Avoiding Crisis

comments on comments

with 2 comments

brace yourselves…this may be a long one.

Tonight I was going to write a post titled “always wanting what others have” which would detail how all my friends (okay, not all, but there are a few) would kill to have my life – a stay-at-home mom to two beautiful (albeit sometimes devilish) children, world traveler,  have time to go to the gym, lunch with friends, write a blog, blah blah blah, oh and let us not forget that I have a full-time live-in maid during the week.  And I would discuss how I would do anything to have their lives – I’d have a career, something to put all my creative energy into, I’d feel like I was contributing to society, and more importantly, to my family.  This is how it always is, isn’t it.  We always want that which we don’t have.  It’s like the girl who has beautiful curly hair but would do anything for straight hair.  Or me who has perfectly straight hair who always wanted curly hair.   In these cases you go to a hair salon and chemically alter your hair only to find out about the problems that come with that which you didn’t have but always wanted.  The grass is always greener on the other side…and when you get to the other side you find out that it’s the same color that you started with.  But no, I’m not going to talk about this.  Instead…I’m going to comment on some of the comments that have been made over the past 2 weeks, starting from the beginning…

Randi wrote…i agree with whatever friend explained your current feelings as a way of not meeting your own expectations. however, you have accomplished a lot! you have taken the road less traveled, and actually been quite carefree and sort of followed a “wherever life takes me” kind of road. most people cannot do that. …  you’ve had the opportunity to live in other countries, travel to amazing places, and have had the joy of being able to be a hands-on mom to 2 beautiful children. don’t let that escape you.

While it’s always nice to be reminded as to how much I actually have accomplished so far in my life, these are things that I am fully aware of and very proud of.  I have been given so many wonderful opportunities over the past 10 years that have taken me in directions that I could have never even imagined.  I do not discount any of those things that I have accomplished (and I don’t think that Randi is saying that here) but I do wonder, naturally I may add, how things might have been had I made different choices in my life.  

Saying that I’m a failure in that I didn’t achieve any of the goals that I had set out for myself oh so many years ago is not a negative statement.  It’s not a positive one either; it’s more along the lines of neutral.  I have no problem calling myself a failure. I think more people should embrace their failures and move on…and that’s what I’m doing.  Had I achieved even one of those aforementioned goals by now I probably wouldn’t be the person I am today, which is a very happy and content one.  Which, is a great lead in to the next part of Randi’s comment…   

…i was scared when i first started reading your “journeytothirty” blog. my initial reaction was, oh no, i hope she is not slipping into a depression mode and where/what will this spiral into. but as i keep reading it, i look at it more as a first step to accomplishing one of your many said goals and i think it is healthy and i’m proud of you.

I’m so glad she gets me.  For those of you who don’t know me personally, it is not a big secret that I have battled with both serious anxiety and depression for many years.  I have mentioned as much in previous postings and I am 100% sure that it will come up repeatedly before this journey ends.  For those who know me well, what Randi is expressing here is a very understandable concern.  But nothing could be further from the truth.

Sue wrote…Your thoughts made me think about something that Louisa May Alcott, the American writer in the mid to late 1800’s said -“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them and try to follow where they lead.”

That is a kick-ass quote…just thought it was worth repeating.

And now…drum-roll please, on to the real reason behind my comments on comments.

Shakira wrote…It’s very unfortunate the way you see yourself. It seems like you are a very smart person and have lived a very comfortable and privileged life. It seems as if you have never worked a hard day in your life. You have a family that loves you and needs you. Be happy with yourself and use your time to help others. Maybe this way you will see just how lucky you truly are.

I want to take this opportunity to thank Shakira, who ever s/he is, for taking the time to read what I have written and to comment.  That being said, I will now deconstruct that which s/he has written in order to correct some items I find to be, well, completely false and, to say the least, condescending.

It’s very unfortunate the way you see yourself – Actually, it’s not unfortunate at all.  I would consider myself lucky for being able to be as honest with myself as I am, for being as in touch with my feelings as I can be, and for being able to deal with those feelings in a very constructive (as opposed to destructive) way.

…have lived a very comfortable and privileged life – yes I have lived a comfortable life, and compared to others, I guess one could even call it privileged.  I was raised in a typical middle-class family with parents that provided their children with those things that were necessary and then some.  At times, sure, I would even say that I was spoiled.  But I was still part of the 50% of college graduates that had student loans.  I had a full-time job after college, paid my own rent, my own bills, etc.  I don’t live, nor have I ever lived,  my life with a silver-spoon stuck in my mouth.   

It seems as if you have never worked a hard day in your life – this assumption is completely wrong.  I have worked very hard to succeed in life.  I don’t even think this is worth going into in greater detail because I have absolutely nothing to prove.  I am proud of the person that I am, who I have become, and I’ve worked damn hard to get here.  

Be happy with yourself and use your time to help others. Maybe this way you will see just how lucky you truly are. – As I have already mentioned, I am very happy at this point in my life.  I would like to think that I am very helpful to those that are in need of help.  And I don’t need to “see,” I already know how lucky I am.  I have seen severe poverty in developing nations, I have watched children beg for food on the streets, I have seen terminally ill children in hospitals that are not even closely equipped to take care of their needs.  Better then most, I do know how fortunate I am.   

There…now that I got that off my chest (please, no comments on the cleavage)…I can go to sleep. 

goodnight.

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Written by nicolemarie

January 23, 2007 at 11:47 am

2 Responses

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  1. Also think how lucky you are to know Latin American singing sensation Shakira. Wow.

    John

    January 24, 2007 at 9:17 am

  2. I received a link to your blog from a friend of mine. I found the title interesting (Journey to Thirty) and decided to check it out. I have found your writings both interesting and confusing. But the one I found most interesting and confusing was this one (Comments on Comments).

    In this entry you write, “I am proud of the person that I am, who I have become, and I’ve worked damn hard to get here.” You also wrote, “I am very happy at this point in my life.”

    But in your third entry (So what’s the big deal) you wrote, “For me, turning 30 doesn’t mean more responsibility, it doesn’t even mean getting older, what is does mean is that I will officially be a failure. The moment I turn 30 I will have reached a self-imposed deadline for having to have accomplished something extraordinary. It is safe to say that I will not have reached any of my (and i will be the first to admit somewhat unrealistic) goals. I will not have gotten a PhD, I will not have written and/or had published my first book, I will not have spoken around the country to young women about depression, anxiety and self-injury, and I will not have even had anything remotely resembling a career. It’s not like I ever expected to do all the these things, just one would have been nice. But I’ve done none. And therefore, the day I turn 30 is they day that I will fall short of perfection. And for those who know me, I don’t take failure lightly.”

    Success and failure are opposites. Failure is not a “neutral” term.

    So what gives? You seem to enjoy all the comments from people who seem to know you. But when Shakira takes time out of her/his busy schedule to offer you her/his opinion you dissect her/his comment with more precision than you do anyone else’s. S/he’s the first person on this blog to offer you an unbiased opinion of what you have written about yourself. I agree that you are lucky that you can be honest with yourself and you are also lucky that Shakira can be honest with you as well.

    -Ann Landers

    Ann Landers

    January 26, 2007 at 1:12 pm


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