I was sent this in an email earlier today, and it rang so very true.
“Many people labor in life under the impression that they are doing something
right, yet they may not show solid results for a long time. They need a capacity
for continuosly adjourned gratification to survive a steady diet of peer cruelty
without becoming demoralized. They look like idiots to their cousins, they look
like idiots to their peers, they need courage to continue. No confirmation comes
to them, no validation, no fawning students, no Nobel, no Shnobel. “How was your
year?” Brings them a small but containable spasm of pain deep inside, since
almost all of their years will seem wasted to someone looking at their life from
the outside. Then bang, the lumpy event comes that brings the grand vindication.
Or it may never come.
Believe me, it is tough to deal with the social consequences of the appearance
of continuous failure. We are social animals; hell is other people.”
The trigger word is, “fight”. When the familiar, comfortable despair comes crawling around, urging self-pity, I want to punch it right in its frowning face. It may not look it, but I am fighting harder than I have ever fought on any mat or in any ring. The reactions that were learned as a child to escape harm are now useless, and the biggest danger I have ever faced. My future, and any happiness or satisfaction that may be in it are at stake. This is something I have to do alone. No one could wrestle for me, and no one could fight with me. Considering how long I have been leaning, someone to lean on may be the worst thing I could possibly do. There is no panacea.
A little running yesterday has left me wincing with almost every movement. There is not going to be a quick fix, it’s going to be a lot of days, and weeks, and months of wincing. Inside and out. That is my expectation, and I’m alright with it. I’m going to enjoy it all as best I can.