It seems like everytime that I come to this journal lately, it is to write about how difficult life seems. I think I will just accept that. I know that it doesn't endear one to other people to continually discuss all of the problems that life has in store for us as we wend our way awkwardly through it, but this journal is more for me than it is for anything else. It is a place to grasp a few thoughts I have at these writing moments, and fix them in place. The hope is that, by capturing thoughts, they can be examined a bit more objectively in the future, but I would have to develop more of the habit of reading what I have written. Aside from a glance at the most recent previous posts, it is rare that I go back over much of what I have said. I also know that a lot of what I have already said, I have said before.

It is true that my previous post discussed an event that will have (and probably has had) a profound impact on my future and my future plans. Yes. It was one of the worst moments of my recent life, and definitely the worst all year. I cannot help but end up using at as a jigsaw puzzle piece in a metaphorical narrative about my life. Unfortunately, as that awful piece slides into place, the larger story the picture reveals isn't pretty. Perhaps I have the piece in the wrong place, or perhaps it is not a piece to the puzzle I am trying to solve. However, if I place it where it seems to fit, then the story told by all of these little events is ultimately one of failure. Of course, it is difficult to know how much of this failure is under my control. Yes, I have made some bad choices, but then again, perhaps previous experience has made some of these bad choices more inevitable than they would have otherwise.

I suppose I could look at it like this: Through no fault of your own, someone steals the keys to your car. With you keys missing, it is more likely that you will be late for work. Once late for work, you miss an appointment to discuss a new client account, and due to an argument the client had with his children that morning, he is in a bad mood and decides to cancel the order. It would be very human for the person who had their keys stolen to feel frustrated, to feel as if there was something in their control that they missed, to feel like the bad results of the day were their fault. And yet, it wasn't. It was the bad intention of the thief and the bad mood of the client that led to those places.

So, it follows that, due to no fault of one's own, a poor economy could lead to poor job prospects, poor jobs prospects means a financial tightening of the belt, which leads to poor diet, which leads to poor health and frustration, which leads to even further difficulty. It is easy for the people suffering from economic forces beyond their control to feel like a failure for not having done more, for not being super-human enough to transcend those problems. And yet, looked at objectively, they, as one individual, have little effect on a economy that is created by thousands, or millions.

This is where I suspect I am at. I have a narrative about my life that seems to fit. I have missed chances and opportunities everywhere I turn. I see some of the challenges I have had to deal with, especially ones that I know others do not have. But, eventually, I am uncertain. Maybe some of that bad feeling comes from a real tangible force that I have little or no awareness of. I could be grappling with something that isn't entirely my fault.

But, of course, even with all of our challenges that we face, we are responsible for engaging with life as it presents itself to us. We must figure out a way forward, even if there is something pulling us back. After all, I am best able to measure my own intentions and efforts than anyone. And, even after working at this problem for a long time, I keep coming up short. I keep thinking about how I should have known better, should have worked harder, should have dedicated myself to make a more genuine effort. I do feel blessed that, among the people living today, I have a slightly better insight into the kinds of behavior that are more likely to lead to a better place. This knowledge has prevented me from making even larger mistakes with even greater consequences. Still, if there was an objective third person listening to all of my thoughts, watching all of my actions, then I am not so sure I would fall into a positive light.

I do not want to feel like everything important I have reached for has escaped me. I do not want to feel like I have failed at all of the big things in life. However, after petty arguments with people who cannot be expected to be any more heroic or long-suffering than me (and I am light-years away from either condition), I feel like a tremendous failure. I am not responsible for anyone's choices other than my own. I desperately desire, but do not know how to transcend the emotional toll that bad experiences, or my own inability to live up to my high expectations, has on me. I would like to be able to float above some of the petty difficulties that, intellectually, I know do not matter. However, it is too easy for me to feel hurt and frustrated by poor choices I have made that lead me to even more disappointments.

It must be said that the crack of uncertainty about any of this grows larger when I admit that depression could be coloring all of my so-called objectivity. It is hard to judge my best moments and far to easy to condemn my worst. Still, every slip on the razor's path increases my fears that I have not exerted the right type or amount of effort to be a happier person who is functional enough to live life as an independent adult.

16 May 2013
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