Author Topic: *sigh*  (Read 1740 times)

rushingwind

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*sigh*
« on: October 23, 2008, 04:29:12 am »
You know, I'm not sure if this kind of thing is even allowed.  If not, please delete and accept my apologies.

I must be the opposite of the Springtime of Youth.  The Springtime of Youth board makes me smile, but in a way it frustrates me.  Why?  It's because I can't even remotely find that kind of vigor in myself.  I'm 24, and I feel like my life has bled away before my eyes, turned to ash and dust.  I'm so tired, physically, mentally, emotionally...

While everyone around me is moving forward, I feel like I'm literally standing still, at a dead stop that I'm unable to break free of.  I do have things going for me, but they all feel colorless and bland, pointless.  In fact, everything in my life feels colorless and bland.  I have so many things I need to do, but no idea how to go forward. 

I know I'm likely depressed.  My good friend recently died at the end of August after a four-year battle with leukemia, and it hit me really hard.  He was doing better, on his way up after battling bravely, and was scheduled to have a bone marrow transplant two weeks from the day he died.  But he'd been talking to his father, and had gotten what he'd always wanted to hear: an unconditional "I love you."  Two days later?  He died.  His heart was worn out, and just stopped.  He was 29.

His death has made me think very hard on the purpose of life.  Is there any purpose at all?  Is it to have children?  To make discoveries?  To die?  I don't believe in an afterlife, don't believe in some great beautiful hereafter.  So what is the point?

Probably the worst thing is that I don't even know what I want from life.  A while back someone (Zeality, I believe) started a thread, discussing the penultimate/ultimate/secondary desires they had in life.  I thought long and hard after reading that thread, reluctant to even try to reply, because I honestly don't know.  It's stuck with me ever since I read the post, trying to think about what I want out of life.  It isn't necessarily love (I don't believe in true "love", anyway), or power, or specific achievements.  I mean, I have things that I want to do, but they're not anywhere near the penultimate/ultimate purpose of life level.

My current wish?  I want to get a book published.  I've written the book, been turned down five times by publishers, only to have the most recent publisher send it back to me three times asking me to revise parts of the story.  I want to believe that they're interested and may eventually pick up the text, but I don't dare get my hopes up.

That's my problem: I don't dare hope for anything.  I don't think I know how anymore.  If there's no hope in my life, then there's no point to life.  Then why live at all?  Why continue to live if I have no purpose and no hopes or dreams? In fact, if there's no real purpose to anything, then why does anyone live at all?

I don't know if I'm overworked and simply exhausted.  I don't know if I need to talk or shut up.  I don't know if I need more rest or more action.  My family doesn't care, and my "friends" don't care to listen.  I'm just so tired.

I need to speak to my father, but I don't know how.  He's done a lot of bad things, but I know, somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind, that he loves me.  But I'm so upset by his mere presence that I can't even speak to him.  The problem is that he doesn't have much time left on this Earth, so what do I do?  Do I go with the path of least resistance, the one that will tear me up less?  Or do I potentially derail my sanity for a week and go see him anyway?

I'm not exactly sure why I'm posting this here.  I've been lurking on this board so long that I feel like I know a lot of you, even if I don't post very much.  I'm sorry to whine...sometimes venting helps me figure things out.

Jutty

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Re: *sigh*
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2008, 04:40:49 am »
I feel exactly the same as you with a lot of things. I'm 22 and I had all these dreams and ambitions in high  school and now it just seems like life is just passing me by. I am just completely overwhelmed and confused as to what I need to do. It seems like every time I make a step in the right direction that life just throws me another curve ball. Also I am terrified of death. I have no real beliefs or anything, but I am just terrified that when I die I am going to cease to exist and there will be nothing. It gets on my mind so badly that I cannot sleep when I'm thinking about it. I have tried many things, religions, alcohol, drugs, new jobs, new partners nothing just seems to make me happy anymore. I think it's just this age that we are in. We have been pretty much following this set path for the majority of our lives and now we don't have a cookie cutter life style where everything is pretty much planned for you. Now we are left without most of the friends we have known all our lives and pretty much without any help well for me it feels that way.

I would try the springtime of youth thing, but I'm pretty sure it would come out full of bitterness and self loathing.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2008, 04:44:52 am by Jutty »

rushingwind

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Re: *sigh*
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2008, 04:59:24 am »
I would try the springtime of youth thing, but I'm pretty sure it would come out full of bitterness and self loathing.

Yes, yes, YES.  

I too, feel like I'm watching life just fly by.  The worse part of it is that I don't even know how to "jump in" and join everything that I watch happen.  Every time I try and something good happens, two bad things happen.  

Quote
Also I am terrified of death. I have no real beliefs or anything, but I am just terrified that when I die I am going to cease to exist and there will be nothing. It gets on my mind so badly that I cannot sleep when I'm thinking about it.

Yes.  I do not get as upset as I once did, but at times in the past the prospect terrified me beyond belief.  I could not sleep, lost appetite....  Sometimes, especially since my friend died, it bothers me even more than it used to.

Quote
I think it's just this age that we are in. We have been pretty much following this set path for the majority of our lives and now we don't have a cookie cutter life style where everything is pretty much planned for you. Now we are left without most of the friends we have known all our lives and pretty much without any help well for me it feels that way.

Maybe so.  I feel like everything is so bland.  I'm working 50 or more hours a week (which, given the current state of the U.S. economy?  I am not complaining about now.), and I just don't know what the damn point of any of it is anymore.  I should be happy that I've got a decent job, and that I'm almost a college graduate, but I don't.  I feel so lost, so confused, so overwhelmed, that I don't see any point.

I'm miserable all the time.  I don't hope for anything.  I don't even have energy to go out and try something different, something that might break me out of the monotony.  
« Last Edit: March 04, 2010, 06:16:17 am by rushingwind »

nightmare975

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Re: *sigh*
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2008, 05:09:30 am »
Death is nothing, it's being alive that's fearful.

I'm sorry for your friend, but at least his suffering is gone.

I had a friend commit suicide, so I know how it is to lose someone close.

Sorry if a sound like a douche, I'm trying to be nice, but my words feel like they're filled with spite and anger.

Must be the lateness.

rushingwind

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Re: *sigh*
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2008, 05:16:59 am »
Death is nothing, it's being alive that's fearful.

I'm sorry for your friend, but at least his suffering is gone.

I had a friend commit suicide, so I know how it is to lose someone close.

Sorry if a sound like a douche, I'm trying to be nice, but my words feel like they're filled with spite and anger.

Must be the lateness.

You don't sound like you're being awful.  I prefer when people don't sugarcoat things (it usually doesn't help anything).  And you're completely right: his suffering is over.  I agree 100%.  The whole situation is just so unfair.  He did nothing, he didn't deserve it.  He was a nice guy, and look what happened.  However, thus is the nature of the universe, right?

I also agree that living is fearful.  I'm unsure of where or how to go on from here.  I don't know the way, don't even know how to find it.  I feel isolated and alone in a crowded field of family and pseudo-friends. 

Daniel Krispin

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Re: *sigh*
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2008, 05:24:09 am »
You know, I'm not sure if this kind of thing is even allowed.  If not, please delete and accept my apologies.

I must be the opposite of the Springtime of Youth.  The Springtime of Youth board makes me smile, but in a way it frustrates me.  Why?  It's because I can't even remotely find that kind of vigor in myself.  I'm 24, and I feel like my life has bled away before my eyes, turned to ash and dust.  I'm so tired, physically, mentally, emotionally...

The weariness is understandable. Indeed, I might agree with you in that I don't quite favour entirely the Springtime, either, as I think if it burns to hot, it'll whither and turn to ash. I've never been one for the gaudy dawn, nor the dissembling spring... I look to the twilight and the fall. In part because spring contains too many vain hopes. And it is not in hoping so highly that we find peace, but in understanding what must be, and who we must be.

While everyone around me is moving forward, I feel like I'm literally standing still, at a dead stop that I'm unable to break free of.  I do have things going for me, but they all feel colorless and bland, pointless.  In fact, everything in my life feels colorless and bland.  I have so many things I need to do, but no idea how to go forward. 

I know I'm likely depressed.  My good friend recently died at the end of August after a four-year battle with leukemia, and it hit me really hard.  He was doing better, on his way up after battling bravely, and was scheduled to have a bone marrow transplant two weeks from the day he died.  But he'd been talking to his father, and had gotten what he'd always wanted to hear: an unconditional "I love you."  Two days later?  He died.  His heart was worn out, and just stopped.  He was 29.

Perhaps you are depressed. In part that becomes a chemical effect, but in part it is something you can draw yourself out of. The only suggestion I have is this, that in acting something you can become it. That is, not acting something you are not, but deciding what you are and being it. That is, if you see things as colourless, make a point to see colour, even the slightest. I will not admonish an artifical smile. Indeed, there's an old saying that says 'a sad face is good for the heart, and wisdom lies in the house of mourning.' This is true. It is in suffering that we learn the most. Or a line from an old Greek play: pathei mathos. One learns through suffering. What you can be assured in is that though you suffer now, though you feel dim and dark, you are learning, and when you come out of the darkness into some new light in a day to follow, that learning will serve you well. Even if you cannot even now see it, it is building in your mind and heart. You are wondering on things and question that you would not ask save through this suffering, and that is the great blessing and benefit of suffering that no amount of passion for life or zeal can match.

The one suggestion I can give you is to read and to watch tragedy. Not the badly written stuff that is depressing. But the true high tragedy. For the ancients thought, and I think they were right, that the way in which to combat melancholic moods were not to bolster with high and jovial moods (which in their fading lead only to darkness worse than before, a rising and falling upon stormwaves.) Indeed, we are cast upon stormwaves. But should we look in the trough of the wave to be risen to the height of the crest? No, that'll lead to our ruin. So we look rather to the leveling of the waves. To the evening of our spirit. You should not look to cheer yourself up, but to calm yourself. That is my admonition, and for this I suggest Tragedy. You'll not see artificial happiness in it. But in good tragedy, you will see beauty amidst suffering. Read Aeschylus, such as the Agamemnon and the Eumenedies, or yet the Persians. Read some Sophocles. Read Hamlet and MacBeth. You'll find beauty in the words, but more, beauty in the suffering. And then through that you will see meaning in your own dismal state. And soon the state will not seem so dismal. It needn't have changed, but you will find it being beautified. Your mind can make a heaven out of it's hell, you know.

And if the things you know to be going for you feel bland, continue on in them. Do it by rote if you must. The meaning in them will return if you don't let your sparks for them utterly die. For you yourself speak the saving words: that you have these things going for you. You know it in your mind, your spirit and heart only cannot feel it. But isn't that just it? It's only a feeling. And feelings can be conquered. Your mind must be your guide. You know what is right and you know what is good. Cling to these things. Tell yourself there is meaning in what you have going for you. Force yourself to see it in despite of your heart.

And if all this is difficult, as it most certainly must be, remember that this one further meaning can be had: the human spirit of rising up against adversity. Of feeling all that weight against you, and refusing to fall utterly. Of having, as it were, a victory against yourself. If you can, even to a small extent, work past this, you will have something to be proud of. And that might be the fulcrum upon all else can be raised up.

Finally, one more word to this part, a lines from the Iliad. This is from book 24, line 49, and Apollon is speaking of how mortals are given to suffering the loss of those dear to them, and how it has happened before and will happen again, in speaking of Achilles and the death of Patroklos. But how we after due time of mourning (note, mourning has its place), continue on. He says:

'For the fates have given to Men an enduring spirit.'

Enduring there is the Greek word Tleton. As a verb it's tlao, and I often say to myself its future. Tleso. I will endure.

His death has made me think very hard on the purpose of life.  Is there any purpose at all?  Is it to have children?  To make discoveries?  To die?  I don't believe in an afterlife, don't believe in some great beautiful hereafter.  So what is the point?

Probably the worst thing is that I don't even know what I want from life.  A while back someone (Zeality, I believe) started a thread, discussing the penultimate/ultimate/secondary desires they had in life.  I thought long and hard after reading that thread, reluctant to even try to reply, because I honestly don't know.  It's stuck with me ever since I read the post, trying to think about what I want out of life.  It isn't necessarily love (I don't believe in true "love", anyway), or power, or specific achievements.  I mean, I have things that I want to do, but they're not anywhere near the penultimate/ultimate purpose of life level.

Heh, you don't believe in true love either, eh? Well, never mind that one. I was cynical on that too, if you saw my list... cynical to the point where I put one of my wishes to keep myself APART from that. Anyway, this is a difficult question. I must say I cannot precisely answer it because I have as long as I can remember had a certain goal that I have been moving towards. But certainly there are things you know that you enjoy. Even if you cannot now consider them to be great or to the degree of ultimate purposes (which are, you must understand, excercises in understanding one's self... that is, I think the people who were posting those were attempting to glean from their self-knowledge who they were at the core of their being... whether or not they are accurate in that is uncertain, but at least some came to that understanding after much deliberation.) Anyway, take those things that you enjoy, and slowly work on them. Focus on them. Obviously (from the next paragraph), you enjoy writing. Very well. That is one thing. And as you do it, take joy in it. Not in the publishing, but in the act of writing, which is a part of yourself.

My current wish?  I want to get a book published.  I've written the book, been turned down five times by publishers, only to have the most recent publisher send it back to me three times asking me to revise parts of the story.  I want to believe that they're interested and may eventually pick up the text, but I don't dare get my hopes up.

True. Don't get your hopes up. Be content with how things are in the present, and you will be all the more pleased with a good event in the future... but even then, you must not expect good fortune to last. That might sound cynical, but it is a fact of things, and to not be dependant on good times makes one impervious to fortune's turns. So with this, consider the worst case... they don't pick it up. But you have a story that you wrote and that you enjoy. Something that is your own. What do you need the others liking it for? It might be an added benefit, but do not rely on others to keep you content.

That's my problem: I don't dare hope for anything.  I don't think I know how anymore.  If there's no hope in my life, then there's no point to life.  Then why live at all?  Why continue to live if I have no purpose and no hopes or dreams? In fact, if there's no real purpose to anything, then why does anyone live at all?

That is a teleological question, and it's tough to answer. If you do not believe in an afterlife, then you must create some meaning in your present. Now, to be a bit Nietzschean here, yes, life may have no purpose, but it can have meaning. And that meaning is in the present experience. Honestly, do you need any hopes and dreams? For most often what are hopes and dreams run far too high, and in not achieving them we fall prey to disappointment. So do not hold to them. Make use of things you wish simply to give you a direction, but if you live for a future, you do not have the present. So what you do is live in the present, though being mindful of the future. It's the old admonition of carpe diem. That is, not fall prey to hedonism, but perhaps more of an epicurean enjoyment of life. It's difficult when one's thinking nihilistically as you are, but nonetheless, I think it to be true.

I would personally suggest trying to be stoic. Read some Seneca.

I don't know if I'm overworked and simply exhausted.  I don't know if I need to talk or shut up.  I don't know if I need more rest or more action.  My family doesn't care, and my "friends" don't care to listen.  I'm just so tired.

Well, talk always helps. As such, talk, and even if no one directly replies, at least the act of speaking is cathartic. Do you need rest or action... well, you need both. You need to act, and then in rest contemplate your actions. That is, understand yourself in what you do and in the decisions that you make. If you have done something that you do not like, then decide to learn from it, and do differently next time. Don't vow that you will beyond doubt change - that'll only lead to disappointment - but that you shall do your utmost. And having done your utmost, be content in the knowledge that you have given it a most excellent attempt.

This is difficult to manage when you're tired, I suppose. But if it's weariness overcoming you, then you must first of all step back and calm yourself with something. Sit outside and watch the sun. Read a good book. In this state I'd recommend Seneca. Read 'On Tranquility' or 'On the Shortness of Life'... I've always found those two to be heartening, and when I felt unsure and assailed by fortune and what not, his Stoic virtue is a powerful voice of determination. A stoic, you see, needs be master of nothing about him, about no aspect of life or circumstance, being only a master of himself. A stoic expects nothing to actually happen, so will not be dissapointed when it doesn't (but still works for it); and if some misfortune befalls, why, things were not his to begin with, and he is happy to have had it at all. Therefore each moment of life is a blessing. And so on and so forth, though Seneca says it better than I. Basically, fear nothing and be ruled by nothing.

I need to speak to my father, but I don't know how.  He's done a lot of bad things, but I know, somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind, that he loves me.  But I'm so upset by his mere presence that I can't even speak to him.  The problem is that he doesn't have much time left on this Earth, so what do I do?  Do I go with the path of least resistance, the one that will tear me up less?  Or do I potentially derail my sanity for a week and go see him anyway?

See him. It will not tear you up less, but far more if you don't. If he doesn't have much time left, it will most likely haunt you that you did not. Even if it's difficult now, later you will thank yourself for having done it.

I'm not exactly sure why I'm posting this here.  I've been lurking on this board so long that I feel like I know a lot of you, even if I don't post very much.  I'm sorry to whine...sometimes venting helps me figure things out.

Absolutely. Don't feel bad about it. Nor is it whining. I very much understand venting, and its benefit is unmeasurable. It helps put things into order, and is cathartic. I do that myself very often.

Anyway, so for the current moment, I would suggest reading some of Seneca. Read 'On the Shortness of Life', or 'On Tranquility.' Let's see...

http://www.forumromanum.org/literature/seneca_younger/brev_e.html
http://www.stoics.com/seneca_essays_book_2.html#‘TRANQUILLITATE1

And read some Tragedy. Some high Tragedy so that you can level out your spirit with sombre beauty and high melancholy. Read Shakespeare. Read some Milton (Paradise Lost?). Read Homer's Iliad. And Aeschylus. For Aeschylus... if you go to a site called Project Perseus, they have most ancient texts there. Or, here, this is a bloody prose translation, but is alright:
http://www.theoi.com/Text/AeschylusAgamemnon.html

Or.. here it's performed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqFgCGuBn4A

And here, a very good little bit of Aeschylus' Agamemnon, read by Robert Kennedy at the night of Dr. King's assassination: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQQ-DwLqoGY



Daniel Krispin

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Re: *sigh*
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2008, 05:27:15 am »
Death is nothing, it's being alive that's fearful.

I'm sorry for your friend, but at least his suffering is gone.

I had a friend commit suicide, so I know how it is to lose someone close.

Sorry if a sound like a douche, I'm trying to be nice, but my words feel like they're filled with spite and anger.

Must be the lateness.

Being alive is fearful? Hmm...

See my quote? See the part that reads 'neque mortem neque vitam timeo'? That reads 'I fear neither life nor death.'

Daniel Krispin

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Re: *sigh*
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2008, 05:46:10 am »
I feel exactly the same as you with a lot of things. I'm 22 and I had all these dreams and ambitions in high  school and now it just seems like life is just passing me by. I am just completely overwhelmed and confused as to what I need to do. It seems like every time I make a step in the right direction that life just throws me another curve ball. Also I am terrified of death. I have no real beliefs or anything, but I am just terrified that when I die I am going to cease to exist and there will be nothing. It gets on my mind so badly that I cannot sleep when I'm thinking about it. I have tried many things, religions, alcohol, drugs, new jobs, new partners nothing just seems to make me happy anymore. I think it's just this age that we are in. We have been pretty much following this set path for the majority of our lives and now we don't have a cookie cutter life style where everything is pretty much planned for you. Now we are left without most of the friends we have known all our lives and pretty much without any help well for me it feels that way.

I would try the springtime of youth thing, but I'm pretty sure it would come out full of bitterness and self loathing.

What is fearful in ceasing to be?

There is no reason to fear death, as Socrates once said. If there is nothing, and we cease to exist, what will we care? Or if there is something, what can we know, and so if we fear we only fear the unknown, and that is irrational. The Phaedo is a very good discussion of this: Socrates in his last hours before he drinks the hemlock.

I'm not sure exactly what to say to you, but I think the problem might be is that you're looking for something in giving yourself pleasure. You say you've tried all these things and all, but all those are things that are trying to instill a certain mood in you. But really, you've gotta have the mood come from inside, as it were. Indeed, I would call it folly to try and be happy. What you should aim for it to be more or less content (a bit of discontent is good, however.) Hm. This is very difficult for me to describe at the moment. But basically, you shouldn't be relying on those exterior things to make you happy, or trying to glean happiness from them. The joy should be innate in all experience - and joy is something different from happiness - and basically is... finding or making something from everything. Overcoming yourself in everything. I guess I would say, well, introscpection. Understand yourself by really thinking about yourself. And not just where you're going. How can you know that anyway? Yeah, I have things I'm going for, too. Or think I am. That is, I have plans, but who's to know I won't die tomorrow? And if that's the case, what'll become of all those plans? They'll be nothing. So we should live mindful of death, as it were.

Man, I'm not bringing this across well right now. It's awefully late, and this is rather foolish of me, as I have studying to do tomorrow. But by doing your best, and finding beauty in things wherever you can - small, great, doesn't matter. Size doesn't matter, really. Let it sink into your heart. Laugh, and laugh deeply. Frown if you must, but be ready to laugh. Think about something, and feel joyful for having done it, not necessarially because it gave you a feeling. It's kind of an oxymoron. We think we should feel happy because something MAKES us happy, but really, WE make the things happy. So if we are content just to sit and stare at a leaf, that will make us happy, even though there is nothing intrinsically happy in us. Nor is it making you happy, per say, but you are making yourself happy by being content in doing whatever you are doing. Don't expect too much in things. If you can find just one small glimmer of joy, focus on that, think about it, relish it. And you know what? You can even turn adversity, and suffering, and even lack of direction into that. It's an obstacle, yes. But it's a bloody war, one against yourself, for the most part. And there is not only gain in that struggle, but just like in any combat you can win glory for yourself, even if it's only to your own eyes. Turn your disadvantages to advantages, and take joy in trying to do that as best you can... even if you can't wholly succeed. I don't know, those are my suggestions, though they're fragmentary. I'm trying to think what works for me. I've felt despondent and that life was doomed and meaningless before (hell, I once thought I was for sure death-doomed... in a more shortterm sense... I'm well aware in the long term we've got Thanatos waiting for us), but I just don't feel like that now. In part it's the Stoic things I was talking about in the other post. Even if things are crappy... well, then I've got the chance for a good battle to show myself my character, don't I? Opportunity at all turns. Fortune is rendered impotent.

rushingwind

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Re: *sigh*
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2008, 05:49:43 am »
Daniel Krispin, you are an amazing human being.  

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.  

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Re: *sigh*
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2008, 06:12:40 am »
So, in other words mustardbate...sweet sweet (tangy? sour? salty?) mustardbation...

Ramsus

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Re: *sigh*
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2008, 07:20:15 am »
When I was in college I fell into a deep, nihilistic pit of total meaningless, and yet one thing managed to hold me together: my sense of duty. In fact, it's increased to the point where I've found a distinct purpose and direction in life that becomes all but inevitable. That's why I'm only serving in the military for a few more years before getting out and doing other things, because I can do much more for the world, and I feel as though because I can, I should.


But even though my sense of duty -- a duty to help people and to do what others can't -- is what drives me and makes me click, the thing that I've realized helps the most when you're feeling down is simply having a few companions and a good sense of humor, even if it's just on an Internet forum like this. Nothing does more to kill your ability to live or achieve anything than taking yourself too seriously.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2008, 07:22:29 am by Ramsus »

Thought

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Re: *sigh*
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2008, 11:09:35 am »
My current wish?  I want to get a book published.  I've written the book, been turned down five times by publishers, only to have the most recent publisher send it back to me three times asking me to revise parts of the story.  I want to believe that they're interested and may eventually pick up the text, but I don't dare get my hopes up.

Not to get your hopes up so that they might be dashed against the rocks, but even getting a personalized rejection letter is quite the accomplishment in the literary field. Having a publisher ask you to make changes? Even if they don't ultimately take the book up, you've already gotten farther than most aspiring authors.

One of the things that can be very depressing is not reaching your goal. It is a good thing to take satisfaction when you have achieved something, but failing to do so can be a blow to our egos. But if I may so suggest, it is also good to take satisfaction when you have made progress. A rejection letter is a reason to celebrate; you've overcome the fears of rejection that prevent many would-be authors from even submitting. A personalize rejection letter is reason to celebrate; such are coveted objects. A publisher that asks you to make changes is a reason to celebrate; they see the spark and find it worthwhile to foster it for a time. Submitting your manuscript to five different publishers is itself a thing to celebrate! You've stared rejection in the face and rejection blinked. It is reasonable not to get your hopes up, but it is also reasonable not to sell yourself short.

Though, as a piece of practical advice, are you sure that most publishers in your field consider submissions from authors? There are some genres that will only accept a submission if it comes through an agent; if you have written in one of those genres, you might be better served by finding an agent before worrying about a publisher.

nightmare975

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Re: *sigh*
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2008, 02:38:45 pm »
My current wish?  I want to get a book published.  I've written the book, been turned down five times by publishers, only to have the most recent publisher send it back to me three times asking me to revise parts of the story.  I want to believe that they're interested and may eventually pick up the text, but I don't dare get my hopes up.

My current wish is to finish a novel. My fiction writing teacher says I have a lot of potential, my classmates say my the work I share is excellent, but I'm afraid to send things in per rejection.

The first thing I want to publish is Nightmare:Calling, but that died for me a long time ago. My friends want me to continue but I can't bring myself to go on.

teaflower

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Re: *sigh*
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2008, 04:47:39 pm »
I know what it feels like to fear death. Almost every day I have a panicy episode about it. I know how it feels to be horribly depressed. It's part of the whole Bipolar thing. I know what it's like to lose someone very dear. My foster mother, Nancy, died from pancreatic cancer last year. It still hurts deep down. If you look at the past pages of my Springtime of Youth, I just stopped caring. I used to state the date and what day it is in Latin, but now it's just 'Hi.' Try something new. I felt like I was going to get really depressed today (stuff with family) when all of a sudden, something just happened.

Keep trying with the book; if you have the will to write it, you should have the will to get it out there. And when it is, tell me the title and it'll be on my list of books I want. Who knows, maybe there'll be a series!

ZeaLitY

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Re: *sigh*
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2008, 11:01:29 pm »
Each day, I wake up and have an internal war with myself. I don't know if my choices are good ones, or if my current ambitions will even be fulfilled. If I could really live the springtime of youth, I'd be a lot farther along in learning Czech; I'd have written at least four more poems and two more short stories over the last month; I'd have finished Crimson Echoes dialogue, and improved myself in other ways...

I feel so emotionally and even physically fatigued at times. I've taken to sleeping at least one 12-hour session every week to rebuild my stamina. I never anticipated how much accepting ambitious challenges would exhaust my willpower, and I never imagined that willpower was something that could be exhausted and needed recuperation.

I give people the advice to "analyze one's desires", but the simplicity of that statement may underestimate just how hard it is to create meaning for oneself in life. I always had my ideal of love and desire for a relationship as deep as they come since age 11, but it took the loss of a woman named Alisa J to show me just how important and dear this is to me. Gaining that sense of meaning and importance through suffering has given me a clear reinforcement that I will be fulfilled by love, as have my other relationships with people, even best friends.

I still don't know where my other ambitions lie, though. I've continued with an accounting education because it and my English language will enable me to live in virtually any region on earth. But I know for a fact that accounting does not fulfill me, and that I want to continue exploring writing, so every day I have to deal with doubts over my current plan to facilitate my first dream, and the question of what I'll do after I achieve it.

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I don't dare hope for anything.

I know this feeling. After Alisa J disappeared, it's like I can't even expect the sun to rise in the morning. Nothing can be taken for granted, and I cannot even believe in such a thing as winning or fulfilling a desire until I've woken up the day after and reality reaffirms. There's even someone very dear to my heart right now, but I can't even allow myself to hope that my desire will be fulfilled, or that we might be happy together, because to hope is to open myself up for the pain of defeat.

Nonetheless, I manage. I knew this path would be difficult, and there are so, so many things to fear. But in my most lucid, willful moments, I dictate my life decisively and deal with the consequences, like Odysseus strapping himself to the mast in order to sate his curiosity of the siren song. Over the last few months, my spirit has hardened. But each day, it's still an emotional pain to think about the wild possibilities of the future; it's still a sadness to acknowledge how weak I presently am. But I'm still moving. I haven't died yet, like the people around me who've instinctively castrated their own potentials and accepted fates of gray, personal mediocrity.

Anyway, that's all unrelated to the point. It sounds like you're in a very low valley of depression. I've been there a few times, and two things have recently saved me. Perhaps they can help you. The first is defying fate. I've always defined fate as what will happen in my life if I'm not proactive, and so I imagine myself like that. Is it fate that I've fallen where others have succeeded? That certain things make life harder for me? In this way, I cultivate a temporary anger towards the world that I use to motivate myself to action. This world is populated by cretins, and I'm not going to give up in such a place. You can possibly unlock this by getting angry at the publishers; be cautious of course, since anger is useful only when it's directed towards a positive end. The second is what's easiest. I last hit a hard couple days of depression in August, and it lifted when I finally admitted to myself that going ahead with my plans was a hell of a lot easier than just retreating.

And that's part of the springtime of youth. It's making your mistakes on the side of action. There may be a mountain near your house that's been promised to afford a spectacular view of the countryside. Still, ascending the mountain is a rigorous, tough process, and you don't know if the view is worth it.

The springtime of youth is echoing Picard:

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To try or not to try. To take a risk or play it safe. Your arguments have reminded me how precious the right to choose is. And because I've never been one to play it safe, I choose to try.

It's saying, "if I stop worrying and just climb the stupid mountain, I'll see if that view's worth it." It's refusing to cut down wild potential because of the possibility of hardship. And it creates meaning. Good god, it's not easy, but I couldn't live with myself if I were in Oklahoma right now, wondering how life would be different if I had taken the hard path and expanded my experiences by planning to go to Europe and making new friends, no matter the emotional cost. Without going into detail about Alisa J, I want to live a life of no regrets now. Maybe it's impossible, but "impossible" should cease being a meaningful word to all of us. Life will get much better. I know it; I'll make it happen.

~~~

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terrified of death

My mind used to recoil at thoughts of the universe's end or death, but somehow it's not a problem anymore. I think it's because of the springtime of youth. I'm living in such a way that I'm going to achieve what I wish. If I weren't, I'd be much more concerned about dying before I'm fulfilled. In this way, before you worry about death, worry about life. Make a list of what you want to do and go.

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We have been pretty much following this set path for the majority of our lives and now we don't have a cookie cutter life style where everything is pretty much planned for you.

Even in this world's economy, there's still leeway to do stuff. I'm taking my business degree that I'll have in December 2009 and going to Europe to expand my experiences. After that is a big, annoying question mark, but whatever.

~~~

As a last note, I know another woman with boundless ambition in writing. She's going to have rejection letters, but she's going to use them as a fulcrum to achieve her final victory. Something that's not quite represented well enough in motivational literature is just how much one's going to fail before one finally succeeds. Failure is temporary but pervasive; success is singular and eternal. Failure is such an emotional stress and discouraging thing, but at least recognizing it as an inevitable stepping stone can blunt the pain a little.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2008, 11:05:22 pm by ZeaLitY »