People are ready to confess to a multitude of sins: I've heard friends admitting to acting, thinking or feeling selfish, narrow-minded, cold-hearted. The one sentiment that no one ever wants to own up to, for some reason, is envy. The beast, the green monster. Apparently, it's the most shameful feeling a human being can possibly experience.
There's a street close to where we live, a short little road that I take every time I walk to the tube. There's a tiny park in the middle of it and a pub on the corner. This tree-lined little angle of London hosts some of the most beautiful flats I have ever seen: classical Victorian London houses, red and blue doors, two-floor flats with a loft feel, lots of air and light. And a spacious back garden.
Every time I walk by, I can't help but peeking inside those cosy windows, admiring the perfectly designed modern kitchens, the soft, inviting sofas with colourful cushions strewn over them, the wooden floors - no disgusting brown carpets here. And that light. Always, that soft, subdued London light.
Today, I walked by and stole a peek again - this time I saw a man working on his computer in front of a huge window. He was looking out over a lush green garden with that light pouring in.
Next door, a few builders were working on another house just like it. I stopped and had a look at the unfinished room, imagining the people that were moving in there, the people that had bought this house for £1,225.000 (yes, I checked). This was their house, their life. They would wake up with the sunlight streaming in through those windows. They'd have June breakfasts on the terrace in that garden. They'd close that red door behind them and skip down the steps toward the park. I wondered who they were and how they had ended up there.
I kept on walking, my steps a bit heavier, my mind a bit more clouded. I don't like it when, as I express my envy, people counter with, "well, maybe they're fat and sick and lonely". Why should they be? I marvel at the insecurity of humanity: why we're so quick to find alleged misery in what's apparently perfect? I wish that these people are healthy and loved and blissfully happy. Everyone deserves to be.
It's just that, until a while ago, walking down this street made me feel hopeful. It made me envision a red door, a garden-facing window, a cushion-filled sofa of my own. It made me imagine the future David and I could have together. These days, walking down this street makes my mind fill up with thoughts of obstacles, difficulties, hurdles. It makes me question if it's true that the world is made up of people that can and people that can't. And maybe my envy is based on a niggling doubt in my mind regarding to which category I belong to.