Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Failure and Friends

Well, I have to say, I’m feeling like a big fat failure. The Do-Due-Done list should be done as of today. Should have all been over by this afternoon. But the last two Dones won’t be Done until tomorrow sometime. And, to add insult to injury, I had a total meltdown this afternoon after my doctor’s appointment and could not make myself leave the house. Like, literally could not get out of bed. I had no idea depression was so physically debilitating at times. But the meltdown and lack of energy conspired to keep me from attending my final gathering for my class, and I feel extra awful for not only not having my work done, but also ditching the final event. Big fat failure. In the end, I just couldn’t make it. Down to the wire, and I failed in the home stretch.

“Here is this poor little caryatid who has tried and failed, fallen under the load. She's a good girl - look at her face. Serious, unhappy at her failure, but not blaming anyone else, not even the gods, and still trying to shoulder her load, after she's crumpled under it. She didn't give up, Ben; she's still trying to lift that stone after it has crushed her. She's all the unsung heroes who couldn't quite cut it but never quit."


Once I realized there was no hope of finishing out the quarter without at least a brief extension on my work, I set about trying to make myself feel a little better. I was in the hospital for a week,” I told myself. “I went through significant trauma, followed by some necessary time for recuperation. Not only did I make up all the work I missed during that time, but I also successfully finished all but one of my regular assignments on time, including a 23-page paper and a 36-page paper.” I went on to tell myself, “And, keep in mind how many people in this program haven’t been able to do that much, even without having missed the school that you have. You came darn close,” I said, “to not needing any special accommodations for your work. I think that’s pretty damn good.”

As per usual when I give myself pep talks, it didn’t work so well, and I still feel disappointed in myself and my failure. But there’s not really much I can do about that now, other than work hard to make my late work high quality.


On the flip side of failure, there are friends. I have amazing friends. I've talked about them before, but they continue to amaze me to no end. When Tpiglette heard I was still sitting in bed (as I have been since getting home this afternoon... still haven't been able to leave the bed, sadly), she immediately plunged into action, offering to bring me food and "contraband" (which is my new code word for Starbucks when Tpiggy brings it). Isn't she great?

But in addition to these trusted long-time pals, I’ve been making some awesome new friends lately. First, you all, in the blogosphere. Getting some of my lurkers to delurk was a great way to find a whole bunch of fascinating new blogs to read. And some of my new blog buddies and I have even been having some cool email conversations. It’s so great getting to know all these new people!

On the subject of email conversations, I fell into a fascinating one last night, sort of completely by accident, and came out of it feeling like I’d made a new friend. Letting the conversation just sort of go where it would, I learned all sorts of fascinating tidbits about said new friend, and I seem to have surprised him with some bits of info about myself, too. Plus, we have discovered that we are spookily similar in many ways. It’s so odd to suddenly see someone you’ve sort of kind of known for years and realize you really don’t know him at all. But I’m glad to have gotten the chance, and fun email conversations are always a good addition to a solid procrastination routine.

And last, but certainly not least, there’s my amazing study buddy Dre. I’m something of a social creature by nature, so while I appreciate occasional solitude, I’m generally a fan of companionship. When I’m studying, I always feel like it would be great to study with friends. I don’t, however, always work so productively with friends. It’s easy to start chatting and get distracted, especially if one of these friends is the kind who gets easily amused by stupid video clips (*cough* Ladybug *cough*). But Dre and I work really productively together. And when we do take occasional breaks, I’m finding Dre easy and fun to talk to, and I’m glad we’re becoming friends.

The failure is easier to take with a sizeable helping of new friends. So thanks, all of you, for the friendship.


Day 12 of LaBloShoeMo: The Bleyers

God, I love these shoes. I bought these at the very beginning of spring quarter my junior year in college. It was a celebratory purchase in honor of my having just been accepted into a swing dance troupe of which I ended up being a member for two and a half very fun years. And as far as celebratory purchases go, this one was a good choice, since it was also functional – I wore these shoes for almost every performance in that group, as well as multiple performances for Lady M’s troupe (excellent picture here). Of course, these are not just performance shoes. The above picture, for example, was taken by Tali (thanks, Tali!) Friday night at an informal dance event I was attending purely for my own enjoyment. The rubber sole, combined with the padded insoles, make these uber-comfy for hours of dancing. Plus, they are oh-so-stylish, especially with the pinstripes and the mock-fedora (seen in profile pic). It’s sort of “sexy ‘40’s gangster.” And I know when you think of me, “sexy ‘40’s gangster” is the first phrase that comes to mind.


Anonymous said...

Ah, failure. Let me give you some perspective:

Somalia, Iraq, Nigeria, Darfur, Haiti. AIDS, resistant TB, lack of prenatal care. Global warming, big cars, consumerism, coal. The value of our dollar resting on the suffering and pillaging of resources elsewhere.

The mantra "Just get it done" you mentioned once in connection to teaching is just one way of stating that every action has an opportunity cost. Is completing a paper with all the bugs worked out worth the opportunity cost? Not when there's a whole classroom (and a whole world) of need out there.

Anonymous said...

Sweetie...I know what you're going through. For me it was crippling anxiety that almost put me in the hospital. Thank God for Lexapro.

Just remember that it will get better...with time and work. You aren't alone.

And by the way...I *love* your shoes.

Anonymous said...

The funny thing is, your amazing resiliency and hard work is making us all look bad by comparison. My last two assignments are late as well! Don't worry, all is well!

P.S. Jenny, don't encourage Foot Admirer with the shoe comments. He's of an unsavory sort.

Anonymous said...

Ah, OP, my long-time friend, now turned arch-enemy! So, we meet again!

Jenny, don't be discouraged by OP's dis-spirited (and awfully unfashionable) sense of appropriateness. Let your inner passions for foot fetishism out! LET IT OUT I SAY!

Ever the admirer of your feet, Lara (as they are the windows to your happiness),

Foot Admirer

Anonymous said...

You've been through a lot.
Study is stressful.
You managed to get through most of it!
You're human.
We fail sometimes.

But we also get back up and get it done. You'll get there, chook.

And you'll be wearing hot shoes, when you graduate, I'll bet. ;)

Anonymous said...

Hate the negative, love the positive, love you. Congratulations on the completion. A long 3 days ahead.

Anonymous said...

Is anyone else a little creeped out by foot admirer. Not because of the foot fetish per se, but because of how convincing the author is.

Lara said...

lucilia - hrm... now i feel like an even bigger failure, what with all the world suffering i'm doing nothing about. but it's true - keeping perspective is a good thing.

jenny - yep, lots of time. and lots of work. i know, and i try to keep it in mind. it's just tough sometimes. and thanks for loving my shoes! they love you back! (they told me so.)

OP - you know that was my goal all along, right? to make you all look bad by comparison? that was really the point. and jenny can compliment my shoes all she wants, so leave her alone!

foot admirer - i didn't realize you and OP had been friends before you became enemies. i have, however, noticed that the two of you have an odd tendency to always comment within minutes of each other. funny, that...

aly - yep, the getting up and getting it done is hard, but sometimes it's what keeps me going. and you better believe i will be wearing AMAZING shoes when i graduate. ;)

mom - yeah, the negative is no good, but the positive is nice. and i'm so looking forward to the day after tomorrow!

charcoal - hahahahaha! you're so right! that hadn't occurred to me, but i'd be scared if i were you... ;)