Y felicidad. Well, Dixie Chicks, it’s been FOUR long years now since the top of the world came crashing down ... apparently I’m reeeeaaally taking the long way around. Maybe I peaked early, and cracking 30 put me “over the hill,” so to speak. As another year screeches to a halt, I reflect on the build-up of all my life’s accomplishments one after the other, the wall I smashed into, and the straight drop down.
Straight A’s. Scholarships. Awards. Prodding from my professors to move onto Ivy League PhD programs. But I stayed at my safe local university for my MA, because that’s what a practical, naive girl does. I had a fiancé. I had a life in mind, a plan that was going to unfold MY way. I would graduate, get married, pop out kids, and embark on my middle-class career in a secure field.
Turns out I had to ditch the guy along the way (and all my ideals about love), but the career! Now that was going to be the shred of stability I could focus my perfectionism on. I plodded on with my accomplishments, “growing” professionally by about five grand per year, always moving on to bigger and better opportunities. And then it all vanished, never to be found again.
I literally cannot figure out where I went. The old me would not even recognize whatever I am now. She would be disgusted by me. She could not begin to relate to “giving up.”
I am a nobody. I am a has-been. I am nothing to no one. It used to be my life’s work to help people in this very frame of mind, now I can’t stand the thought of helping myself. I can’t stand the thought of continuing to pretend all the time. I can’t stand not being able to fix myself. I sit here crying at the prospect of another year to get through. I just don’t understand when it’s going to get better. After all this time, why hasn’t it?
It’s funny how, if you go long enough without something you thought you wanted sooooo bad, you can end up not wanting it anymore. Period. Like kids. And marriage. If given enough time, you’re forced to examine why you wanted life’s traditional ends to begin with. You analyze the lives around you, and ask which shoes, if any, you long to be in.
What if you can’t even find anyone to envy? I mean, if you see someone who has something you want, you can try to go out and get it. Well there’s nothing I want to go out and get, folks. I’d rather sit around and waste away, apparently. If you think long and hard enough, you may not end up finding the solutions to your life’s problems; instead, you may just grow terribly sick of mulling it all over endlessly.
It's hard to say something to this post beyond knee-jerk reactions of "snap out of it" "just do it" or other such useless bits of non-advice. I think most people feel at the core their essential nothingness, and we hide it with all sorts of bluster (ego) and distraction so we rarely stare straight into the Abyss, that stark fear that we are nothing and are going straight back there after this blip of consciousness ends. So I would say it looks like you stare a lot at that Abyss and thus the stuff within the blip becomes meaningless. Hence the fear of wanting anything that you know is inherently unreal. (maybe? I might be projecting here)ReplyDelete
I would also theorize, though, that you've manifested the lows in order to experience this thing you learned to help people deal with--how else could you help them really, without figuring out how to get out? and why else would you choose to survive, except that you KNOW that you're going to come out? The only thing stopping you is your own perfectionism. From the impressions I get on your blog, you seem like a really kind yet unapproachable person--99% of your vitriol is reserved for yourself, and beyond that there is a genuine care for others.
Sentence 1: This is our human instinct; we need people to not feel bad. Because I know people can't tolerate what I really think and feel, I never speak it out loud. It scares people. They would much prefer I think happy, self-affirming thoughts and that I "get back on the horse."ReplyDelete
Paragraph 1: Right on. I'm an existentialist at heart, and I think that sense of alienation lies at the core of a lot of this. Being disconnected from the world of work, the world of my peers, amplifies that utter alone-ness.
Paragraph 2: I've always been a depressive-type I think, which has prevented me from poo-pooing others' struggles (as many "helpers" do). I would love to come out the other side of this with some wisdom, but right now I would feel like a fraud re-entering my field because I'm so lost myself, and I don't have the strength to take on anyone else's hurt.
Last Sentence: There's something curious about being pegged as unapproachable from only one's words. Caring too deeply about others - about everything - is not always a good thing.
Well, about the unapproachability, that might be my own projection, as that's kind of what the Internet is all about I think. Or maybe what I meant is that there is a sense from your words of the futility of trying to "make you feel better" or "cheer you up" etc., so people don't approach as it is too scary to face and to truly see someone we feel we can't help. The cheer-up words even feel false coming out, though. I suppose it's about needing to accept someone as is without trying to change them, instead of blindly trying to shove sunshine because we don't want to face our own futility about our lives.ReplyDelete