Well, I had every intention of coming home from b school and cleaning my apartment, but life had other plans, or rather I got distracted then lazy and I needed to let a few things out. I really wanted to write yesterday before I went to bed but tried to let it sit a while and I could feel it pushing at me all day, the words left unsaid, the feelings left unexamined. I guess blogging counts as cleaning out my soul, a little bit. Not quite Saint Augustine’s Confessions, but I do what I can.
Ca plombe. It’s weighing me down, this leaving Paris thing. I know I’ve gotta do it, and it was my free choice not to stay (conditions being financially less stable than I’m already in- yeah being from the only Western country without mostly free education. Not going to rag on the amazing American university system, though) It makes things feel complicated and overly sensitive with the guy I’ve been going out with, who is mostly awesome because he is not a douche. Not perfect alas, but not a douche I can say with some certainty.
Went out with said nice guy yesterday. I like him a lot. I will be sad to leave him, and I told him so. He says I can come back, and we will stay in touch. It’s hard knowing I’m going to leave, and since we’re not in a serious relationship now I don’t think we will want to do long distance when I go back. I’m not hopelessly in love with him, sometimes I feel like he’s pulling away from me or rather, not growing towards me. But he’s also a chill dude and probably doesn’t think much of any of it- pretty sure he has no calculated plot not to start liking me anymore or to randomly forget about me. [A part of me would like to say that due to past wounds, it took me a while to just believe he would really be that decent, but the truth is that scars are only there if you keep letting the past wound you. Sure, it can influence you but the pain that all that insecurity came from was inside before I met anybody who would let it spill out. Generally people let others treat them no worse than they subconsciously see themselves, although it is healthy to deal with a little bullshit cuz we are all human and you take what you give sometimes. ] I talked to Mom today and she said nothing could hold love back, so don’t worry that I’m repressing something that’s really meant to be. I guess that makes sense. And sometimes, in some moments, I do love him, though not every moment is dazzling, but such is life.
Men do kind of all seem the same, and not that smart either. Why can’t you just see the totally obvious hint that you should make plans with me for the weekend since I just told you what I was up to? Twice? La hint? lol
I feel like what I’ve rediscovered, in a healthy dating situation, is that I don’t really need a man. I was happy without one, though I am really happy (sometimes) with one, who isn’t even really mine, at least not now. I really am an independent person and I wasn’t just bullshitting myself to feel better that nobody liked me and I couldn’t find anybody to like. Also, look at me, I am capable of being in a healthy adult thing without falling in love thoughtlessly (though what other way is there?) and picking a guy who doesn’t treat me shitilly. I was reading the onethousandsingledays.com blog and I realized, hmm, I was single for more than 1000 days. And I did a hell of a lot in them. And I hope that now I’m enjoying the side benefits of being an awesome person who attracts awesome people into my life.
I’m tempted now to create a false dichotomy of intimacy and independence, and speculate on the implications for this and future relationships, and thik that if I just figure it out, everything will be a-ok. The truth is that things will resolve themselves and answers will come in time. Scratching my head is never a bad exercise, but there may not be a need to furrow my brow over this. No, I think not. And yes, I will leave in 3 weeks, and there is no real conflict between the two. My feelings about the guy are a bit confused, and yes so are my feelings about love, except for the fact that I unequivocally want it, the real thing, and am committed to making a relationship work when it’s the right place, person, and time. And maybe if I have to move some mountains, within or without. Love is definitely worth fighting for, but it’s good to know that it’s there first. it’s good to know fthat for me, intimacy is not a cructch for lack of independence, and it doesn’t hinder the process of becoming more knowledgeable about myself and isn’t a threat to my self reliance.
There’s a lot of things I want from life right now. I’m in my early to mid twenties, such is life. I was going to write an entire post morbidly pointing out how nothing has gone to plan in my life because of the stupid financial crisis that wasn’t even my fault and no one saw coming and how horrible that is and how WE ARE ALL still in financial precarity because f it, jobs aren’t so easy to come by, etc., but I did think better of it.
The point is, everything happens for a reason. That doesn’t mean that everything that happens to you is your fault. However, you do have to deal with what you’ve got and NO ONE ELSE I remember, no activity, no person, no anything will make you feel happy and alive and energized and engaged and wonderful. Nope, durable joy has to come from the self, and from God who is our home (Wordsworth). I am falling assleep as I write but the words just want to coem e out.
I’ve thought a whooole lot- look at all those oooos- about passion. I’ve been looking for my big thing, since kinda forever, mostly been finding major insterests and small potatoes instead. I can’t say with any certanty what will make me happy, though I have a pretty good identity of the previous conditions that made me unhappy. I don’t think that I abstively posolutely have just one passion, or that many people actually do. I’ve come to rethink the whole making a difference thing, I guess it’s all a matter of perspective and what you think making a difference is or the difference you think you can make or want to make. Careers are at least partially about making enough money and having financial stability after all, and it’s pretty rarely clearcut. No, not all of us aspiring corporate zombies are heartless or brainless. Just trying to find the right place at the right time with the right people, and going into nonprofits or poorly paying fields is no guarantee of that. Your job at Save the Whales might be altruistic, make you feel like a self-sacrificing saint, and make a tangible contribution to the world, as might being a public school teacher or public interest lawyer, but I don’t think those vocations promise happiness, or even passion. Repetitive tedious tasks, difficult colleagues, poor cultural fit, and “hygiene factors,” (such as getting paid a wage you find fair), might derail the dream job of saving the world. And we cannot save the world alone, or really KNOW how or where or why it could best be saved.
What we can do is at least take care of our own little worlds. We can treat the people around us with kindness and respect and behave with integrity in all situations. If we all did that, the abuses of the system would not be so great and we probably could all be well off. Didn’t specific what I meant by system because, while we each might have certain preferences, all systems have pluses and minuses. No one will invent a perfect one, though we will take evolutionary steps towards a better one. I used to want to be the next Adam Smith. Now I realize that he just worked hard his whole life and just wrote what he saw. He wasn’t trying to change the world through revolution like Karl Marx. This does not make me a Burkean conservative, but it does make me an American pragmatist.
In business school now, preparing to be a master of the universe, or rather just hoping for gainful employment commensurate with my student debt, I realize how much my ambition has made me suffer. I had a great job last year, it’s great I didn’t stay in it for ever either, but as a teacher’s assistant in English I got to live in France, got paid enough to live, and only worked a few hours a week. I always felt that job wasn’t good enough or real enough, but damn, it was a good one. I also really enjoyed some elements of teaching, and while I still think I’m better off in business school, given my personal distaste for anything resembling repetition (no wonder I’ve kind of put off the adult world a little bit…), I think being a teacher is a great job now. Probably more rewarding, and more effective, than sitting behind a desk working for an educational nonprofit, depending on the kind of work you would be doing. It’s all a question of personality though, which makes self awareness one of the most rare and valuable attributes anyone seeking “happiness” can have. And self awareness has to come from experience, and the willingness to be honest with yourself. Not something you come out of industrial age sausage factory style mass educational factories with.
I’ve been very happy here in France this time, and I finally realize that realizing one’s goals in dreams is just an infinitesimal piece of the happiness pie. So much of life is just getting from point A to B, and as I’m preparing for the next stop int he adventure, I can see that my ambition did help get me here, and will help me stay here in the future (I pray), but that ambition can get in the way of opportunity. It can get in the way of happiness and home life. And most of all, it can get you caught up in the false idol of success, which was created by society and is just another form of slavery. Success is important, but even when we define it on our own terms, it’s important to smell the roses. And those moments where I have felt like, “Wow, that’s the reason I was put on this earth!” rarely involved money or medals. Money I have never been as driven by as prestige and feeliing like I’m doing well, well, better than, my peers. And also my more perfect self that actually does the cleaning and comes up with all these draconian ways to get things done and I just can’t or won’t compette.
I have this voice inside me that is never satisfied, that no matter what I did was afraid to gain weight and wanted to lose five pounds, wondered why I ever get a B plus, lost confidence in my “natural” public speaking ability when I failed to win trophies at debate competitions, calls me fat and lazy all the time, reminds me how inefficient I am, has all her impulses under control, and would have gotten a job. That’s the “me” I compette with, what a bitch, and I KNOW I could do better if I could be bothered to try, if I thought I had a shot of winning. they’ll always be somebody better than you, that did more even though they had less, that played the same set of cards life dealt harder faster and cleverer. Yes, ambition killed a lot of things for me, especially basketball when I was younger. I needed to prove I could be good at anything, even when I didn’t have “natural” talent. When I wasn’t so good, I could just beat myself up more because I did happen to have the advantage of being taller.
My striving to always be better has hurt myself and those around me, watching my pain, and often neglected, in the pursuit of excellence. Maybe another reason I’ve feared commiting to something is that without quick and sustained success, I wouldn’t be able to pursue anything regardless of passion. Need for achievement miht lead to great accomplishments, moolah, respect, etc, but it can also be a form of slavery. Depends on the person, and everyone’s balance is different, bu shoot. It is important to know and respect limits.
And coming back to the big ternal I me me me, the reason this voice could torture me was because somehow, somewhere along the way, I learned not to like myself every much. You may have also noticed I had a “fixed” versus “grwoth” mindset meaning I thought it rewuired talent and not just drive to get things done.
I don’t want plain old peace, I do want challenges. But Dear Lord, please help me to be my best firend instead of worst enemy in meeting them. When I see this other Megan at the threshold and immediately feel the need to shovlel in some candy or ice cream or sweetness of any kind, I hope I can find it within me, instead. I hope I can learn a little compassion not only for my fellow man. And almost most of all, I hope I find a good job with good pay, and that I get through the job search process remembering it doesn’t define me.
O Success, O failure. Both are greeat teachers.
But inner peace is even better 😉
Where’s Yoda when I need the directions to it???
Peace and love,