Abandon Text!

W. H. Auden once said: "Poems are not finished; they are abandoned." I have been abandoning writing projects for many years, since only the pressure of deadline and high expectations ever got me to finish, or even start, anything of merit. This blog is an attempt to create a more consistent, self-directed writing habit. Hopefully a direction and voice will emerge.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

When the wars are over

At the SKS meeting last night, we talked about what was stressing us out. Talking about other people's problems is usually a relaxing affair, because we generally realize that we're pretty well off with our problems and wouldn't trade them for anyone else's problems. "Phew, I don't have any real problems, thank goodness."

But another thing we noticed was how everyone imagined there would come a time when they would no longer have to be so stressed out. They still believe in Someday. "Someday, when I'm finished with school and I've got a job, I won't have to be so stressed." I'm like the character of Bryan in Avenue Q, marvelling at the naivete of the newly graduated: "Look at that guy, all fresh-faced and not knowing anything . . . he thinks the hard part's over. But it's just beginning."

They all know it's an illusion, too. They wouldn't be coming to the SKS unless they suspected the whole game was rigged, and that a life of endless mad pursuits of one goal after another was, by itself, pointless. And yet they still have faith in it: "Someday it's going to get easier. Someday I will Arrive."

I am no different. Even while I am cramming code into another high-stress project, I am telling myself, "It will get easier soon. Once I get past this project . . . once we master this new product . . . once we get established in this vertical . . . once we have more employees . . . we will arrive." It's probably a healthy way to deal with stress, because of course nothing lasts forever, and this too shall pass, and we can tolerate most anything if we know it's temporary. But fostering the belief that all our struggle will ultimately make us Free . . . that seems like a devil's deal.

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