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This is so true.

From Daily Afflictions by Andrew Boyd, via The Funny Times
When you are unhappy, you find yourself prone to feelings of envy and jealousy. When your own life seems worthless, you often look at someone else's life and want it for yourself. But remember, however much you might want his car, career, lover, or even good looks or intelligence, you would never, given the chance, choose to be that person. You would never choose to exchange souls, because your ego is fiercely bound to your defects and failings no matter how appalling they may be. Once you realize this -- once you realize that no matter how worthless your life is, it's still the only one you would ever choose to have -- you can begin to see yourself with new eyes.

My life is worthless, but it is mine
Note on the meaning of "true" in the above subject: I'm usually just vaguely to very dissatisfied with my life, rather than thinking it's worthless, but I still think the quote is amazingly true.

And this one....OK, it's true, but I'm not ready yet. I think I'll be a soft-hearted dilettante for a little longer.


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 27th, 2003 06:21 pm (UTC)
As to the second one ...
... I seem to have started doing that sometime in the past decade, although I wouldn't use the same imagery he does. But making choices and letting the unchosen options really, truly go, yes. For me, it's a matter of personal energy conservation.

And yes, you probably aren't ready yet - it's not time for you to take that approach yet. I think you'll know when it is, and you may be surprised to discover that it turns out not to be a sad thing after all.
Mar. 27th, 2003 06:29 pm (UTC)
That second one is depressing. I can't imagine living that way. If nothing else, I don't believe that it's true. You never know what will happen to make those possibilities, er, possible. Even if you don't want it and you're happy as you are, change is inevitable. (And no, this conviction is not just the result of recent events.)
Mar. 27th, 2003 10:27 pm (UTC)
I agree that it's depressing to say to yourself, "this dream that you really want is impossible, so you must give it up."

I think it can be useful to say to yourself, "You can't possibly do justice to all the activities you want to do, and if you are indecisive, you'll end up doing none of them, and you might rather do some of them than none."

"Change is inevitable" figures in to the second statement as follows: "circumstances might change tomorrow and take away some of your choices, so if you don't want that, then it might be better to start now."
Mar. 28th, 2003 04:29 am (UTC)
I think that it's the idea of _killing_ the other choices that disturbs me. I agree that I can't do everything and have to prioritize what I want to do. However, at some part of my brain I feel that it's possible to go in that alternate direction--even if I don't, or haven't yet. I hate the idea that that alternate not only won't exist when I look for it again (it might not) but that I should kill it as an effort to mentally streamline my life.

Since I root my dreams in what I'm doing, there is very little that I see as impossible. And I've had it brought home to me recently that an alternative path that I could not follow with one set of circumstances becomes possible with another set. Had I killed that alternative path so that it would not distract me, it would not be an alternative now. I prefer to set aside my alternatives--just in case.
Mar. 28th, 2003 07:54 pm (UTC)
If you already "root your dreams in the possible," then it's probably not advice you need...
Mar. 27th, 2003 06:39 pm (UTC)
Wow. This guy is brilliant. Rather depressing in spots, but brilliant. I actually resonated strongly with the second quote you put up there. I, too, am a soft-hearted dilettante, and I suspect that part of my problem is being unable to shoot the other possibilities in the head.
Mar. 27th, 2003 10:28 pm (UTC)
I have the same problem when I go to get rid of stuff - I feel sorry for it and end up keeping it.
Mar. 28th, 2003 07:40 am (UTC)
Hmm. Interesting. I don't feel sorry for stuff, but I get overwhelmed with the choices, and I worry that I'm making the wrong decision (what if I need this suddenly one day? what if I can't ever find it again to replace it if I decide I need it after all? What if Allegra wants it some day? etc etc). Results in the same thing--total lockup.
Mar. 28th, 2003 07:58 pm (UTC)
That happens to me too. The part I refer to as "feeling sorry for" is that I feel obligated to find a good new home for the stuff I want to get rid of, and sometimes "a good home" is something other than "the local Goodwill truck," so it gets complicated, and I end up keeping a lot of stuff 'cos I don't have the bandwidth to find it a good home.
Mar. 28th, 2003 08:58 pm (UTC)
Ah, yes. I have that problem, too. But usually the Goodwill truck is OK, though I wince when they toss the stuff into the truck willy nilly on top of boxes of glassware with no packing. I have to avert my eyes at that point.
Mar. 28th, 2003 05:28 am (UTC)
You will not be surprised to see me say that I, too, have a problem with closing out possibilities that lure me. I'm polyamorous in my love life, but promiscuous in my career and hobbies! I sometimes have to remind myself of an expression I got from Bob Shea, "The good is the enemy of the best." Killing your other interests may also be seen as weeding a garden--not everything can grow in that same space with those same resources, and if you don't choose, you will likely end up with crabgrass instead of flowers.

But I do find that it's easier to focus as I get older. I *could* have been equally good at this, and that--but now I have two decades in learning about writing, English, teaching, literature, &c., and know a lot about those that not everyone else does. So it makes sense to go with that, when another area would mean starting over. It's still a pretty huge area of "expertise," though. For me, the biggest commitment issue is writing a book (instead of articles in books).
Mar. 28th, 2003 07:59 pm (UTC)
Funny. I've always heard "better is the enemy of good." But I suppose the reverse would also be true.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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