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speechless, but not quite. [Mar. 14th, 2005|09:58 am]
When I was in a very, very dark place, feeling like the world was a twisted joke and wishing I were no longer a part of it, someone told me that despite all the ugliness, the devastation, the sickness, that people as a whole had a lot of compassion for one another. At the time I thought "so what?", this place we exist in is so fucking warped that niceties like compassion - from people I don't know and who don't have the power to fix anything - isn't worth a damn. I've since revised that point of view and just found a wonderful example of said compassion. I was reading through http://www.qualarius.org/ looking for a rant about gay marriage and the Federalist Papers when I came across the following.

I wrote this:
"Okay, time’s up. I can’t do this for much longer. My job is thankless, nearly mindless, and could be done by someone who didn’t graduate from high school. Why did my parents pay for me to get a degree, and why did I start grad school and shell out $13,000 if I was going to be a fucking copy wench? This is not starting at the bottom to move up, this is just plain garbage. I try to convince myself that it’s Zen . . . I find it meditative to make 8 copies of specs – punched and bound (1600 pages worth) and then do it again the next day because I failed to notice some of them were double-sided. I like that, right? And that fact that I forget to lock a particular drawer and occasionally let us run out of, I don’t know, paperclips, clearly means that I am mentally deficient – or at least those are the looks and the inferences I get from others. Why, oh why did I take AP classes, how could I have even considered retaking the SAT’s when I got a 1480, what possessed me to take on the responsibilities of Drum Major or News Producer in college, why did I write scholarship essays and move myself to LA? Did I do these things so I could take shit from people with half my intelligence when I don’t rise the occasion of ordering paperclips?

I have to go back to school. I have 1/3 of a Masters Degree and I’m sure my credits will transfer into at least a few different programs. I want to run a writing center, or teach Poli Sci 201; for the love of god I will work at the Sylvan learning center . . . just something where I can use my skills. Yes! Skills! I have some. I’m a talented leader, a talented teacher, I’m creative and resourceful and crafty. I have an eye for style, a love and sense for music. I said I’d do this for a year when I transferred (that apparently made me “worth” the training time), but I don’t know if I can make it. I didn’t spend 18 years being a dedicated achiever and cultivating my talents for my biggest challenge to be double-sided copies."

And someone I don't know - never have and never will (Nick doesn't know him/her either) - wrote this back to me:

"From the point of view of someone who sat in front of—or was it across from?—you in an AP class or seven:

Maybe you did all that shit (I could think of a more eloquent word, but I won’t), be it drum majoring or news producing or overall self-improving, because that’s who you are and that’s who you want to be, and because, at the end of the day, that’s what has given you personality and shit (there it is again) to talk about other than who-wore-what to the VMA’s (but in case you’re wondering, check out http://www.fuggingitup.com/). So when all is said and done, sure, you’re the most well-educated, creatively-mind, deep-thinking Collator around—which is not what you ever envisioned—but you’ve got other interests in life and things to think about when the need for printer ink is not a Top Priority. Not everyone can say that for him/herself.

The other night, I was bitching about not being proud of what I spend the 8 to 5 doing (also not proud of what I do when the sun goes down, but that’s off topic), and one of my friends says to me “You know, I think everyone feels the same way about their first, second, third jobs out of college. And then, they just come to realize that the corporate, working world is the same wherever they go…so the work won’t really change, but to make it bearable, the attitude has to”. In other words, the frustration peaks out. A somewhat dismal outlook on the next 40-some years of life, but in a way, I found comfort in her perspective. And, as you pointed out, the good days and the bad, they come in waves—so, it’s not all rough-and-tumble."

I think it speaks for itself.