Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Ever see that movie?  It's cute.  I love the little pixar/dreamworks/whatever movies that are all great animation, funny adult humor, and a complicated enough dialogue that you always catch something new the second and/or third time you watch it.  In 'Meet the Robinsons' there is a story line, the basis of which is... well, silly.  But "failure" is a key component.  Each failure is a lesson, one less option to try, and a means with which to begin planning for the next failure.  The theory here being, seemingly, that through the process of elimination we will all succeed to build a better future with flying cars and talking, emasculated robots.  And time machines.  And miniature meatball launchers.  

I recently had a setback in the grand life-plan.  A few hours ago I received a call that ended with my not having the job I was all-but certain I was going to have for this coming summer.  This was a shock.  True, we're told not to 'put all our eggs in one basket' and to refrain from counting our chickens before they hatch... and other fowl metaphors.  But I was so sure this time.  

Alas... it was not meant to be.

I am surrounded by people I look up to on a daily basis.  People who are self motivated; people able to continuously place tomorrow over today; 30 years from now over the pleasure of this moment.  This is not my strong suit.  And I am continuously finding myself regretting past decisions as a result.  

My life is punctuated by moments of brilliance, while the substance of each day consists of mere delusions of adequacy.  

This must change.  Like many people, there is much about myself I would change... but this must change now.  I'm sick of regret.  I'm sick of looking back and knowing with absolute certainty that if I had taken the time, done one little thing different each day, I wouldn't be so disappointed in myself on a daily basis.

I know... "everything happens for a reason."  I've heard these words from literally every person I've spoken to since I heard the good news today.  I'm not so sure I believe it.  While the 'big' things in life, like family, school, love, and... well, life are good.  I like my life, I like my friends, and I those I love are obviously close to me for a reason.  These things I will never regret, for they make me better than I would otherwise be.  

I don't regret them.  I regret me.  It's an odd feeling.

But... could Meet the Robinsons be right?   Should these failures really be considered opportunities?  The Chinese symbols for "Crisis" and "Opportunity" are different by one little slash.  One could imagine a bit of carelessness on the part of a calligrapher altering history as we know it... 

Many people point to this as symbolic (no pun intended) of the fact that in each crisis lies an opportunity.  For greatness, for correction, for a new beginning.  For whatever.  And, to be sure, sometimes this is true.  Of crisis.  But failure is simply life saying to you that at this moment in time, you aren't good enough.  You aren't what is necessary.  You failed.

I enjoy the moments of brilliance, or greatness, that I feel truly define me as a human being.  Moments of feeling necessary and good enough.  And if I could only bring myself to work a little harder... who knows.  Part of me wishes I wasn't so damn analytical.  Wishes I could just set myself to a task with the mindlessness necessary to overcome the boredom, the apathy, and the countless other obstacles my twisted psyche will undoubtedly throw into the forefront of my consciousness.  

"I wonder what's on Digg?  You know what would be great right now?  Scotch.  You should definitely have some."  

But that isn't me.  

But I'm not happy with me.  So this must change.


KC said...

'm really, really sorry that you didn't get the job. I personally think that you deserved it more than any other applicant possibly could and it is their loss for not hiring you.

I agree that there is something to be said for motivation, drive, and desire for accomplishment. But as someone who used to be like a lot of the people that find themselves in law school, it ain't all it's cracked up to be. I had to get perfect grades, to get to the next step, and get to the step after that. And I ended up worrying so much about the futre that I feel as though I have lost 4 years of my life in college where I could have enjoyed myself, found balance, and been a fuller person.

When I got to law school, I consciously sacrificed my grades to be the person that I currently am. Sure, the perfectionist gets the best of me a lot, but it's something that I struggle with because I found out when I was getting a 4.0 that living my life was more important than worrying if I was perfect in my career.

That all being said, if you feel like more motivation is needed in your life, then by all means, endeavor to incorporate discipline. That in itself isn't a bad thing. But, remember:

But the reason that everyone at this school (and everyone else that you know) adores you is because you're more than law school. You're more than the job. You're a whole person, and in the end, that's going to be the difference between you being a good lawyer and a great lawyer.

I don't agree that everything happens for a reason, because I think you have to make your own luck and make your own decisions, and if you make good ones, you'll end up in a good place. Maybe it's not the place you envisioned, but just by being the person that you are, you've already made it to law school (which is pretty damned awesome in itself), and you'll continue to excel in the next step of life, and the next step after that.

I have faith in you and I know that you'll end up maybe not where you currently envisioned, but instead doing something else that you'll love. Being a good person will take you farther than a lifestyle that brings anxiety dreams, constant nervousness, and constant insecurity about living up to a standard that you can't meet while enjoying your life at the same time.

I hope you find balance and find an even better opportunity this summer, and I know that you will. I believe in you. :)

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