I'm not jealous of other women, what I envy about other women is not a threat to me, therefore I am only envious of what they have not jealous that what they have means that they can take things from me.
I'm sure there are many women out there who are envious of me.
I am confident, I am friendly, I am 46 with no children living at home. I have a glamorous lifestyle, I live in Dubai, I don't have to work. I have a husband who provides me with a lifestyle where I am comfortable, can travel and don't have to watch the pennies. So how can I possibly be envious of other women?
It's not about insecurities or wanting things that I can't have, such as smaller breasts, or a bigger bum (or just a bum will do) having better teeth or being a size (or 2 smaller). Technically I could have that if I paid for it and made it a priority and joined a gym and changed my diet.
It's not even about wanting material things. For me, it's about friendships, families, a career.
I've had all that and now I have a chance at new adventures, but even that is wearing thin.
You see living abroad isn't one big holiday, I may leave in a dream holiday destination, but trust me the grass isn't any greener. the grass is artificial, and the landscape is bleak. No hills, just buildings, occasionally there may be a cloud in the sky and for one or two weeks a years we get weather, fog and rain. For 4 months of the year (apart from the 2 weeks of weather) I actually enjoy living in Dubai as I can go outdoors, it's chilly in the mornings and hot during the day. This means I get to vary my wardrobe, my routines, explore new places (Dubai isn't actually that big)
Why do I envy other women? They seem to have their lives mapped out, it's not about material items, designer handbags or shoes, although I do wish I had a bit more style and grace about me, but to be honest I don't feel that comfortable when I'm in a dress and heels.
I envy those women who enjoy living abroad.
I envy those women with large friendship groups.
I envy those women who have their parents visiting them.
I envy those women who look fantastic with hair and make up all in place and looking good in whatever they've thrown on.
I envy those women who can eat what they want and not put on weight.
I envy those women with all the above and a career.
I envy those women who know how to valet park.
I envy those women who know how to use the spa/gym.
But behind everything I envy, I also see the bigger picture, the facebook pictures v's the reality of living abroad when you meet these women and get to know them.
The women who don't feel like they actually belong in the big friendship groups, who feel lucky to be part of it, then who bitch about others behind their backs.
The women who complain that their family members are a drain on them emotionally and financially but can't put that on facebook as they'll see it.
The women who spend a small fortune and get up an hour earlier than the rest of the house and spend all day reapplying make up and doing their hair to maintain that natural look.
The women who are controlling their diet, exercising, have an illness etc and or under immense pressure to maintain that shape and photoshop the arse off every image, quite literally.
The women who are paddling like mad below the surface to try and have it all. Been there, done that. Raising kids, having a career and managing a home are not easy.
The women who can valet park and know how to use the spa/gym will always remain a mystery to me. I actually don't envy them, I am in awe if the truth be known.
So what can I do to tackle my envy? Well the one thing I do know is that I'm honest and realistic, which means I'm half way there. I really can't have it all. If I want my career back, a job, income, some independence, a sense of belonging, an identity, then something has to give. What would that be? My ability to travel back to the UK with such frequency. I'm back in March for child 4s medal parade, June for child 2s wedding. I'm spending the summer in the UK to escape the endless heat of Dubai. I'd have the finances to send for the kids and my mother, I'd be able to have more shorter flights to the UK, but then there would be a price to pay in terms of fatigue from travel, timezones and straight back to work.
I was in full time work in 2016, teaching. I had the summer holidays off, the shorter ones I decided weren't long enough to get to the UK for a proper visit. I had friends and family visit, I was working in the day, I was shattered in the evenings. I had to apply for emergency leave when family members died. It didn't work for me.
So what do I do instead? I've joined the expat groups, where I've felt nothing but envy for most of the above reasons, these women seem happy without a career, but are they really like me and it's all a front, they're just too embarrassed to say so?
Am I too honest? Is this why I don't fit in? Are these women that I envy happy? Am I happy? Is it because I'm wanting more? Wanting to be different? Not accepting myself and the situation for what it is?
Even if I get what I want in life, living back in the UK, with my family near by and a carer, then want? Will I be wanting more anyway? Is that what life is about? Will I ever be happy or will I look back on the years we lived abroad wishing I'd made more of my time and just enjoyed it for what it was, an adventure?