Her mom didn’t love her, what’s my excuse? I read this and it made me think about the recurring anger I have towards my parents, yet they aren’t so bad I can actually blame them for anything. And then someone else posted about senior projects at my old school, Bard college, and I actually commented that I wish I had stayed to do a senior project, got a few likes for my failure to achieve that, and thought about how it could have been my first novel, if I had stuck it out in lit, and still I haven’t written that first novel. But at the time I thought it would have to be good. The portent of a senior project, especially with the problems I was having late in my career there choosing a major, probably contributed to my flight. Although mostly it was because the Math department only had two professors and they both left just as I was declaring my major. Was it me? And so again, I feel like a failure, and here I am, so old already, and such a failure and whose fault is it? I guess it doesn’t matter whose fault it is because the consequences are mine and that would have made it my responsibility to do something about it.
I have spent my whole life saying I want to do things and failing at them. I got to go out to LA to pitch ideas to star trek and then i didn’t keep trying. I may have achieved some other things, I can be proud of myself, but the things I SAY I want to do, the things I have always said are important to me, what I’ve called “dreams,” I’ve failed at them all. At 52, what am I supposed to do with that? I’m supposed to get up at 5AM every morning and write and not stop doing that until I am dead, that’s what. There’s only one way to prove that it’s not too late, and that’s to do it, whether I believe that’s possible or not. Achieve something or die trying. Go out fighting.
One of the things that bothers me about finally achieving some of these things so late is that the people who saw potential in me as a child might all be dead. These are the people I want to make proud. But I suppose the people who knew me as a child aren’t the only ones I could make proud of me. My kids could be proud of me. My friends. I need to let go of that little child, that young adult, that thirty something kid, like I still want to be that person I never was. I need to stop trying to write like that, hoping people who read me can’t tell that I’m older than that. I need to own my age and write like that’s my stage in life, honestly and authentically. I have to stop being scared that people will be turned off if I admit to them that I’ve gotten this far already and have so little to show for it.
I have lost a little confidence in my ability to write a better story by spending more time on it. Last week I put more effort into my friday blog, worked on it every day, I even goofed off at work to spend more time on rewrites and edits because I wasn’t getting up at 5AM as consistently as I wanted to. But it got worse and worse, until finally I had to fulfill my commitment to myself to post it regardless, and it was a confusing contradictory rambling mess that I have since edited down, just to make it a bit shorter, so now the food’s no good AND the portion is small. Sometimes that happens. But the truth is that it gets worse before it gets better. Because what happened is that I had started with a conclusion and a point and the more I worked on it the more I realized things about myself that contradicted my original point upending what I thought. I was in the middle of a process in which I was on a path of self-revelation that might have landed me at a conclusion opposite the one I started with, but I was in the middle when Friday came.
8 thoughts on “5AM”
Interesting points. I think making others proud is a drive for some of our accomplishments. As humans we are interdependent. Always seeking approval from someone. I remember being continuously late for a photography class. My work was impeccable. I submitted a project a week late and my professor told me I would never be a great photographer. Not because of my work but because my tardiness. It took a while to admit, I loved photography but I guess not enough to never be late again. Whatever the reason, we grow and learn from others how we want to be or how we don’t want to be.
Me? I’ll still always be late for something lol
If i saw one of your photos now and thought it was great, I’m sure i wouldn’t be able to tell that it had been late. I hate teachers sometimes too. Why does his/her neurosis become a general rule for all people?
LikeLiked by 1 person
Well exactly. I think I used the tardy excuse….lol. We can come up with any excuse right?
I find it interesting that you still harbour anger against your parents, even though you are 52 years old. My mother, at age 90, was still blaming her parents and their overprotectiveness of her as an only child for her inability to make friends. I had heard this story so many times and finally said, “Mummy, Mom and Pop have been dead for over 40 years. Let it go already.” At a certain point we have to acknowledge that we are capable of making changes to the way we look at the world and the strategies we invent to deal with it. We can’t continue to fall back on blaming others for our own shortcomings when we ought to be adults.
Also, if you truly love writing, are passionate about it, then why do you need to impress anyone with it? You are the only person you need to impress. The fact that you have not accomplished all that you first set out to do does not diminish you in the eyes of others, only in your own. Sure, it’s great when our loved ones and our colleagues heap praise upon us for something we have done well, but that’s not reason enough to do it. Eventually you cease to be the flavour of the month and someone else gets the glory. As artists, we still do what we do because we love doing it.
Also, that link you posted no longer works.
Weird about the link. What happened to her? She’s the one who also commented here just recently. I’m disappointed if she’s stopped blogging. I enjoyed her posts.
The issues we have with our parents are not rational. I have held on to feelings and opinions for so long because when I was young I might have had unrealistic expectations that my parents would always know what the right thing to do was. Now I know that they, like I, are only human. But that doesn’t always make feelings go away. Especially when I dug in my heals and promised myself I would always hate them for this or the other thing (you know how kids are), Bottom line is, I wasn’t always happy, and I wanted them to fix that. Or someone. When you’re unhappy, everything looks different.
As for writing, my disappointment in myself has nothing really to do with a lack of success, but lack of effort on my part. I agree that we do it because we like who we are when we’re doing it. If I consider myself a failure it’s because I didn’t do it, not because no one read it. Maybe I didn’t do it sometimes because I thought no one would read it, but that, as you correctly point out, was a mistake. I’m doing it now regardless, but thanks for reading anyway 🙂
There is a button at the top right of your comment with a swishy arrow which allows a reader to comment on the comment. When a WP user leaves a comment and it is commented upon, he gets a notification via the bell at the top right of the screen. I came back here to see if there were other comments left on your blog, and found that you had, in fact, left one for me, but I was not notified. So I thought you might find that bit of WP interface useful.
Interesting. Did this work?
Indeed, it did.