad, and we need to know both for it to help us. Because while the grass always seems to be greener on the other side, I say take care of the grass on our side first and hopefully, with enough patience, we get to see the fruits of our labour..
...or maybe I'm just not a risk-taker to jump to the other side haha..
But what do you think? Let me know by writing below! I'll leave this here for some food for thought, and I hope you enjoyed reading this week's post. Thanks as always, and I hope you'll be safe and well.
P.S. Here's something more light-hearted :)