When quarantine started, I think we all had this warped idea that it would be over soon and things could get back to normal within a few weeks. As I quickly found out, that was not the case. In order to occupy my time, I ventured into the realm of small businesses, which had apparently been part of many other people’s plans to occupy their quarantine time. I had always made my own clothes and enjoyed being creative in the area of fashion. Seeing this, a girl I knew asked me to design a sweatshirt for her. After making the design for her, I posted it and soon discovered a lot of other people like the design too. I made an instagram and began posting and selling sweatshirts with my designs on them, and thus ShopAlexiaV was born. In saying all this, I don’t think I was prepared for the ways starting this business would change me as a person. Before I started all this, to be quite frank, I felt so envious of other girls. I would feel such a pang of jealousy in my gut when I saw others thriving, happy, and doing what they loved. That sounds so silly to say out loud, but jealousy is often a silly thing in itself. I discovered I wasn’t jealous because I didn’t feel they didn’t deserve that success or that happiness, but I was jealous because I wanted it for myself as well. When I started my business, I started to see how supportive people genuinely are. I think that growing up, we’re told the world is a cruel place. It’s eat or get eaten. This experience taught me that that wasn’t the case. People would post my business, write me supportive messages, send me kind words of affirmation, and they were also buying the things I was creating. This business venture taught me that jealousy has no place in my life. I started opening up my heart and supporting others in whatever they were venturing into as well.Most importantly, the concealed compassion that the world holds persuaded me to start a new practice. I began doing away with surface-level, superficial compliments. I instead stopped hiding the admiration I felt towards others and fully verbalized everything I felt in whatever moment I felt it. Thus, my life improved. In starting this small business, I learned the world isn’t as bad as people make it out to seem. I think people want to think the world is cruel so they can continue on being negative towards others without feeling guilty about it. As easy as it can be to just dwell in your jealousy, I think utilizing those envious feelings to drive yourself to succeed can be way more fulfilling. And who knows, you might even get a small business out of it.