Okay Universe…You Win

I need to preface this post to explain that I was in a very difficult place when I wrote it.  In my moments of pain, I have a tendency to forget the good that’s been brought to my life.  As I have been going through this period of growth, it’s taken some people outside myself (sometimes total strangers) to point out where my hurt and disappointment is coming from…not from current relationships (or lack thereof), but from long ago hurts that I’m dealing with.  If anyone I currently care about should happen to read this and feel I mean to say they have let me down, I need to clarify that the problem lies within me, not with anyone else.   It’s taken me a few days, and some help from some very insightful people, to figure this out.

*********

I was wrong, thinking anyone could possibly understand me and the intensity, complexity and drive I have.

I thought that by expressing my thoughts, and the things I’m interested in, my husband would know me better than he does.  Husband asked me today, “well tell me what you are interested in, email me the stuff that you find interesting, then I’ll reflect on them and get back to you”.  Which sounds great, until I realize that most everything I’m interested and passionate about is already right here on my blog.   After nearly two years of asking him to read it, he still doesn’t know what I’m all about.

We fought about this today, and it is clear to me that I just have to stop trying to help him to understand me.  Either he’ll get me, or he won’t.

I thought that by blogging my thoughts, somehow the people in real life I’ve shared my blog with would know me a little better, and would want to know more about me, and want to spend more time with me.  Uh, nope.

I thought that by showing concern for the people I do consider my friends (internet or otherwise), somehow maybe I’d help people open up to me more.  Instead, it tends to do the opposite, and shut them down.

I get it.  I’m not meant to have the type of feedback I’m expecting from others.  Perhaps that makes me a bad person, since I have expectations.

I don’t know why I still keep seeking things from others that they can’t provide me with.   I now know why it has to come from within.  I have to be content with having no friends or with having friendships limited to shallow ones, with having certain things missing in my marriage.

I have too high expectations on others.  I know that I do.

I also know that I think I need to pursue an advanced degree.  I think that’s the only way I’m going to get the intellectual challenge and purpose I seek.  I don’t want “just a job”.  I don’t want to fill up time.  I want to put to good use my analytical prowess and continue to self-actualize.   I’m just tired, extremely tired of being nothing.

I want to have an autobiography that includes something along the lines of Bertrand Russell’s summary of his own life (substituting math for science or some other discipline).  The following is taken from the Wikipedia entry:

At the age of 84, Russell added a five-paragraph prologue to a new publication of his autobiography, giving a summary of the work and his life, titled WHAT I HAVE LIVED FOR.

Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. These passions, like great winds, have blown me hither and thither, in a wayward course, over a deep ocean of anguish, reaching to the very verge of despair.

I have sought love, first, because it brings ecstasy — ecstasy so great that I would often have sacrificed all the rest of life for a few hours of this joy. I have sought it, next, because it relieves loneliness — that terrible loneliness in which one shivering consciousness looks over the rim of the world into the cold unfathomable lifeless abyss. I have sought it, finally, because in the union of love I have seen, in a mystic miniature, the prefiguring vision of the heaven that saints and poets have imagined. This is what I sought, and though it might seem too good for human life, this is what — at last — I have found.

With equal passion I have sought knowledge. I have wished to understand the hearts of men. I have wished to know why the stars shine. And I have tried to apprehend the Pythagorean power by which number holds sway above the flux. A little of this, but not much, I have achieved.

Love and knowledge, so far as they were possible, led upward toward the heavens. But always pity brought me back to earth. Echoes of cries of pain reverberate in my heart. Children in famine, victims tortured by oppressors, helpless old people a hated burden to their sons, and the whole world of loneliness, poverty, and pain make a mockery of what human life should be. I long to alleviate the evil, but I cannot, and I too suffer. This has been my life. I have found it worth living, and would gladly live it again if the chance were offered me.

I’m going to have an autobiography summary of my life some day like that.  I feel there are still many things I can accomplish in my life.  I’m only turning 40 this year.  I have lots of potential left.  It’s up to me to work on some of the dreams I set aside a long time ago.  Right now, I feel very strongly about the desire to go into neuroscience for its interdisciplinary approach (covering psychology, computer science, statistics, physics, philosophy and medicine.  Problem is, there are no Ph.D. programs local to where I’m at.  And I’ve been out of school for a very, very long time.   Talk about having everything stacked against you.

*****

And of course…when I told my mother I’ve decided I want a master’s or Ph.D. (just a moment ago, in fact).

Mom says: “What do you want to do that for?”

Me:  “Because I want to.  I’m not satisfied with any old job”

Mom:  “What kind of job can you get with that?”

Me:  “Depends on what I go for”

Mom: “It’s going to cost you money you know”

Me:  “Yes, I know”

Mom: “Well I have to get going because I’ve got things to do”.

Me: “Um, okay…talk to you later”.

Yup…story of my life with that woman.

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10 Responses to Okay Universe…You Win

  1. jhoy says:

    I really like your blog- I so identify with many of your feelings, thoughts, observations. This particular blog post really resonated with me- let’s just say my husband doesn’t race to read my blog either despite my “reminders” it is there. I also have a daughter who has SM.

    Thanks for pouring out your soul on these pages–

  2. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Jhoy – thank you for your kind words.

    Is your blog something you’d mind sharing publicly (or at least privately if I email you)? I’m always looking for new blogs from thoughtful people.

    I also wouldn’t mind talking with you about how things are going for you and your daughter.

    I’ll email you if you don’t mind.

    Take care and have a good weekend.

  3. Stephanie says:

    I have been reading your blog for a little while now (sorry for lurking so long!) and I was wondering if you have ever considered going to Al-anon? I have been going for the past 2 1/2 years and it has been a god-send. I resisited it for quite awhile, but I am finding that it is really helping me sort out and deal with many of the same issues that you are struggling with. It has helped me get out of my head and really start truly living a lot of things that I “know” and have known for awhile now.

    The program does have a spiritual component, but it is not religious (which is a good thing because traditional religions just don’t do anything for me). In fact, I have been pleasantly surprised at becoming more spiritual and having a better idea of what I believe (rather than definining myself in terms of what I know I do not believe). I tend to be more drawn towards eastern philosophies than traditional western ones.

    Anyways, I just thought that I would throw that out there. And hope that I am not over-stepping. I noticed in an earlier post you mentioned growing up with a step-dad who drank. Alchoholism is a family disease and even if you do not have an active alchoholic in your life now, if you have not consciously dealt with the effects of growing up with one, you are still living with them. As is the rest of your family.

    Please feel free to contact me privately if you want to (or ignore me altogether LOL!) Where al-anon has made the biggest difference for me is that it has helped me let go of my expectations of other people (over which I truly have no control) and looking towards myself. It might be worth checking out.

  4. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Stephanie.

    No I don’t think you are over-stepping. Thanks for the input. I really appreciate the thoughts. I might try to look into that, because it would probably help…simply to meet others who have dealt with the repercussions.

    I have no problem with spiritual or even religious components. I’m fairly open-minded and well, I do favor one of the churches we attend semi-regularly. I was just about to post something about that soon.

    I need to do something… my feelings have been ebbing and flowing ever since I started discussing things.

  5. mom gail says:

    Hi honey,
    I wish there were words that would soothe and fulfill you, but I just don’t have them. I thank stephanie for mentioning Al-Anon. It’s a good program. It has some of the same philosophies as AA, especially accepting the things you cannot change, the courage to change the things you can, and the wisdom to know the difference. I have to accept the fact that we were not there for you when you really needed us. That one for me is a killer. I can’t change the past, But, we can be here for you now and always. I am not an intellectual, but I do have some wisdom behind my age. I love you

  6. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Mom Gail…one thing you have to realize…I don’t always need an intellectual companion. I need someone to just acknowledge this journey has been tough at times and say some prayers for me.

    It turns out I do have someone (well, a few someones) in my corner, who is steadfast even amidst some of my more insane moments. Someone who’s traveled a similar road and who has learned a thing or two along the way and is sharing what he’s learned with me.

    I was going to call you last night, but I was afraid if I did, I just would have been one big blubbering mess.

    I’m going to email you about something…really soon.

  7. raisingsmartgirls says:

    One more thing Mom Gail –

    I have to accept the fact that we were not there for you when you really needed us. That one for me is a killer. I can’t change the past, But, we can be here for you now and always.

    I know you did what you could for as long as you could. Back then, my real mother was so cruel and headstrong…you and Dad did what you could to stand up to her. She was relentless and she got her way in the end. This is NOT your fault. At ALL.

    What I’m going through as a result of my upbringing, while it has many facets, is nothing I hold against you and Dad.
    You and Dad might have been one facet of my past that contributed to what I’m going through, but you are part of the healing that is bringing me a lot of peace (yes, even though I have my moments of suffering).

    I’m going to write you more privately, but I wanted publicly to tell you this.

    I love you and Dad so much!

  8. mom gail says:

    I’ll do anything I can for you. I love you

  9. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Mom Gail…you are doing it right now…reading, and listening and accepting and loving me.

    I didn’t get the chance to email yet. But I will…soon.

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