January 9, 2013 at 1:11 pm (Uncategorized)

Today, I’ve been thinking a lot about disappointment. Lately I’ve been feeling a lot of it, and it’s been a struggle to deal with a bunch of it all heaped on at the same time. Moving back home from Moscow was the correct choice, but at times it is hard to see that.


“Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get. Life should be touched, not strangled. You’ve got to relax, let it happen at times, and at others move forward with it.”
―Ray Bradbury


I will tell you right off that I am not the world’s most talented person at dealing with disappointment in my life. For starters, for most of my life I have been good at most of the things I’ve tried, and the stuff I haven’t been good at I haven’t tended to enjoy much. That isn’t to say I don’t love challenges; I do. It’s more that I’ve always found a way to get done the things that needed to get done in any given situation, and when things are out of my control I can’t understand why I can’t always just will myself to success. For instance, at the moment I am looking for a job. I can perfect my cover letters and resume–but there’s no guarantee anyone will read them, and whether or not I get a chance to actually speak to someone and make my case for employment is utterly not up to me. This frustrates me, especially because I have been lucky all through life and haven’t had to deal with that situation very often.

My disappointment is compounded because I am dealing with a similar situation in my personal life as well. Moving back home you would think there would be many people you know, but that isn’t true. I have a few friends here, but they are busy with their own lives, and you don’t just pick up after minimal contact for several years. Being the extrovert I am it is difficult for me to spend nights at home by myself every night. I enjoy quiet nights at home, just not ALL the time. I could go out by myself or put myself out there to try to get together with people I haven’t seen in a while, but that leads me to my second issue–As a result of the job hunt/some emotional upheaval in my personal life, my self-confidence is not as strong as it normally is. That is perhaps the biggest disappointment, not being able to control my emotions, or even just let them happen to me. I am generally competent at calming my mind and finding some measure of peace, but lately that peace has been elusive. That peace being elusive makes sleep also somewhat elusive. Trying to wake up at 7 to get a head start on being productive with my life often turns into me forcing myself out of bed at 9 with not a ton of sleep and the added benefit of being upset with myself for not meeting self-imposed deadlines. Disappointing.


“Even if things don’t unfold the way you expected, don’t be disheartened or give up. One who continues to advance will win in the end.”
―Daisaku Ikeda


I have confidence that things will get easier with time/I will land a job/emotional difficulties will fade but for the moment, it can be hard for me to see myself as more than a failure. Logically I know that’s ridiculous–I’m 22 and have been out of work for a month and a half (and 3 weeks of that was spent traveling with family) but there’s a part of me that believes I’m supposed to be superman, supposed to be able to achieve what I want immediately. It’s not a rational part of me, but it’s there and it is strong. It is less crushing than it has been, and I know there will be good days and bad days to come on my self esteem front, but I struggle with the idea that I am a disappointment.

I feel like I have always been the person who is supposed to set the example of how things are done–for my family, my friends, my communities. I am the person that excelled academically, that has always balanced sports and music and theatre and having a social life, being nice to people, able to save the world. There are tons of people from Camas that still call me “Prez” or some variation because I won an ASB election in 7th grade. Never did anything ASB related since, but it stuck with me. I won most likely to be President in my senior class. Both of those things are utterly and completely meaningless, but I think on some level I internalized those pieces of my life and the days that I am not being productive, not living up to expectations, those are days that I’m not fulfilling what other people think I can be. All those people can’t be wrong, right? (they totally can, but that’s not the point)

I guess it all seems silly, but there are other things going on in that I don’t feel like making public so you’ll have to trust me that among those other reasons I am having a hard time feeling like a disappointment.


“It turned out this man worked for the Dalai Lama. And she said gently-that they believe when a lot of things start going wrong all at once, it is to protect something big and lovely that is trying to get itself born-and that this something needs for you to be distracted so that it can be born as perfectly as possible.”
―Anne Lamott, “Traveling Mercies: Some thoughts on Faith”


I guess the reason I’m writing it down is twofold. The first is that writing helps me organize my thoughts, and put things in perspective so that I feel better. The second is that if anyone else out there is dealing with disappointment in your life, your relationships, what have you, you’re not alone. We all deal with rough times. I’m in one myself. If you ever need someone to talk to, I will be there for you, regardless of how well or little I know you. It might be hard to believe, but I am even better at listening than I am at talking. There are nice people out there, people who care about you as a person and who want what’s best for you.


“Sometimes you wake up. Sometimes the fall kills you. And sometimes, when you fall, you fly.”
―Neil Gaiman

1 Comment

  1. kylegemberling said,

    Brother, I would be worried about you if you weren’t feeling this way, especially considering all you’ve had to deal with in such a short time. But you and I both know that it’s highly possible that it will only get worse before it gets better. And odds are it will be a whole lot better! You may not have a lot of friends in proximity anymore, but there’s a hell of a lot of us in the world who are ready to give you a hand in any way we can. I know I don’t have it as bad as you right now, but I found recently that just making smaller goals and taking them one at a time until they stick is a whole lot easier than setting yourself up for failure every day. I feel like a lot of times we get the impression that we have it all figured out (and since we had a pretty similar high school experience, i KNOW that you probably felt that way then to some degree, not to mention college), and when things change, for better or for worse, it becomes a stark reality that we don’t know dick. You’ve got a good start, water brother. Don’t discount yourself just because you live at home and don’t have a job. Er, well…don’t discount yourself YET.

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