Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I wish I knew

I wish I knew how to express my joy and delight in other's success in the face of my own repeated and ignoble failure. I wish I could convey that I truly believe that the triumphs others achieve reflect their own merits and worth, that everything they receive is in measure of all that they contribute, that they indeed deserve it. I don't really want them to feel too overly lucky in comparison. It's not really fair. It's not simply luck. Success is not the result of random chance.

I wish that I could say all those things, and have them be believed, despite the sinking depths of my own despair that the same can not be said on my behalf. I wish I could truly allow others to understand that my own depression (while motivated by circumstance) has little or nothing to do with comparisons to their own opposing circumstance.

I dread to be with friends who I know will ask me, in all good meaning, how things are going, and what I am up to these days. I need to practice the art of talking about others lives without mentioning my own.

Tonight, my wife said that she had hoped I would work with a career coach in part because she feels she can no longer be my counselor. I will fall silent. I am the turtle in my shell. But I will hide myself too much I fear. Perhaps. But maybe I will clamp shut just enough, avoid discussions of the things that bring me down, long enough for the circumstances to possibly change.

It is always up and down. Fake it 'til you make it, I guess.


Weezy said...

Articulate--- I so hear everything you are saying. It is so hard to be a ray of sunshine for others when it's nothing but fog and rain inside. Though my PhD isn't finished yet, I have already had enough-- I'm dreading the fall semester and the return to adjunctland. I'm now in denial, that if i don't work on the fall semester it won't come. Though I have an application out for dream job, I'm already fearing that I won't get it. I don't post as often to my blog as I want to because I'm tired of being a suck hole of doom and gloom. Part of me wonders if that is why I'm dragging my feet on finishing--now to the world I have an "excuse" they don't understand that getting the Phd is not neccesarily a ticket anywhere.

ArticulateDad said...

Thanks, Weezy. Some times, some days, some nights... are harder than others. Yes, others' success can seem to serve only as further highlight for my own lack. I wish I could simply delight in all the aspects of my life that are going well, without collapsing into the recognition that one aspect is a glaring failure.

If only I could understand it. The difficulty is in trying to reconcile the relative ease with which others pass through, with the difficulties I am encountering. Of course, in many cases, all I see is what I notice, on the surface. There is, surely, more to it than that. Perhaps they look at me through different lenses, and see their own lacks instead of my holdings.

Perhaps the hardest to deal with is the trajectory of my wife's career. It seems the easier her path, the harder my own. I love her. I respect her. I admire her abilities.

I think of 1994. My girlfriend of four years at the time was incensed that I, after more than a year away from our field, was able to casually, with little effort, and no prior planning, chance upon an opportunity (while visiting a university with her) to get accepted to the same program (which I hadn't even considered before hand).

I think the last straw in our relationship, was when we were both offered the same scholarship for Master's work. Understandably, perhaps, she felt herself far more deserving, far more worthy, if for no other reason than she had worked that much harder to get there. And I, for my part, achieved the same without planning, without necessity.

I must try to remember this when looking at today. Tomorrow, the sun will shine once again, and I will look back at yesteday's gloom, and realize it provided the rain for tomorrow's brilliant bloom.