Friday, June 26, 2015

Disappointment

I’m so easily disappointed. And it’s terrible. 

The reality is I have an amazingly unique, exciting life. For the past nine months I’ve got to go a lot of places most people from my background only know vaguely as names on a map. I’ve had the opportunity to get to meet tons of terrific individuals who are culturally, intellectually and spiritually way out of my league, but who still generally take an interest in getting to know me as well. More than that, I’m surrounded by people who care about me and think probably much more of me than they should. 

Forget about comparing myself to other people “of my background.” Just compare me to me 10 months ago. If myself 10 months ago could’ve seen what he’s doing now, I’m pretty sure he’d have been thrilled. 

10 months ago I was extremely discontent (and a number of people said with good reason). Given the massive differences in my own little world between now and then, though, shouldn’t I be significantly more content now than I was then? Perhaps at moments I am. But at at least as many other moments, I’m not. 

Where in my previous life, I got crushingly disappointed by things like getting rejected from the job I’d wanted since my sophomore year of college, getting broken up with, etc, I’m sometimes afraid I now get crushingly disappointed by the not-happening of things that, back then, I could have imagined only as the most abstract fantasies. 

I now find it easy to be completely bored with days and nights that would’ve blown my mind just a year ago––and then get depressed because something even more doesn’t happen. I get upset at myself for failing to meet personal goals––that I couldn’t have even known where to set just a short time ago. I feel like an outcast for failing to impress people I couldn’t have imagined even meeting before. 

What’s worse, I start to interpret all of those––albeit relatively ridiculous––disappointments as direct continuations of my failures and frustrations in the distant past. And so disappointments become crushing disappointments. 

What's the reason for this?

Some years ago, I was into playing the video game Halo online. The interesting thing about playing Halo online is that the system always matches you with people who have a similar performance, so even though your game may be improving massively, you actually never feel like things are going particularly better. Before you can even realize that things have improved, you’re automatically moved to an environment where you are at least slightly inadequate.  

So maybe it’s like that. Kind of like a goldfish that always grows to fit its bowl. In my more positive moments I try to think of it that way. 

In my more negative moments, I’m inclined to take what might be considered the more Biblical view, that I ought to just “[learn] in whatever situation I am to be content” (reference Philippians 4) and all those things I’m being disappointed about are in fact entirely and completely meaningless (reference entire book of Ecclesiastes).

In light of the general deprivation and suffering of so many people in the world––especially today––and the complete self-centeredness of most of the things I tend to be disappointed about, I’m afraid that second theory is probably more valid. The only issue is, it’s sooooo difficult to keep that in mind constantly. Do you know how? Please tell me. If I ever figure out how, I’ll tell you. 

Until then, disappointment. I don’t like it. 


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