Green-eyed Tour Guides


Last night, I watched The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I liked it. A lot.

Tonight, I read writer Stephen Chbosky’s bio, and wailed about all I haven’t done since his book, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, was published in 1999. In Moonstruck fashion, but without the slap in the face, Suzin told me to snap out of it. “You were teaching kids! They needed you!”

I whined about the royalties I wasn’t collecting while I was teaching said kids. And then it occurred to me, I have reaped many emotional royalties: the perks of being a public school teacher for 12 years instead of a best-selling author, I guess.

A few days ago, author Jodi Angel told me, “You can’t revise what isn’t there.” Okay, she didn’t actually say it to me, but I was in the room, and it stuck like an earworm. But in a good way, not in an It’s-a-small-world-after-all kind of way. It made me want to replace what isn’t there with something.

The green-eyed monster can be nasty and destructive, or it can point us toward where we’d like to go; it’s our job to choose the path.

Your turn: What have you learned from your green-eyed monsters?