The other night I watched that new House episode about Cuddy's busy day made of hell and it actually made me notably upset. I know. I promise, it's not just that I'm susceptible to television... it's that I'm susceptible to certain television when in certain states of panic/depression.
I used to be able to do that. My mornings used to begin with writing at least ten emails to my CCN volunteers/co-coordinators/affiliate organizations, I used to fight with insurance companies between classes, organize city-wide activism events during lunch (when I took it), make calls to senators while waiting for PCR runs to amplify my DNA segments, go home to tiptoe around my bipolar ex-boyfriend in the trash dump that was the "home" I shared with five filthy boys, and write grant proposals after I'd finished studying.
And yes, I did cry when that House episode reminded me of the person I can never be again much less improve upon. Granted, I do not miss all of those things, but I do miss being able to say I negotiated them almost flawlessly... with some minor debasing of my GPA.
I also miss the balance and happiness I achieved when I left my neurotic college years behind. Since this flare began, the successfully stifled negative and broken pieces of my being have resurfaced in a vengeful tumult. They are pissed off that I gave passion the reins and buried fear under the floor boards.
I held off on reporting the results of last year's graduate school expedition so as to bundle all the news into one giant bouquet of corpse flowers: rejections from Stanford, UCSF and UCLA (residency makes competition ten times greater in such a broken system). Still waiting for USC but assuming another denial. **If you're thinking of apologizing or consoling, please don't.
When the House episode concluded, H.B., seeing my red eyes immediately began damage control (partly quoted and partly paraphrased, with permission, of course):
"I can't ever be the person I want to be! [whine] I've never been the smartest, but I used to be one of the most capable people I know and now I'm failing at everything I attempt and all my dreams are shattered![bawl]" A little exaggerated, but I do like to put a dramatic spin on my despair.
"You may not be jumping through the hoops as quickly or in the same order as the people you compare yourself to, but I've never seen anyone more passionate than you are about what they do. Look at my friend X.; he's in his third year of medical school and he likes to brag about how much he works, but never about what he does or learns. And Y. has a graduate degree from [exceedingly prestigious school] -- you heard the way he talked about his job, your questions about his work were more enthusiastic than his answers. These are the people who went through the motions with the highest grades, the best numbers, the most time and energy to get through grunt work. They are academically successful, but they're not crazy about what they do or how they got there. You are crazy about what you do, and you're crazy about the way you're doing it even if it's not happening as quickly as you'd like. You need a hobby other than self loathing."
And he was right. So I started writing again this weekend.