Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I saw the musical my son is in today. His high school is doing Seussical. It was incredible; the talent these kids have is amazing! M had such a great presence on stage, as he always does. He has talked about possibly majoring or at least minoring in theater in college. He is a senior and getting ready to graduate. I am often amazed to look at the person he has become. He had a very difficult few years, but seems to have come through so well. I feel so proud when I watch him.

I love going to the kids' plays and other performances, but often as I watch not only my kids, but the other talented kids performing, I begin to feel . . . jealous. Today, while I watched the musical, I found myself nearly in tears, angry with my parents. I grew up being told I was stupid and worthless. For so long I believed it. I felt like I wanted to call them and ask how they could treat me that way. How could they possibly justify teaching me that I am incapable? Stupid? Fat? Ugly? Worthless? My dad's (who quit school in 9th grade) favorite nickname for me was "college." He would tell me that I may be book smart, but I have no common sense. With these thoughts creeping around in my mind, although I felt inspired when I left the musical, I also felt defeated.

I often feel like there is some kind of greatness inside of me just screaming to get out, but I can't find the key to unlock its cage. If I could just have someone show me the way or give me an opportunity, I know I could do great things if I continue to have faith in myself. Ideally, I shouldn't need someone to tell me what to do, but I have no idea how to embark on the path to greatness. When I say greatness, I'm not suggesting fame or fortune. I feel like I can make the world a better place and I don't need world recognition. I just need to recognize the difference I make.

I teach part-time at a local Community College. I have taught at one other community college and an historically black university. (I am white.) I have had students tell me that I made a difference in their life. In fact, when I taught Women's Studies at the hbu I had a student tell me that I made a difference. I assigned a gender autobiography as the final project for the class. Part of the autobiography was to discuss two or three people who impacted their life and explain how. One woman in the class named me as one of those people who impacted her life. In this case, it was my open discuss about my depression that encouraged her to see a doctor and get help for the depression she had been experiencing for quite some time. It was certainly a humbling experience. I have a current student who is particularly needy and seems to have found help and comfort in talking to me. Unfortunately today he was hoping to spend time talking to me, but I had to rush out after class so I could take the younger kids to the musical matinee.

I suppose maybe I am already making a difference. Maybe that greatness is already at work. I am sure part of my problem is that I tend to focus too much on what I have not done or finished. I am ABD in sociology. That ABD is often a thorn in my side that constantly taunts me and tells me that if I were better, or smarter, I would have my PhD. My depression was not under control when I was trying to finish things up to begin serious work on my dissertation. As a result, I failed my qualifying exams twice and was dropped from the program. I have spoken to a prof at a local college who told me that he worked with a man who was in a similar situation, but was able to be readmitted and complete his doctorate. I would like to do that some time. I don't know how I can possible do that though. I barely have time enough in the day to get things done. I was all prepared to make a move for a full time gig. DH and I talked about the possibility of moving wherever I might find a job. The oldest would be graduating HS and the youngest would be well into elementary school. Alas, it wasn't to be. It turned out that the barren pumpkin patch had one last sprout. A beautiful sprout she is, but she sure did complicate things. So here I am . . . trying to figure how to make a difference . . . wanting to understand what I am capable of doing . . . wishing to have self-confidence . . . hoping to recognize when I do (make a difference, understand myself, have confidence.)

I know no one really reads this blog. (Heck, I only have a few posts.) I sure would appreciate any insights you might have about these ramblings.

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