Failure & Parenthetical References

19 January 2010 § Leave a comment

When I (1) left graduate school the first time, the failure was monumental. It was not the first failure. Not by a long shot. But it hurt more. More youthful failures were easily forgiven. I was finding myself then. (Tangent: Finding one’s self. To find one’s self, in the most generous terms I can give it, is to find a translation of one’s individual self. Usually, this involves knowing your place in the world via what you do, via who you know, via what you like and dislike. A useful self. Translations are always flawed, always imperfect, and sometimes outright irresponsible due to the translator’s lack of skill or the difficulties inherent in the art form. In its least generous terms, finding one’s self is a state not dissimilar from psychosis, wherein the I knows who it is based on some intricately crafted tower of feather and lace supported by dental floss attached to clouds.

As we get older, we find ourselves repeatedly. To do any less is to surrender being on the altar of banality the past ignorance. Easy to be tempted: others’ expectations, the need for security, and simple exhaustion from the whole struggle. If mankind ate from the tree of knowledge in the first days, it has been dutifully eating from the buffet of ignorance since then.) More recently, (2) I figured out that I wasn’t a teacher any longer. Compared to any youthful shortcomings, it was much more difficult to think I knew myself and then fail to be what I “knew” I was.

This internal struggle must be why people rarely disavow the beliefs of their upbringing. Religions, political attitudes, and other biases passed on from the parents are a security blanket (obviously, direct rebellion to such ideas is another clear statement of identity, though equally false until the rebel becomes comfortable enough in the distance to begin forming an original self).

I am getting to this: the self must be recreated. Each creation is equally false. What else to do while you’re rolling around in the void? More than the apathy: what else would you want to be doing? The creation is intoxicating; the heady experiment of self with world is full of wonder.

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