I'm not a jealous person by nature. I don't hate people who have perks that I don't or skills that I don't or great hair that I don't. (I reserve my hatred primarily for stupid people.) Instead, when a girl crosses my path who is smart and beautiful and well dressed, the sentiment I am struck with most closely resembles pity. Not pity for her, pity for myself. Pity that I don't have that awesome blazer or those long skinny legs and proportionate torso.
Pathetic? Well, duh. But I would categorize this less in the Cathy cartoon pitiful category and more in the pug pitiful category. Like: oh you silly fat old thing with your skin infection and breathing problems...
This line of woe-is-me thinking has recently been exacerbated by the fact that I've been incapacitated for the past two days with some plague resembling the flu with its aches and pains and debilitating fatigue. So I haven't been particularly feeling as everything's coming up roses as I normally do.
To top it all off, I keep hearing about all these people around me who are achieving wonderful things. Meanwhile, I have been achieving a vertical position on my couch atop of a throne of pillows with my hair matted to one side, weeping my eyes out to What to Expect When You're Expecting (which was either made more tolerable by illness or was actually better than I was anticipating it being...)
And to think that Standford turned down this jelly for their PhD program.
Perhaps they were just intimidated by the sheer extent of my knowledge on Hilary and Hailey Duff movies. Who wouldn't be?
It's just that all these recent whispers of accomplishments have reminded me of some old goals I had back when I was a bright eyed idealistic undergraduate, completing my last semester of study. At that time, my plan in life was clear (and I thought attainable): get a PhD in English, become a well respected author, poet, instructor, and literary critic. Nearly five years have past and I'm arguably no closer to those goals and once more, I am not even sure that these are my goals anymore.
I would be lying if I said I didn't feel a twinge of saddness thinking about this. I would also be lying if I said I didn't dwell in that old familiar feeling of self pity that I am not the one out there conquering the world of academia or making choices that nudge me closer to making a real decision about my life and future instead of just punching the snooze button, over and over and over again. Just five more years, okay?
Are you bored yet? Me neither, I will complain some more.
Maybe it's just the season. Remember that it was this time last year when I first awoke from the stupor of my delusions of grandeur. I know that ultimately everything worked out for the best and that right now I really love where I am and what I am doing and I almost never feel dissatisfied.
But every now and then, when I hear about so and so and their fellowship or so and so and their book deal, I start to wonder if it's that I no longer want those same things or if it's that I simply gave up trying to attain them.
Also, if I have to read one more article about how my generation is apathetic, anxiety ridden, indecisive, poor, and unfocused. I. will. lose. it.
And no, the irony is not lost on me.
And oh yeah, happy May Day. I am sending you a virtual basket of goodies via this post.