Six months ago I was having a good time with the growth of my blog. I had spent the summer doing writing experiments, and had gotten the best readership I had ever enjoyed. I was learning quickly too — chasing after new content had led me into areas of investigation and expression that I’d never bothered to touch before.
But then in early September, I stopped. I stopped blogging completely, and haven’t picked up the proverbial pen again, until now.
Today — some reasons for this.
Ever since I was real little, I have known that I had a good brain. I grew up in a supportive family, with parents that affirmed my intelligence and gifts, and did everything possible to ensure I’d have the best opportunities for learning and growth.
I was raised in a district with some of the best resources of any public school in the state of Texas. I certainly took advantage of them. In time I advanced to the best classes and scored exceptionally well on aptitude and college readiness tests. All this I achieved without ever truly breaking a sweat in my studies.
At every stage I was lauded by teachers, parents, and peers. At every stage the message was reaffirmed that I was bright, had great potential, and should one day be famous, successful, or world-changing. Over the years, this message sank into the deeper wells of my soul and became part of the background, the unconscious.
This is not meant as an extended gloat. I must note I was surrounded by hundreds of smart kids as I grew up, and many of them outclassed me in sheer testing aptitude. Far more of them have long outrun me in work ethic, tenacity, and discipline, and have gone further because of it. I lacked these latter character traits for a long time, likely because I just never needed to develop them to get through my years in school.
All I ever had to do was show up to class and pay attention, and generally I would railroad through any test that was ever posed to me. I scored a 1510 on what was then the SAT, even while nodding off repeatedly due to the extra time I had at the end of each testing period. I was a recall-and-analysis machine … but I was lazy, too.
As I made my way through college, a quiet deficit emerged, which would become an uneasy backdrop to my scholastic and vocational career. There grew a disconnect between all that I had always been destined to do, and that which I was actually achieving. I missed assignments and accepted lower grades than I knew I could hit. I trod via paths of least resistance. I coasted through college, in large part.
This was perhaps due largely to the incredible growth and experiential learning that I was discovering outside the classroom. Sure. I found some of the best friends of my life. I had my first real relationships with girls. I discovered Jesus. This is all true. But I also coasted through college because I was just suh’ damn lazy. It ultimately didn’t matter to me if I made a 3.5 or a 4.0, and so I acquiesced to the latter too many times.
It didn’t matter to me, increasingly, because A) I was tired of a lifetime spent in school, and B) I had no idea what I was supposed to do with myself after I finished. I chose to major in Linguistics because I had great affection and aptitude for it … but it was a field with poor career diversity, and practically no market demand.
I finished school in a foul mood — unknown to me then, but clear in hindsight — borne from the deficit noted above. I had always been supposed to finish school decorated with accolades and overwhelmed with promising opportunities. Instead, I was stuck with a degree that nobody wanted, earned without any great discipline or energy. I had become a believer in Jesus, but I was still carrying around a heart that had yet to really be regenerated by the gospel. I was supposed to be on the brink of fame and success, life and exuberance … but instead I was unknown, and profoundly bored. This dissonance gave way to tension, discomfort, and depression.
We’ll continue this in a day or two.