I have always prided myself on not needing the motivation of others to accomplish my goals. (Unfortunately, this is different from my struggle with being accepted/liked by those I respect, of which I do not concern myself in this post.) Continuing. I suppose it pertains to the competitive and self-sufficient spirit I inherited from my father. We both seem to have the knack for perhaps sounding affrontive and asserting, which in turn tends to drive the masses away from us, and finally concluding in our being left with very few friends. But the friends we do take the time to develop ties with, are friendships that will last, friendships that stand on truth and love, morality and accountability. I digress yet again: this year of school has seemed the hardest for me. And I think I know why now, or at least have an idea:
I am looking for approval, for that pat on the back, for that voice saying how smart and amazing I am to have gotten this far in my schooling. My distraction has proven almost deadly. Through several events these past few days, I have realized my mistake and have returned to diligence. Yet, not quite, to self-sufficiency. Now, I am filled with doubts, with fears, with expectations. I can handle the courseload, the business of my life. What I cannot handle so well is the exposing of my having dropped the ball on something or my failing to sufficiently complete a task.
All this to say, I feel the need for support, for encouragement. I don’t need failing attempts at shallow sympathies (see below). God, I need a Barnabas…this seems selfish…I know…but after I get this all out, I will be empty and will be able to get back to my cocoon of blissful, emotionless existence that keeps me very introverted, very sullen , and very productive.
e.g. “I don’t know how you feel…but let me tirade about how I think my life could be as tiring as yours.”
I don’t need to know that someone else’s life is going up in smoke. I need to know that Christ is faithful and true. That He is my Support and my Shield. There is nothing less assuring than hearing someone trying to make you feel better by making you feel worse about how their day was cruddier than yours.
e.g. “I don’t know what to tell you.”
I HATE this response. For me, it not only communicates mindlessness, but also a lack of even caring. I rarely bare my soul completely concerning how I’m feeling about the direction my life is going. But when I do, there is nothing more discouraging than those words. They caution me to not even bother wasting oxygen expressing my problems and discouragments. What’s the point? If I wanted to rant without receiving any help or comfort, I would do that to a wall. Geez, even making something up is better than that. It goes back to that need that many people feel, especially at the big decisions in their life. They need someone to tell them “I believe you can do it” “You got this, no problem” “Give it all you got, and God’s got the rest” “Aw, don’t say you don’t think you can do it/deserve it/whatever!” “Just think of what it’ll feel like when you’ve beaten this thing into the floor!” I could go on and on. It’s called imagination, guys….use it. Win your girl’s heart.
I know that if I hadn’t had so many amazing people encouraging me to try out for the State team, I probably would never have stayed as diligent in working out. They really believed I could do it. And even if some of them didn’t, I couldn’t tell. Yeah, when I didn’t make the team, I was miffed for awhile, because I thought that they had been leading me on, just so they wouldn’t have had to wound me with the truth. I see now, that even if that had been their motive, I wouldn’t have cared. Their support fed my passion, my initiative, my diligence to go after that spot on the team with everything I had. Being rejected was one of the most painful experiences in my life, but it is a day I will never forget. It really is true that deep pain adds that last piece of flavour, of sweetness, to life that makes it beyond delectable.
That being said, there is one pain I never want to experience: being reject from veterinary school. That will not happen, whether I receive outward encouragement from my peers or not.
P.S. All of this, of course, excludes my parents, who have ever been my support and constant encouragers in everything good I have ever set my sights on.