I went for another interview today, with a company specializing in document management software (DMS). I don’t mean to brag, but I think I pretty much slam dunked that thing. However, that still doesn’t mean I’ll get the job. Plus, it looks, as if it were full-time – which might not coincide too well with my other plans. But anyway… I still got time to ponder that.
So… when something like this happens (I do well – probably, more than well), I can’t help, but think: “SHE would have wanted THAT!”
And when I say she, the unpersonal personal pronoun is about the best name I can think of when talking about her. Any other name – one, that would be more aligned with my true feelings – would have to be considered strong language. And if SHE knew about this (the intermediate result of the interview), she’d probably flatter herself into thinking, that’s what she would have wanted for ME – when in fact, from everything I’ve seen and experienced with her so far is just about the opposite: *I* was supposed to make HER dreams come true – from the beginning, or let’s say, as soon as it became apparent that I wasn’t doing too badly in all things intellectual. And I’m supposed to be thankful for THAT? Not to be unfair: True, I’ve received good education, I’ve got to hand ’em that. True, I was being given the opportunity to do something in my spare time. Yes. But whenever I let on that I wanted JUST that, which is: left be, be myself, be a boy – severe verbal abuse would follow in its footsteps. “You’re being nothing but an egoist, you’re only thinking about yourself!” “You ain’t gonna go anywhere in life, you’ll see!” “You got shit for brains, talking about intellect here… – while you’re at it, get yourself some!” Statements of this kind and worse, accompanied by mild physical punishment. Each of them considered separately might pass for “what you’re complaining about? That’s regular procedure!” OK, I ain’t dumb, I know this would be normal procedure. However – the combination of both, delivered with precision timing – that’s, what makes the impact. Which impact? Devastation. You wanna die on the spot. Matter of fact, not only do you want to die, you wish you hadn’t been born in the first place, as your feeling is: “I’m an annoyance to the world, I’m the least scum of the earth, why am I still here?” That kind of thing.
So… in light of the latter, what do you think? What does opportunity and education weigh? The prospect of making a shiny career later in life? What’s it worth in light of the aforementioned? And what’s it worth, when you’re denied most of the building blocks of a personal, meaningful relationship? One that is based on trust, faith, one that builds confidence in yourself, helps you grow as a person and thus become even more meaningful? To yourself, your peers, basically everyone you cross paths with? What’s a life worth, where all things human are ruled out as insignificant, dispensable extras, nice-to-haves, which are at the bottom of the “things to achieve in life”-list?
Am I REALLY supposed to be in high praises over such an education? Am I really supposed to show my gratitude over that? Should I really go “Thank you” all day long and excel at making someone else’s hopes and aspirations true? Or wasn’t I rather made a personal slave, a personal fate-assistant, a puppet-on-a-string, whose only right to live is in helping fulfill someone else’s dreams?
And when you grow older and come across bitter lessons, where the world teaches you that you got it all wrong, that life really IS about personal relationships, about being liked by others, and NOT about outdoing everyone else, about showing empathy, participation in what drives others, take part in their excitement and happiness and just be there in a very simple, common and reasonable sense – when all of a sudden you wake up to that nightmare of discovering, you had NEVER understood that these are the very basic ideas that make life worthwhile and you as a person a likeable one – when you wake up to that nightmare, meanwhile in your 40ies and approaching 50 – what’s left then?
In the beginning, I frankly thought, there was nothing left. Nothing worth living for. For I hadn’t experienced too much of it. Then I discovered: The sun is still there, the sky, the golden shine over the calm water surface, the gentle whisper of a warm summer rain, the frail sound of the wind in the trees, the scent of grass on an August day… And I started building from that.
I think, I’m past the days of wanting to do myself away with – I hope. What’s left? More than before, but still not all that much in terms of human emotions. I’m still standing on the sidelines, watching everybody else enjoy themselves. I’m trying to put my finger on it as to whether I can get there. I’m trying to assess, whether I’ll manage to understand and actually FEEL the feelings behind a friendly smile, an exhilirate giggle, a familiar waving of the hand towards me. I’ll figure it out, I guess. I will have to. I don’t have another choice, but to reinvent myself. For the inner child was driven away, was not welcomed, let alone appreciated. I will greet it and ask it back into my life. I will nourish it. I’ll tend to it as best as I can. And we’ll see, what that will amount to. But whatever the outcome – THEY have NOTHING to do with it. And I won’t let them have the triumph. They never deserved the boy – nor what he’ll make of himself.
“Baby steps”, a friendly soul once said. Exactly. Little, tiny footsteps across the floor, to the other side of the room, where someone is waiting with open arms. This time, this someone will be – me.