Not a Competition

Last night I had a dream that my husband started creating art that was similar to mine and was way more successful. Either that or I woke up thinking about an episode of The Simpsons.

I know exactly why I had this dream. During the holiday season i started working at a local retail store part time. They thought I did  pretty good job and decided to keep me on year round. They now have me teaching classes and asked me to take on new responsibilities. It makes me feel pretty good that they think highly of me and I really like the validation.

My husband has been working in retail for most of our marriage, it is his family business. He is very good at his job. His employees know that he can step into just about any position and know what to do. Customers like him.

So it makes sense that I would have a dream where our work would overlap. I have stepped into his world and I am feeling a little awkward about it. That is an understatement, i am feeling competitive. I purposefully avoid similar interests with people I love. I don’t want to compare myself with them and feel resentful if I come up short.

It happened most notably with my mother. The year she died, she was included in an art exhibit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. She had taken a class there and a few of her pieces were on display. I tried really hard to be proud of her, I mean, the woman was dying and was given this amazing gift, but I was so mad. I had been the one studying art my whole life. This was my dream and she was stealing it. That was not at all what was going on but that is how I felt.

I fear what I will do to my children. I can already see areas where it may become a problem. My daughter is very into theater. I am a frustrated performer. Will I resent her success?

In the meanwhile I am going to check myself. Feelings are fine, actions matter. I am not in direct competition with any of these people. I can be supportive and ponder my emotions quietly to myself.


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