Jealousy and Envy – the Good Side?

Jealousy and Envy are bad things. No doubt about it, no argument. But wait, isn’t there also a good side of those words?

I had coffee with someone I admire a few days ago. He is a person who has a lot of deep friendships. He connects with them in a way I don’t even begin to understand. I made the statement that I was jealous of his friendships. I meant this in a most positive way. I certainly don’t want to take anything away from him or his friends. I don’t want to get in the way of his friendships. I certainly don’t feel slighted that he has those friendships and I don’t have that same closeness. But I do want a bit more of what he has. I aspire to what he has in these relationships.

I need a new word. “Aspire” is pretty close. I need a form of that word I can use where the words jealous or envious would fit in a sentence.

Any takers? What is that word?