Thursday, February 07, 2013

Youth and being "right sized"

A character who thinks himself more or better -- destined for a higher calling. Who hates himself as he can't consummate this understanding of himself -- thinking himself less than those he imagines living the life he wants. Who thus isolates himself in his self-loathing.

What a joyless character. And yet, I feel that character could be me.

Confined to the house after surgery, I decided to read. I love reading and have often chastised myself for not reading enough. It's a common theme for me: falling short of a perfect vision of myself.

I at once hated and intimately understood the narrator. He frustrates me. But the story has so much to teach me.

Artistry and failure

I love his quest for "Artistry". He feels he needs to write -- something, anything. But when he does write, all he can think of is how awful it is. How under-par. He realizes that his goal eludes him because he hasn't been willing to fail. Has been terrified of failing. And so he has never really given himself a chance to achieve his goal.

There was a time when writing came easily to me.  Because I did it all the time. It was like breathing -- I barely thought about it. Certainly, that makes it easier to perfect the nuances.

And yet, when I haven't given myself that time and when I do make my attempts and when they do fall short of my expectations... Well, I can just be OK with the attempt. The practice. The learning.

Finding happiness

The narrator has prevented himself from enjoying the life that he could have enjoyed -- if only because it wasn't what he'd had in mind. On a journey, there are stops that are quite wonderful. It may not be the exact place I'd imagined I'd stop, but it might be what I need at that moment.

When you find things you're good at, maybe you can just recognize that and enjoy it. Wherever you are, whatever is right in front of you.

Our character describes a moment of feeling full, light and right. He feels it for just a moment -- while lying in a park. And I swear I know what he was feeling. I have had that prickly feeling. For more than a moment, thank the universe, but for less time than I would like.

In the end, the youth did acknowledge what I believe to be true but sometimes forget: we're only ready for love when can we inspire love -- in ourselves most of all.

You're on your own, baby

We're not entirely on our own, of course. There are so many wonderful people in our lives who want to help and support us. But they also have their own lives.

No one is going to "save" me. No one is going to make anything happen for me. No destiny will intervene. No white knight or caped crusader. No one, however much I think I want it, will say "I got this" and just hand it all over. I am responsible for my own path.

Pride. Right-sized

Not everything is about me. I'm not so different from everyone else -- we're all making our way in the best way we know how. I'm not so much better or worse, more or less deserving of good or bad.

I don't need to imagine that I'm being watched with disdain. Nor do I deserve better than where I am. Neither of these will help me. I am both good enough and still having a way to go.

 Getting my head right-sized.

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