Happy vs. Meaningful

This goes back to what I posted a few days ago, about being happy in the moment but unhappy when I think beyond the moment.

I heard a quote a few days ago, strangely on Heroes,  I don’t remember it word for word but it was something like “you can have a happy life, or a meaningful life, but not both”   And what they meant by that was that you can strive for success, wealth or a place in history, and in the striving you might achieve that goal, and your struggle will bring meaning to the accomplishment.   But that in being that driven and focused it is very hard to just be happy, your mind is always focused on that next step in the process.

I have goal, they are mostly pretty simple goals the biggest of which are to have a farm and at some point be a mother.   The farm has been a goal for a lot longer (started drawing pictures of the farm house and crop lay outs at 17) so it is the one I think about most.   I want this farm so bad sometimes.  I don’t need it now, but I always feel like I want to be working towards it.

Yesterday was a bad day for me money wise.   Being told there is pretty much no way I am going to get an accounting job, and then talking to the evil person at Wells Fargo.  While on the phone with him I started to cry.  And when I cry because of money stuff, there are three things on my mind.

1.  I will never get the farm.  It feels like little pieces of it fade away every time something like this happens.  I want to gather up all my mother earth news and homesteading books and burn them.  Sometimes I wish the thought of a farm never came to me.  I wonder if I ever get it, will the joy of it make up for the pain a feel now.

2.  I am not special.   One of the things that has pushed me so much in life is this idea that I am special.  I finished high school when my siblings could not, because I keep telling myself I was special.  I went to college and worked so hard and made such good grades because I had to prove I was special.  I think of myself as important.   I was so convinced of my specialness, I was like a fucking super hero or something.  Smarter, stronger, funnier whatever.   But I can’t get a job, I am nearly always last at boot camp, even my garden is doing badly this year, being around people freaks me out, and I never want to leave my house.   I seldom write, and what I do write is pretty much crap, I will never get published if I can’t write anything worth publishing.  I am common.

3.  I am letting everyone down, and I am not good enough for the people around me.    Because of me Puck is really struggling with money.  He is smart, has a great education and a great job.  I feel like me as his stay a home wife is an embarrassment, but at least he can play it off like it was his choice, but if I get a coffee shop or Wal-mart sort of job then he can’t ever tell people what I do.  He will have to make something up, because people will judge him, Dr. Puckett can’t have a wife in food service.  I feel the same way about my friends.  They have better education, better jobs, they are artists or do important things.  They live their dreams.

So, Happy vs. Meaningful?   If I gave up all my dreams and illusions of specialness I could be very happy in the now, but I would always be less than those around me.   I would never be able to respect myself and I think over time I would lose all those people I care about.

Yes, it seems very dramatic. But it is what is in my head right now.  Do I give up all expectations?  And if yes, how to I learn to live with myself.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Issa
    Sep 01, 2010 @ 20:07:41

    I keep reading this over and over, heartbroken at reading these words from you, and I wish I could pour out comforting and encouraging words for you. I have the urge to try to offer solutions or to challenge some aspects of your thinking and help make it go away. But I’ll simply go with this: I get it. I’ve been there. I have been under that crushing weight of pain and failure and fear and worthlessness and the confusing agony that this is your life. I’ve been through this, and it sucks so much, and I’m so sorry for you.

    It may not be possible for you right now, but if it becomes so, please know that you can reach out to me. I’m willing to talk solutions, make plans, work through the thoughts, or just listen while you cry. I feel enormously connected to where you are right now and I’m willing to help with anything that you need.


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