A Tragicomical, Unsophisticated Blog about the Weird, the Absurd, and the Banal

Saturday, February 16, 2013


In school, I hated gym -- actually, I've pretty much always hated physical activity of any kind. That didn't stop me from trying, though, and I always passed -- if not from success, then at least I got by with Effort. No matter if it was basketball or tennis, though, the other athletes always made beating me look effortless.

One day, after a particularly embarrassing round of foot hockey (or whatever they called it), one of the guys, I'm pretty sure it was RA (the one who gave me such sage advice as, "Never get in a fight you can't win.") told me surreptitiously, "You know, Sam, you would have more fun if you didn't try so hard."

About a year earlier, I was stressing out over a paper for Western Civ. and Will M. told me, "Sam, you need to learn how to say, 'Meh.' Say it with me. I've got a paper due tomorrow! Meh."

My coworker and boss always tell me that they are amazed at how much extra work I make for myself. It always seems to me that if it's easy then it's wrong.

This is why I rarely miss a deadline, even with this blog. I don't particularly want to post. I rarely want to do anything, in fact. I just do it. It's always what Ought to be done and what Should come next.

I'm not entirely sure how to finish this one. You see, I don't like writing about myself in this blog. Ironic. Even when I'm writing personal essays I tend to think in terms of  Narrator and Story, not Me. That said, it's been a tough few weeks and I'm trying to resign myself to disappointment. In the past two weeks, my applications have been declined by Wash U., KU, and Minnesota. The deeper into February I get, the more remote the possibility that I'll receive good news. It reminds me of when I was 18 and applying for college, receiving one rejection after the next, opportunity narrowing to one possibility -- UI, which was legally required to accept me because I was Iowan and had the good grades and test scores. Not that I'm not grateful for my education there, but it would have been nice if I'd had a choice.

Last year, when the first round of rejections started coming in, I confessed to CD that I was afraid of getting rejected from everywhere because I didn't think I'd have the energy to move north and apply for jobs. She said, "Well, even if you are rejected from everywhere, it'll suck, but you'll have the energy, you'll apply for jobs and get one." I wasn't glad she was right. Seventy-odd applications, as many networking dates, and about ten second-interviews later I ended up with another last choice.

It all disturbs me because I don't understand what I'm doing wrong. I've heard too often that I'm good, but not good enough. I'm growing bitter. IB told me, in the middle of the Bad Season last year that she knew many people who were in the same situation, applying for dozens of grad school and hundreds of salaried jobs and finding themselves in AmeriCorps or coffee shops wondering how the hell That happened. I take no comfort from this, though. I feel bad for my peers who are suffering disappointments and hate that we have to share such awful camaraderie.

"I write to exorcise my demons," a friend of mine told me once. Xe was being melodramatic, but sometimes melodrama's the way to go. This is the most confessional post I've done in a long time and I needed to write it and I do feel that I've gotten something Bad out of me.

A and I had a good night last night. We saw several bands at the Turf Club and it was worth the entry fee. This evening, we shall get together with friends to play games and it will be Good. I have a long weekend and I'm going to make the most of it reading (The Bell Jar about three years too late), writing, playing video games, wasting time with friends, and visiting with my brother-in-law. It's a beautiful, sunny, cold day in Minneapolis, and A and I are hanging out at Spyhouse Cafe. The light roast is immaculate.

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