Posted by susan on May 11, 1999 at 13:16:03:
In Reply to: what's going on? posted by Theo on May 09, 1999 at 23:16:20:
Well, people really hit the nail on the head.
A lot of us have been there, and it's so hard to know what's going on when everything seems to be hidden behind a haze.
When I was really depressed, even playing cello was horrible. The whole catch-22 of potential, good enough or not, etc.
I won't go into the details, but know that your story really is very similar to mine.
There are a few things that helped me through it, though.
One is something that my grandfather used to say a lot, mostly before I was born:
"the first 20 years are the hardest. After that it begins to get a little bit easier"
This puts my puny experience in perspective. You can't know anything until you put everything in and see what comes out. If nothing else, at least you'll know what's possible.
You're only a tiny bit into your 20 year trial period. I haven't even lived that long, much less played cello!
And, I can't tell for sure, but after almost 20 years, life is getting better.
The next thing is a really good book, which I highly recomend you read. It's by Rainer Maria Rilke, and it's called Letters to a Young Poet.
It's about writing, but I read it for the first time when I was 14, dealing with my first major depression, and it helped a lot.
The hardest thing is escaping from the way you feel now. Don't be afraid of anything, just jump into life. Try some new things, go all out. Don't worry about people, they tend to be kinda silly, and there isn't much to be done about it. It's really important to realise that you're alive now, and that's important. In 20 years maybe you'll be famous, but if you wait 35 years to start living, you won't know how, once you get there. Start practicing, now, because it really isn't just something you automatically know how to do.
And don't count your trouble as something that can keep you from succeeding. It really makes you stronger, just make sure you don't ever act like the people who mistreat you. Use your advantage, of being on the outside, to see clearly into people's lives. When you look closely, they're really not enviable. You have a dream, and most of them don't.
And really, don't let people bother you about your name... nobody ever pronounces mine right, even my computer's best guess when I'm spell-checking is "ooziness"
And look foreward to college. I didn't believe this when people told me, but it's true. It'll be the hardest thing you've ever done, if you go to a school anything like mine, but it's worth it, and people aren't so nasty.
I hope it works out for you. Realise that extreme pain is only the other end of extreme joy, and you can't have one without the other. You're blessed with the ability to feel both. Life will be a battle, from beginning to end, but it's the price of being awake.
Good luck. Don't quit.
(there, now you have my whole name ;p)
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