It's been one of those weeks and today was the worst day by far. Earlier this week, one of my supervisors bounced into my cube to tell me that a fellowship program I had considered applying for last year has a deadline coming up soon and I should make sure to apply, "not that I'm suggestion you should leave or anything". Well, that was a not-so-subtle hint. Funny that same person told me that the reason I have been having trouble getting along with people is that I don't put enough into it, yet now I'm feeling more than a little bit of pressure to get the heck out. Wow. And just what if I thought I might stay for a few more years? I guess that option is not terribly popular. I can take a hint. I'll get my offending personage out of their presence within the next 12 months, regardless of whether or not I can find a job first. Life is too short to spend it in the presence of people who wish you'd just go away.

Now I'm watching the Olympic opening ceremonies and they're just making me depressed. I enjoy seeing the great variation in team costumes/wardrobes. They are so colorful and varied in style from track suits to jeans/polo shirts to shirt/tie/sport coat to traditional robes. And the smiles on everybody's faces. For most of the athletes at the Olympics, there will be no medal. There will be a few days of excruciating effort with heartbreak at the end. Perhaps the Olympic Creed will bring them comfort:
"The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well."
There is a Visa commercial running right now for the Olympic Games that drives this point home. It's about British track and field athlete Derek Redmond in the 1992 Summer Games. Derek was running the 400 meter sprint semi-final when he tore his hamstring muscle and fell. I remember watching him fall and seeing the agony on his face as the rest of the runners went on. Then he struggled to his feet and limped onward toward the finish line, barely able to bear any weight on his right leg. His father barged past security and on to the track to assist his son. father and son completed the lap of the track together, with Derek leaning on his father's shoulder for support. As they crossed the finish line, the 65,000 people in the stadium rose to give Derek a standing ovation.

I sincerely wish that professional athletes were not allowed in the Olympic Games. I find it highly ironic that it's now absolutely acceptable for pros to play in the formerly amateur Games, but Jim Thorpe had his medals for track and field stripped because he had played minor league baseball prior to becoming an Olympic athlete. The medals were later restored to him, but not until thirty years after his death.

Now that the Olympic Games are populated by pro athletes (at least for the U.S. team), I don't think they are much of a viable dream for kids any more. I remember watching the Games as a kid and thinking that maybe I could do that. Maybe I could learn to ride a horse well enough or practice hard enough to run fast enough.... Of course, everybody that ever heard me say I might like to try also told me that it was stupid to wish for that because it would never happen. Eventually, I believed them and the dream withered and died. Now watching the opening ceremonies makes me sad because it reminds me that I didn't hold on to that dream and that I let other people crush it.

It's been a dream-crushing sort of week. I'm trying to remind myself that I did good things this week: I went to the gym four days this week; on at least three different occasions, I chose the difficult right over the easy wrong even when nobody was looking or would have found out; and I did two scary (for me) things successfully. Right now I just want to crawl under a rock and hide, which just means the meany, negative people around me have won, which makes me feel even worse. Ugh.

Yard Lizard Update
The punk rock yard lizard with the neon blue tail is a blue-tailed skink that looks just like this:


Stefaneener said…
Oh dear. You know it's a hard place to fit in, that E. Tenn place. I hope you're feeling better. We talk a lot these days at home about being unattached to outcomes and happy about what we do all by itself, but it is hard sometimes.

Hang in there.

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