The Frustration of being Good but not Good Enough

I have been wrestling with this post for a while now. I have an idea of what I want it to be, but I am not really sure what that really means. It feels a little bit like I remember feeling my senior year of high school. I didn’t know what I wanted to be, unlike some of my friends my future career was a mystery to me. I felt like I was on a path that had no compass and no arrows to guide me, just my gut feeling on what to do and where to go.

In some ways it is a good description of my life. At times I feel like I have jumped into a canoe that has no oars and I alternate between fighting the river and just enjoying the ride. Brian’s post about feeling like he is in a fog reminded me that I am not the only one who has ever felt like things were unclear. And there is some solace and comfort in that.

But then again we all have our own issues and one of mine is this. I have always felt that I am good at most things I try. I pick things up fairly easily, I am intelligent, I can communicate effectively and I always manage to make things work. Yet, I have always had this nagging feeling that even though I am good, I not quite good enough. And I am not really sure where that comes from.

I can’t put a finger on it. I am not sure if it is a drive to be better and to be more successful. And if it is, well than I am falling short because there are so many loose ends I don’t know where to look. If someone came to me with this problem I would tell them to just pick up an end and begin tying, slowly but surely there would be fewer ends and it would become more clear as to what and where he/she should focus upon.

If it is a matter of will to succeed, well if I can develop some real discipline I can do it. It sounds arrogant, but I am strong willed, I am mentally tough and I can force situations to bend to my will because I am relentless. But then again I must be lazy because I just don’t seem to make it happen.

So many of my friends are smarter than I am. I like that. I like being around people who are better, stronger, smarter, faster because it is another way to try and push myself. But there are some pitfalls with that. I am smart enough to see where they excel and how they leave me in the dust in these areas.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that I have my strengths and that there are areas in which I leave them behind. I know this, I am aware but it doesn’t change my feelings. It doesn’t pacify me or help to assuage the occasional bouts of frustration. There are times that I think that I prefer to be like this, that I must enjoy the drama and that I derive some perverse satisfaction from it.

Want to know why I am mentally tough, why I have this strength? Because I have to be, because I am scared to be anything but this person. I don’t know how to lie down, even though there are times that I want to. I don’t know how to run away, but I have done my running.

One of the things that bothers me a little is that there are a few family members who have discovered my blog. I am not completely comfortable with them reading these comments about myself. In part because I really do not want to discuss much of what I have written here with them, unless it is on my terms.

My blog is a little bit like an x-ray of my brain. You and anyone who read this have access to my thoughts about anything and everything. It is not that I cannot discuss these thoughts and feelings with family or friends, but it is fairly raw. And the reality is that since they have lived through some of these events they sometimes offer editorial commentary that while good intentioned is just not welcome.

I am a contradiction. I am relatively sensitive and have some real soft spots, but I also have a hard and callused edge that can make me seem a bit mean. That edge is sometimes inadvertently expressed and as I have some ability with words I can cut into you, make it hurt. It is something that I try to avoid doing, but when you catch me on some of these topics, they are so hard and so raw it is harder to keep the edge dull.

Am I different from any other person out there. I suppose that in many ways I am very much the same and in many I am different. The one thing that I really want to be is a not just a good father, but a great father. So I’ll keep on trying to learn about myself and the world around me, I’ll keep on trying to grow because if I didn’t than who would I be.

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  1. A Simple Jew January 12, 2005 at 2:48 pm

    Great post!

  2. The Misanthrope January 12, 2005 at 1:53 pm

    You sound perfectly normal. What is particularly impressive is that you are writing your thoughts down.

    I believe everything is designed to make one feel inferior because unless one is extremely wealthy one cannot possibly achieve all the goals of having a huge house, a yacht, an expensive sports car, etc. It’s trite, but happiness does come from inside. There is a certain liberating feeling that comes from not wanting that new car, a bigger house, etc. Enjoy the simple things, reading a book, hiking and not purchasing for the sake of purchasing. A change also does not happen overnight.

  3. ricknight January 12, 2005 at 10:55 am

    the Taoists say you are happiest when you are what you are in every facit of your life.

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