It's a weird sort of serendipity that I wrote about wondering what “great enough” meant, only for Freddie deBoer to come along and do the same thing much better. In his most recent essay, he bemoans the ironic distance that contemporary educated people effect, especially those who hold themselves out as writers. It's a longing for unironic passion for the craft, for wanting to say something and thinking you have something worth saying.
As I've written about before, I often struggle with absolutist thinking when it comes to valuing something. It's especially prevalent when it comes to myself; I tend to be a lot more charitable with other people.
One of my primary functions in the Bureaucracy is to communicate Its intentions and decision-making. I’m not quite in public relations, but there is that element to what I do. It involves a lot of writing, as thankfully I don’t have to actually talk to anyone outside of my office.
One of the things that's kept me from writing more regularly is large amounts of self-doubt. I wish it were as simple as thinking I suck, but there's more going on than that (isn't there always?). Instead it seems to be some combination of not being good at honest self-appraisal and demanding unrealistic feedback.
Over the last couple years, I've finally sat down to make some attempts at reading Scripture. Like with most things I do, I've started and stopped repeatedly over that time, and not come close to actually finishing. But this hasn't meant that no thoughts or insights have been forthcoming.
Thinking positively, my parents and teachers used to tell me I could do whatever I wanted when I got older. But not only did this prove to be iffy from a practical standpoint (thanks to a combination of as-yet undiagnosed ADHD and the 2008 Financial Crisis), there was a bigger issue: no one ever taught me how to figure out what that actually is.
This is, admittedly, a weird thing to be blogging about. It may even be counter-productive (you’ll see why presently), so I just have to hope that the benefits of organizing my thoughts and sharing them will outweigh any reinforcement of negative habits that this also entails.
The problem with being unhappy most of the time isn't actually the unhappiness. Sure, it burns you out, leads some people to commit suicide, whatever, but on some level you get used to it. Just like with drugs or alcohol, it's what to do when it's gone that's the problem.
On the one hand, there is a degree of egoism to writing here. If I'm honest with myself, I do want someone to see me the way I see some of the bloggers I read regularly. Even by writing this, I'm trying to recognize it in myself; but some small part hopes that by doing so the universe will vindicate my desire, will reward my coming clean.