Monday, February 21, 2005


Like the New Year, birthdays by nature tend to suggest introspection.

Last year I was recovering from emergency surgery, a repair of an intestinal blockage from an adhesion. I can recall that the sole goal I had for the year to come was to regain my health. It took me almost a year, but I can confidently say I have achieved that aspiration. I ran seven miles today, and am entered in my first race ever, which will take place in two days, at night under the gates in central park. I am excited and proud about this.

Sadly this is not the prevalent mood of my recollections. I have realized that in many ways I am not happy with the person I have become. Over the past week or two I have been getting a strong feeling that I have become closed, cold, judgmental, and most importantly, unconcerned with other's troubles and tribulations.

The more I have become aware of these changes in myself, the more I try to speculate where these feelings came from. The changes have been so subtle it is hard to trace them back to their origins. They could come from when I allowed a good friend to take a job under me, to help him out, and then he betrayed me. He refused to do his job, and blamed me, which left me tortured to the point where I could not sleep. Eventually he left the company. Or it could have been the fact that I later had to fire his replacement for completely lying about his experiences and abilities when applying for the job. Or the fact that throughout this entire experience I was going through two more emergency room visits, discovery of a 7cm hernia and the subsequent repair thereof. Or maybe it is a response to the constant pressure from my superiors to succeed according to their goals and aspirations. Or it could be the fact that at some point I have let my concern for my fiscal security to blind my need to change my work situation, that somewhere I became more materialistic. Or it could be that I have become frustrated calming the dramas in my friends’ lives that are incredibly superficial and superfluous.

All I know is somewhere I lost the ability to feel sorry for anyone else but myself, I have lost my ability to empathize. Somewhere in all of my drama from last year I have become obsessed with my own misery. I go through the motions of listening to others and giving them advice, but have been faking true sympathy.

I have to focus and re-teach myself to listen to others again. This should include me volunteering some time to help those less fortunate than myself, because heaven knows there are many. More importantly, I need to look into whether or not I can transfer the skills I have into a job that does more for people, which goes farther away from the money-producing machine. While exciting and flattering to see myself succeed in this world, I don't believe it is necessarily worth my soul. I truly miss myself.

Looking out my window it is snowing, and a couple of inches have accumulated. It is white, quiet, still. I could look at is as symbolism to a fresh start. Or a blanket of cold that will eventually give birth to green and flower blossoms again. Or just appreciate it for what it is in the moment: Pretty.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

First of all, you ARE an amazing person! You are so aware of what's going on around you... you are so smart and thoughtful and you are positive and forgiving and very nuturing!

You have accomplished so much and healed yourself physically and kicked ass in the workplace....big time! Rock on for what you've accomplished since your last birthday!

I think what plagues you is that you DO know what's important and you do know what real problems are because you've certainly seen your share. When other people seem to be crippled by things that are so small and insignificant (or continue to be caught in the spiral of bad situations or bad self-esteem), that drains energy and patience from you.

When you've faced a problem of your own, assessed it, dealt with it, worked on it and suffered the pain of getting through to the other side, you know what that requires. You would have empathy for someone who was truly trying to fix themselves and make themselves better. Or you would have empathy for someone in the throes of it who maybe is trying to gear up to battle it. But what you may lose patience for are people who refuse to help themselves and take advantage of the ear and shoulder you provide.

I think you are at a pivotal point in your life and you are in need of some stronger peers....not ones that need you so much or suck you dry all the time, but ones that could challenge you and support you and really GET you!

I'm sure that working with those less fortunate (aren't you already!!!!! Ha!) might make you feel better, but I really don't think that's where the problem lies. You do have perspective.

You are also a person who's worked a lot of places, lived many a lifestyle and has a very established bullshit detector. If you are hearing bad messages from your little voice, then maybe you should start to get the ball rolling to make a change. I overstayed in a job that was sucking me dry and wasn't very fulfilling, and I overstayed a few friendships that were all work and one sided drama and no real support back. Sometimes change is in order!

I hope that you can count on me to be your friend and be a support for you! I find you so fascinating and your potential is unlimited!

And if you just wanted to vent, I'm happy to hear you! You deserve an ear and a shoulder more than anyone I know!