On Life and Love

How did I do it?

Somewhere in high school, I did something that made people like me. Now, when I’m in need of help getting where I want to be, there are a lot of people stepping up to help me. Michael’s coming for Commencement (!!!) and to help me move. Nathan visited an apartment complex on my behalf (and toured it!) today. Lisa’s offered to let me stay with her, if I want to hold off on getting an apartment. She already pulled some strings to get me the interview for the Harding position.

I guess… I feel humbled, I suppose.

I feel as though I’ve lost a lot of what made me admirable (if I was) in high school. I have so much trouble making sacrifices for things I want these days. That’s a common trait among people here at Rose; a lot of people feel they’re “talented” and that things should come easily. If it doesn’t, then it’s probably not worth doing, because it’s clearly not in their area of interest.

I’ve picked up more of that than I’d like, despite my resistance to it. I’m still not one to ride on “talent”, but I do feel like I lack a lot of my old motivation/passion/idunno… my go-get-em. Maybe it’s that I feel like the standards are so low here for success, and I’m blah-blah on meeting those. I still go-get-em when I want ’em, but it feels like I don’t quite have the energy I used to.

The best term I can come with for it is “joie de vive”. Zest. Drive. Passion. My Charlotte people generally have it, my Rose people generally don’t (with a notable exception), though I love ’em to death. I feel like I’m moving (if not forward, then someplace else) very quickly and (with that same notable exception), the people around me are content to be cool to move along at a more peaceful pace. That’s cool, but that’s not where I want to be.

Part of the reason that I want to move back to Charlotte is to get myself into an environment where I can regain that. I let Rose become a big part of me, and I’m ready to move past it.

Until then, I guess I don’t feel worthy of my Charlotte people’s love, like I’ve “unproven” myself during the last three years through slovenly/slacker behavior. I probably never was worthy and will likely never be, but right now — when all of these elements are coming together to help me — it’s particularly apparent to me.

Now, however, I shall dance to the fourth movement of “Eine kleine Nachtmusik” as I fax apartment applications.


  • Luke

    Pookie you’re still a go-getter. Rose just saps the enthusiasim out of you. 😉 I’m sure you’re still one of the hardest working people I know (and some of the people I know really do try to work hard in many different directions).

    Making sacrifices for things in the now compared to the past…perhaps your sense of what’s worth it and what isn’t has changed. I’ve had the same thoughts from time to time, but my personal life is full of things I love even if my professional life sucks. I’m sure that you are making sacrifices and are still go-getting, but the things you are sacrificing are different now than in the past.

    I know what I’m giving up to do the things that I enjoy, but it took some thought to continue making the same decision.

  • A

    I think I know your pain in this respect. In high school I was pretty cool – well liked (or at least rarely shunned), academically strong, and rather devout.

    Now I’m just sorta grinding. Whereas I found passion in working in my studies before, I largely just do the minimum now. It took years to feel passionate about anything, so I think I lost something valuable.

    On the bright side, I’ve heard the real world is a good wake up call. Perhaps we’ll find ourselves again on the outside.

  • Lissa

    Thanks, Nathan. 😉

    A: you summed it up very well. I’m grinding; schoolwork still interests me on some level, but not the way it used to. Teaching interests me greatly, but I’m so afraid I’ll get myself stuck in the same rut very quickly. At least I’ll get a break this summer to recharge with friends, and maybe that’ll be enough to help rejuvenate me.

    Luke: The problem is, on some level, that I don’t like the switch I’ve made. I’m giving up my academic and intellectual pursuits to do silly things, which is a complete reverse from what I used to do. On top of that, I don’t think I’d call that much of a sacrifice. The only way it bites me back is that my GPA isn’t a 4.0. It’s taking the easy way out, and I don’t like that that’s now my MO.

  • Luke

    Perhaps you enjoy doing different things now than you once did. Life and sacrifice are not measured in terms of a GPA.

    A better question might be: “Is it worth it to me now, then, and in the future?” If you can say that you enjoyed what you did, then why does it matter if your MO changed. Enjoy life for what it is.

  • Lissa

    Luke: You’re right, it’s not about a GPA, and I’m not sure why you latched onto that in my comment. “It’s about always taking the easy way out” was the important part of that comment.

    I think here you and I are probably just going to reach an impasse due to our different philosophies on life. I want my life to be a challenge (and challenges are fun), and you seem to just want life to be fun. *shrug* C’est la vie.

  • Luke

    I suppose I equated a lower GPA to “easy way out.”

    Anyway, yes our life philosphies are slightly different. You expect life to be a challenge and I expect it to be fun. But a challenge is fun, according to you, so we must have the same expectations of life…perhaps what you mean is that you’re used to life being difficult without allowance for the silly part of life.

    I don’t know about you, but I’ve always (eventually) loved the challenges that I’ve chosen to participate in…even when bitching about not having a life.

    Perhaps you’re feeling the loss of no longer being the necessary aspect of your school extra curricular activities?

    I’m trying to figure out what you think you’re missing or lacking as I can’t find it in terms of work (ethic) or ability.

    Anyway, I think I’ll stop on this topic now and I’ll leave you with these thoughts:

    Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort. – Franklin D. Roosevelt or Vincent van Gogh (I’ve seen it attributed to both.)

    Real joy comes not from ease or riches or from the praise of men, but from doing something worth while. -Wilfred T. Grenfell (Now if only Wilfred had said what was worth while…)

    I’m glad I did it, partly because it was worth it, but mostly because I shall never have to do it again. – Mark Twain

  • Lissa

    Luke: Sorry, guy, but you’ve still got it wrong. That you can’t find it in work ethic or ability doesn’t mean that I can’t find it. Work ethic is in part what I’m talking about, and I don’t think you’ve been present enough to judge (nor are your standards something I’d judge by, as you should know — different philosophies and all).

    As far as the Thorn, if you knew the state I’d left it in, you wouldn’t worry much about me missing it. 🙂 Just about everyone’s glad I’m gone.

    Your quotes are nice, but again, not relevant. I know what’s important, and that’s what I’m moving towards: Charlotte and teaching. What I’d like to leave behind is exactly what A. mentioned: the feel of grinding.

    *shrug* Different philosophies. Perhaps more different than you think.