Recently I went to visit a friend for dinner. I had been at school for the day, then spent the afternoon in meetings, leaving me with no time to go home and change. I knew that would be the case, so that morning I made a special effort to look nice. I put on a cute outfit and styled my hair. I wore my new cat-eye glasses that I just got from Zenni, which I love. I grabbed my trendy little leather pack that I discovered at the Goodwill last week (an awesome find!). I felt great about how I looked, stylish yet casual. I was happy and confident. I had a great day!
When I arrived at my friends house, she opened the door and I felt this terrible sinking feeling in my stomach. It felt as if all the confidence and that had filled me up all day had evaporated in an instant. Why? She looked … gorgeous. She had a cute new haircut and highlights, a super stylish outfit, statement jewelry and adorable shoes. She looked so put together. I felt small, pale, scruffy, cheap. I felt entirely diminished.
It wasn’t anything she did, obviously. She’s my friend, and I’m only friends with really nice people (who’s got time for anyone less than that?). She certainly wasn’t the cause. It was me. It was envy.
We are all affected with envy, and most of it has to do with materialism. For someone like me, who sets very high standards for herself, I easily feel envious. Envy is a sneaky inclination that can destroy all my joy in an instant. All the happiness and confidence I had felt that day was sucked away in a single moment. I let my happiness be compromised for a few hundred dollars worth of clothing and accessories.
Envy eats happiness and love, it ruins relationships, and it creates holes in your life that are impossible to fill. I’ve learned over the years to recognize envy for what it is, and to acknowledge it when it arises in my heart. Standing at the door that day, I immediately checked myself and complimented her on how put together she was. Clearly she was spending a lot of time and effort to look so well, and she should know others noticed! I then told myself that nothing had changed from earlier in the day. I may not have enough money to do all the things she does, but am wonderful just the way I am. I am enough.
Part of a healthy lifestyle is finding happiness and thinking positively. That doesn’t mean you won’t ever feel envy, but you will be better equipped to recognize those feelings and put them aside. We will never be perfect, nor will we be the best. There will always be someone more stylish than you, more fit than you, more thin, more outgoing, more hilarious, more crafty, more savvy, more intelligent. And good for them for shining in this way! We should recognize the strengths and talents of others, and in turn help them to celebrate their own greatness. We are all unique; we need each other to value our own exclusive gifts, and then use those gifts together to make the world a happier place.
So, as you head to your superbowl parties this weekend, be on your guard for envy. Remember this:
You do enough. You have enough. You are enough.
And while you’re thinking about this Sunday, whip up this quick, healthy, and really delicious appetizer to share with your wonderful friends.
I have a soft spot in my heart for Spanish cuisine. Spain was the first place I travelled to outside of the country. It was that experience that awoke in me the desire to see more of the world, to experience other countries and cultures, other ways of life. And, certainly, to eat the foods they love there. This is a Spanish tapa, and one of my favorites. I love the simplicity of it; fresh tomatoes, garlic and baguette are beautiful as they are. A perfect extension of the thoughts I am having today.
I have also used the leftovers with some scrambled eggs in the morning for a quick and healthy breakfast. It’s very similar to one of my favorite breakfasts, a Turkish dish called menemen.
Pan con TomatePrint Recipe
- 1 pint heirloom tomatoes
- 5 plum tomatoes
- 1/4 cup olive oil plus 2 tbsp
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Paprika for sprinkling
- 1 baguette (check ingredients for vegan)
Combine the olive oil, diced garlic, and red pepper flakes into a small skillet. Heat over medium low heat until garlic is lightly simmering. Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat, set aside and allow to cool.
To prepare the tumaca sauce, grate the plum tomatoes. Combine in a bowl with 2 tbsp olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste.
Slice the baguette into about 1 inch slices. Heat your broiler to high. Place slices on a baking sheet and bake under the broiler until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Keep a close eye!
Flip the crostinis and brown on the other side. Remove from oven.
Thinly slice the heirloom tomatoes.
To serve, top crostini with the tumaca sauce. Add sliced tomato.
Salt, pepper and paprika to taste. Drizzle with garlic chili oil.
The paprika best with this dish is a Spanish paprika. This kind is usually milder and sweet that other paprikas, such as Hungarian.