Almost Famous

Feeling lucky?

Ordinary Saturday, stuck at the dealership while the truck’s being serviced.

One final shuffle through the magazines brings me face to face with an old issue of Fast Company. The guy on the cover looks vaguely familiar.

Then it hits me. A classmate from undergrad has made the cover.

Now I haven’t seen him since graduation. We were friends, but we didn’t date or even talk to each other that much. I may have invited him to a social at my sorority once.

Okay. I did do that. He declined because he had a girlfriend. He’s a good guy, handsome to this day. No wonder he made the cover.

Anyway, he was in my program. We competed in class. Often I won.

But not today. After I picked myself up off the floor, I read the article.

Welcome to my lair.

If my eyes were green they would have turned three shades deeper and glowed.

I might have sprouted horns and a tail too. Imagine an X-Men transformation right there in the Ford waiting room.

Thankfully, my eyes are brown so only God and I knew what was happening.

Ivy League MBA, internet commerce, gazillion dollars, CEO. Somebody stop me.

Still in shock later that evening, I recounted the event to my husband.

“He was on the cover!” I said. “Of Fast Company! He is the CEO of @#$%!”

That wasn’t a curse word. I chose to use symbols instead of the company’s name for fear of embarrassing us both.

“He sat next to me in our advertising campaigns class. He’s not all that!”

Well apparently neither am I.

This brush with fame stalks me. Let me brag on my friends for a moment. One of my best friends from college advises presidents of the United States and not as an intern.

I told you she knows Robin Williams.

Another has a brother-in-law who is arguably the greatest athlete of our generation. She hobknobs with Robin Williams.

Then there’s my friend who’s a regular on Squawk Box. My several friends who are published authors, esteemed professors, powerful attorneys, brilliant surgeons.

My husband the optimist, who incidentally has logged a nice set of accomplishments in his industry, says I’m using the wrong standards to measure success.

When I keep my eyes fixed on doing the best I can with what I’ve been given, this stuff doesn’t faze me. When I compare myself, I’m in trouble.

God help me, I will live another day to slay the green-eyed dragon.

So what if my dashing classmate enjoys well-deserved success? I can be happy for him. There’s plenty to go around.

Turning his head, Peter noticed the disciple Jesus loved following right behind. When Peter noticed him, he asked Jesus, “Master, what’s going to happen to him?”

Jesus said, “If I want him to live until I come again, what’s that to you? You—follow me.” John 21:20-22 The Message

To watch Hey Jealousy by Gin Blossoms on YouTube click here. I had to include this video because 1) the title and 2) it’s the only music video I know that includes rolling a tree (giggle).

Special thanks to Cameron Crowe for Almost Famous.

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Filed under humor, life

6 Responses to Almost Famous

  1. Lisa

    It is so easy to not recognize our own accomplishments sometimes. You have raised a fantastic, funny and smart boy who knows and loves Jesus. There may not be a cover of a magazine for that, but there is a reward.

  2. Hi, it’s Julia’s other friend Amy. She’s told me about what a wonderful writer you are and she’s right. I loved reading this! I find that not only do I compare my successes to friends from my past, it’s also easy to get caught up in comparing our kids’ accomplishments (especially as they enter school and testing is all the rage). I’d say the honest, loving insight you have about yourself and your faith are definitely accomplishments to be proud of. Here’s to you!

    • Thanks so much, Amy! My little guy is in kindergarten, but I can see the kid comparisons coming. I do want to set a good example for him. What a gift it would be for him to know his worth is not tied to his performance! Guess that means I have to keep debunking the myth in my own life first… Got my work cut out for me (sigh).

  3. Sandra

    So what I’m taking away from this is that you are not jealous that I turned out to be a preschool teacher? Really?
    It was great to see you last week. :) I’m enjoying your blog. You’re a great writer and always have been.