The problem, often not discovered until late in life, is that when you look for things like love, meaning, motivation, it implies they are sitting behind a tree or under a rock. The most successful people recognize, that in life they create their own love, they manufacture their own meaning, they generate their own motivation.
For me, I am driven by two main philosophies, know more today about the world than I knew yesterday. And along the way, lessen the suffering of others. You’d be surprised how far that gets you.
Today I went to the student lounge an hour before class and sat down with my 14 page print out of a George Saunders piece to read for homework. I always wait til the last minute to do my homework. Even if it’s a thousand word article, I only allocate about two hours of my time and I just shit something out. It’s not anything to be proud of.
Last week, I stayed after and talked to my professor for about a half hour. I met with her ostensibly to talk about whether or not I should go to graduate school (the looming Big Decision of the moment), but the conversation became about my insecurities with regard to writing and eventually my confusion about my life in general. I cried. She told me I was one of the best students she’s ever had, that I had a real talent that can’t be taught. I cried again.
So anyway, I read this George Saunders piece and I was remembering what she told me about the humor in my writing and how my pacing is awesome and all this crap that made me feel really good. I mean, the smartest person I’ve ever heard talk, a woman who exemplifies the kind of person, not just the kind of mind, but the kind of person I want to be, was complimenting me.
I finished the piece a few minutes before class and stood up to leave the lounge. I was flying high. “I’m special. A real talent. My mind is incredible.” I rose from my chair and looked out on all the other students for a moment as I turned to the door. “Idiots. Simpletons. Dunces,” I scoffed in my inner monologue.
Then a girl held the door open for me. And she smiled.
Today my professor had us write in-class profiles of classmates. This is the stuff of nightmares. This assignment had me searching my pencil case for my prescription bottle of anxiety meds.
I was paired with a guy named Kevin who I got to open up about his life a little despite me never having heard him talk once before. He told me about his childhood, a funny story of false bravado, his job, his pet peeves, his family, his girlfriend, his hopes and dreams. I wrote a pretty nice piece about him despite the time crunch.
When his turn came to interview me, he asked me like four things with no follow up questions. He made me feel like the least interesting person in the world!
He could only write like 40 words about me. I wrote 600 about him. Dammit, Kevin.
I read a thing about Native American flutes in the shape of a birds head, supposedly embedded with the power to lure a woman into bed with a man. If this seems far fetched, please look at any guitar player and how any woman looks at a guitar player.
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