Generally speaking, I’m tight-lipped about work. I’m not about to pull a dooce, so to speak.
I will say: I’m lucky to have a job that is, for the most part, deeply satisfying and amazing and fulfilling.
The disheartening part(s): I’ve come to terms with erring on the side of caring too much, rather than too little – hence the veneer of distance, hence the defense mechanism. I maintain appropriate emotional distance. And still, I’m astonished by people, by the human condition - the capacity for generosity and great love and cruelty and plain stinking selfishness. There’s so much loneliness and pain and hopefulness and hopelessness. Widows who learn to dance again and children who steal from their parents and people who tell me so quietly they won’t make it to the next month so can we please get a move on. What to believe except the evidence. Who will listen. What does this all mean. There are so many forgotten, isolated people. Can I say this? Will these statements get me in trouble?
Why do we do the things we do?
Why do we do the things we do to each other?
How do we live with ambiguous loss?
How do we go through the motions, anyway, when we know there is something potentially painful at the end?
The boiled-down answer is really quite simple.
I’ll keep it vague: I can’t help but trace the parallels to my own life. I see the pitfalls that emerge from certain life choices. Maybe they serve as a warning sign for me. I am sitting across from my own future.
They admonish me, jokingly and too-frequently, “don’t grow old,” before they walk out the door. I tell them I don’t plan on it, even as I bite my lip. I don’t believe them.
I don’t think I’ll ever turn cynical and hardened but I pause. I want the same things that they did when they were my age, and more.