Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Pompus and my Circumstance

I am really feeling quite the failure. This is bound to happen after so much time standing still. Now that I am ready to be on the move and going again I suppose it follows that a watched pot never boils.

The other day remembered, kind of out of the blue, the feeling from my high school graduation. Now, mind you, I had no sentimental attachments to high school. I was ready to go to college from the time I was a freshman and Amy, Lynn and a few extra-curricular activities were the only things I cared for. I think I was the only person in that stupid, hot gym that didn't cry. In my mind, I was thinking, "See ya, suckers!" I was thinking of all of things I wanted to do in life, that I EXPECTED to do in life. I had no master life schedule, wasn't anal about it or such a compulsive driver I had an exact expectation about where my life would go - but it was the sense that something greater was to come - a sense of freedom I had never had before and maybe will never again. The flaw, I have found, in my future planning was that it stopped after college. I envisioned college, and my own apartment, friends and lovers, getting a good, impressive job in an office and that, well, was it. That's where it stopped. Honestly, working in an office wasn't such a letdown to me. I like having structure b/c my mind is so UNstructured - it gets loose and floppy without it.

I didn't allow my mind to wander or deviate from that plan, to explore what other things I could do or might want to do. So, when life deviated from that plan I didn't know what to do with myself. There was always an unspoken expectation about how my life would progress, my mom was open that we could do what we wanted but made it clear she wanted for us college, jobs, marriage and children, in that order. And I think I held that in my own mind as well, even if I wouldn't admit it. I worked very hard at the university, to both achieve good grades and to gain the internship experience I would need to go on and do great things. I belonged to honor societies, and the J-School's Student Advisory Board, I was on the Cather Mentoring Circle and worked. I felt certain that if I worked hard enough that I would be successful and get to that point in the plan where I had air-conditioning and a nice car.


When forced to, its sometimes amazing the things that you're able to do or at least, that's what I'm hoping for. I am waiting to see what will come out of my move - to force my floppy, uncreative mind to figure out what to do next. Its my adaptability that has made it easier for me to acclamate to Colorado. But it was also the same flaw that allowed me to get comfortable in a rut at home following unemployment - eating, drinking, leaving my mind unused and my heart depressed. In remembering that feeling of freedom from graduation, feeling like I had potential, I saw a younger, tireless, shinier version of myself. Neither my looks or my age were what made me want to reach out to her - it was the fearlessness with which I had looked to the future, unafraid to take risks or to fail, not knowing what I would do with my life but confident in its success none-the-less. The remembrance has given me a dichotomy of thought - both a crushing feeling of failure and embarassment of my self-indulgent naive confidence, and a desire to reconnect to it. This is more than about getting a job, or starting over in a new city, its about realizing that the plan was flawed and deciding to write a new one or reseign myself to the fact that flaw lies in the planning itself.

3 comments:

purplejoolz said...

Danni, That is a revealingly honest post and you are brave to let it all out there. In fact you're a brave one all together. I know people who have reached the same point in their lives and have just let things drag. They will not take responsibility for their future and wouldn't even consider moving to a different part of the country to scare themselves into changing (despite the UK being tiny by comparison). Most people have to compromise. What may seem like a mapped out life very rarely is. Scratch the surface and show the cracks, we all have them.
I applaud your hunger for success but don't be fooled that everyone else has it. I am so envious when I hear of young people who know what they want out of life. I still don't know and I'm way old by comparison!
You are steering in the right direction, but don't be too hard on yourself.
Baby steps Danni, baby steps...

Danni said...

Hey pj! I appreciate your note. It gives me a good feeling of affirmation, the best kind of feeling there is. :) I am beginning to sense clarity, good things on the way. I am pretty new to blogging, and sometimes it's very hard to be honest, especially about the ugly things in ourselves and I am going to make an effort to be more upfront about it. It's amazing how easy it is, in your own mind, to lie or overlook things. Writing is helping me to examine them and honestly, to expell them. Tomorrow and Saturday are moving days, I'll try to update soon.

[takes one small step, and then another, stops for a snack]

Kevin said...

I've been there before, Danni, so I know the kinds of thoughts and feelings you're experiencing. Actually, it's shocking how close your overall experiences come to my own (loved college; despised high school; complacency during unemployment). I had to mentally and physically leave my comfort zones in order to move forward. You've embarked on the same journey, and in that respect, I know you'll meet with success. :^)