28 January 2013

HUGE Tracts of Land!

I have come to the important conclusion that I have been persistently making a fundamental error in how I have gone about conducting my life. I do not think that this is particularly anyone's fault, or caused by any one thing or event that has happened to me. I can point to two specific issues, however, which I know for sure contributed the problem. The first is that I made the naive mistake of showing far too much literacy too early in my life. That, of course, sounds really backhandedly arrogant. Oh, woe is me. I could read when I was but a wee lass. My life has been ruined.

Whatever. I make no bones about the fact that I am quite literate and always have been. Other people get to be extremely attractive or talented or athletic, and I get to be literate.

Anyway, the actual problem is that all of the adults in my life noticed this, and as a result, told me two things:
  • That I could be whatever I wanted when I grew up, and
  • That the thing I would be would be Great.
No pressure. By Great, I mean rocket scientist (this was not unheard of, given the proximity of NASA. I knew actual rocket scientists). President. Murphy by-God Brown. Of course, who is going to tell a kid that they are going to grow up to be tech support? That would be a great way to induce alcoholism in six-year-olds. So, upon being told that I was really smart and would therefore be Great, I spent the next twenty-two years trying to be just that.


There is just one problem: I, it turns out, am not Great. I do not suck or anything. I received a marriage proposal from a man in Tanzania at four this morning because I fixed his website. So, I would definitely argue that I am above average, but Great may not be in the cards, and I think I understand the origin of this rather drastic misunderstanding, and it comes down to algebra (and if we are speaking literally, Algebra II. Thanks Ms. Stark. You ruined me for maths at a very important juncture and as a result I am not a physicist. And yes, I blame you, personally, for this.); consider a graph where x is age and y is academic prowess. I feel like I started out with a greater y-intercept than my peers but have a less steep slope. Everyone else started out with a lesser y-intercept but have a steeper slope. As a result, we have all ended up at roughly the same (x,y) by now.

Except for those bitches who made my life miserable in eighth grade. May all of their souffl├ęs fall flat into eternity.*


I had a point.

Oh, it is that I am probably merely above average, and I find that I am happier having come to that conclusion. Strange as it is, I actually rather enjoy my eight hours at a desk. Perhaps I enjoy it because it is new, or because I know I shall not be doing this job in six months' time, or because I am aware that I am no longer sinking into the swamp of student debt. I built the castle of college, and it sank into the swamp. So then I built the castle of grad school, and that sank into the swamp. But now I am building a castle of employment---and this one is going to stay up.

There may yet be a capacity for greatness within me, but I have have to say that I prefer happiness to greatness, and I shall not ever again sacrifice the former for the latter. I know for sure that it is the unconditional love I have received from such luminaries as my parents, my friends, and my wife which has made me comfortable with this decision. My attempts at greatness required far too many sacrifices and far too many bottles of wine, and the thing is, by the time I actually got into a position where I could get to alleged greatness, I was so damned sick of it that I pretty well just hated it all, and if I were married to someone with a more volatile temperament, I would be incredibly divorced right now.

And that would suck all over the place.

Anyway, I still might do something super awesome with myself. I am still working on my alleged novel (in fact, that is the working title. Alleged Novel: A Memoir of the Future), and I am going to take all the trainings at work so that I can have a slightly less frenetic job (because I am here to tell you that I only have about six months of this in me. Seriously). I am going to continue to improve myself, but in the interim I have every intention of being content.

*Seriously, fuck them. Assholes.

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