I felt, for a time, that I had quite a few things going for me. I did unexpectedly well at some difficult things. And doing so made something go to my head, and this something, probably made of the same stuff as arrogance and pompousness, made it hard for me to do expectedly well at other difficult things.
I just haven’t been assessing much lately. Thoughts are sweeping through my head, unfiltered, but also uncaught. They keep disappearing like waves in a vast blue. This occurs then only for the blue to be felt, heard, and understood by a me now so guilty at having allowed myself to fail, that all I see out there in the world is blue. I can point to the blue in everything. And I scream a great big blue into the mouths of the people I care for.
I miss being excited about learning and wanting to read. For a time, this time, I was trying so hard to be right about everything that I lost the plot entirely; the book I ended up reading was a half-written, sloppy account of what it is to be a successful person in a weird world. Is this what I want? Do I want to succeed in something I cannot be sure I love? Or is my fear of failure preventing me from embracing just how much I love the place I can ultimately put myself in?
The main thing, though, is that I know I can do it. If I just sit down and think – really, really think – I can write a paper worth more than 113 sidebar notes that implicitly say “this is the worst thing you’ve ever written”. All there would be on that paper is a single note explicitly saying “you’re making good progress. I’m proud of you.”