The reason I am so depressed is that I am seeing so clearly how I have allowed as much of my life to be stolen as I have done. I usually shield myself from seeing this so clearly because the pain of it is as sharp as it is, but the panorama is in view now and it is all about having dealt with harassment by hiding my head in my wing, rather than rejecting it or resisting.
I withstood criticism about being serious in college and going to graduate school. But I have not withstood criticism about wanting to be something other than a professor nearly as well. I am overcome now with sadness at how much time I have spent suffering from this. Let us review my sins, therefore.
1. I was born — which I did not mind, but others did since I was not the right kind of person; I was far too intellectual.
2. My aunt paid for me to go to college, and I chose a very intellectual kind of place, and then went to graduate school.
3. After graduate school, I had good jobs; then I wanted to explore career options other than college professor.
I see that it is all about not being exactly the same as certain people, or not doing exactly as they did. It is also about the expectation that one’s interests will never evolve and change.
In high school, I dreamed of having a very lucrative career of some kind. I would pay back all the money it had cost to raise me. Then I would buy other presents. I would be living in Harvard or in a foreign country and I would visit in breezy Augusts, staying elsewhere in salt air and sand. I would bring smells of peaches and amber, and we would share stories and relax. I would love them and they would be proud of me, but I would be unscathed.
At a pivotal point, when I was at my third academic job, I bowed my head and let this dream change. I had sinned, I had done this challenging degree, and I must submit to imprisonment so as to atone for it. I was thinking yesterday of Frederick Douglass, who at one time worked on our plantation; I would like now to emulate him as he rose up in his battle with Mr. Covey.
But seriously, I think all of this has to do with taking growth for procrastination.