The Emotional Tap


Model Train Show at Thornleigh

I’ve been wanting someone to really talk to for a while now, since feeling like I’ve not been able to talk to anyone for the past few weeks since they either don’t want to know, are too busy to care, or tell me it will just be fine when it’s not. Talking with Colleague Jane (I like calling her that, it sounds distinguished) while at work however, always yields good advice and insights, I find, and for this I am grateful.

While confiding in her today, I’ve come to realise this sense of being lost in life, wondering what to do next and trying to find that job that not only aligns with your interests, but is also what you want to do is a common dilemma for many people, even if they don’t voice it or choose to reveal it, seeming happy with where they are in life. We can’t all be lucky first time around and strike gold, and clearly this is what I have not done.

In the end it all comes down to fear. It is comfortable, secure here — we don’t want to risk security and comfort for something that will potentially cause you to fail innumerable times before any success even appears on the far horizon. We don’t want to risk our security, and financial security on a dream on the far horizon we are unsure we will ever reach.

Her understanding was especially welcome though, when she empathised (!!) with me regarding others’ good fortune, where they can do what they love and love what they do. While you’re happy for them that they were able to obtain such an elusive opportunity, this does nothing for your own internal dilemma. It’s natural for you to feel annoyed or irritated about that — it resolves nothing for your own situation.

I was listening to the You Are Not So Smart episode about Video Games again today though, and it often surprises me how I can find things that aptly describe my feelings in otherwise innocuous episodes. What’s this feeling I have — it’s called malicious envy.

Rather than acknowledging that someone obtained this on their own merit, nod and move to work on working to gain something for yourself, those that instead have malicious envy view some people’s gains as ill-gotten and instead aim to ‘level the playing field’ which they feel is unfair. It is this stage that is where I find myself, where rather than pushing ahead with gaining these new skills and experiences, I instead vainly try to level the playing field with people who are deaf to anything but their fortunes.

As unfair as this may seem to the people who are now being implied to have ill-gotten gains, regardless just because I understand the concept doesn’t mean that emotions can be turned off like a switch. Hearing today that the pleasant sensation that meaningful work brings only succeeded in incensing me — it’s nice for you, but I haven’t felt like I’ve done any meaningful work in weeks. Wouldn’t we all like to feel that way.

Despite the fact that it’s great for everyone else, and accusations that I will always counter a statement with an argument about myself and how I don’t agree — how else should I counter when everything that is always A+ for people always seems to be a D for me.

Since 2011, I have always felt like a consolation prize because they couldn’t find someone better, such that even just small victories like they wanted to hire me right off the bat because for once I had the right mix of background is good enough.