25.2.14


Is "what I love" writing about how I feel on the internet? I don't feel like it deserves that designation.










I have a revolutionary new self-criticism. For a while now I've been fixated on the fallibility of perception and the subjectivity of the senses, but I have the sudden sense that through all of that I've been protecting myself in the guise of rational thought. I've been blaming the input and letting the processing off the hook out of the painful, anxious desire to remain always smart, always intellectually incisive, always deserving of whatever higher level of understanding is available. But what about being straight up wrong? Sometimes I am wrong, and sometimes I don't understand. I need to be okay with that. I feel like I'm in the middle of a transition out of the mode of existence I've always lived in, where being smart is the testable, ink-on-paper, that's-that measurement of personal quality, into a much fuzzier reality where people don't necessarily care how smart you are, and it doesn't get you any special favors. This whole time, the surrounding viewpoint has been that I deserved better than I was getting because I was smart, and it was just the anxiety getting in the way of my perfect grades and my perfect life and whatever else is supposed to just rain down on smart people from on high.

But understanding of the material is not the only requirement in a class, and the times when my anxiety over potentially not being right overshadowed my ability to show that I understood show up in my grades. And should they not? My understanding of what a grade reflects has morphed and changed a lot, too. Is it a measure of, like I said, personal quality? Is rightness goodness? Is it a reflection of your hard-workingness in achieving it? Is it a badge you wear to show your fitness for future tasks? Is it a measure of how much you care? Because my caring is off the charts. My caring has wandered off the charts into the netherworlds at their edges, and looped around to the other side where it has contradictorily emerged as a need to not care.

And again, sometimes I am wrong. Sometimes I don't understand. It would not be a groundbreaking development if it happened again.

I have nothing but 100's in the class I am taking right now, and it's frustrating because on the one hand I don't feel like I deserve it and on the other I am afraid of how I feel every time I do something that will receive a grade. I can't wait to be out of school.

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