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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Personal Growth

During our daytime date, N and I discussed what it feels like when one’s cherished plans collapse (like my NYC trip). N says he doesn’t get angry or stressed out if he knows the issue that foiled his plans is not his fault. That stunned me because for me it’s the other way round. 

If something doesn’t work because I fucked up, I wasn’t organized, I failed to do what I needed, then I accept it and feel at peace. What bugs me if I did everything right but things didn’t work out because of factors outside of my control. 

His reaction is a product of an angry, castigating parent and mine of an emotionally chaotic, unpredictable one. 

But hey, if you saw how calm I am right now, in the face of not being able to get to a conference that I dreamt about for 14 years, you’d be stunned. That’s personal growth, folks. 

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5 thoughts on “Personal Growth

  1. Stringer Bell on said:

    “His reaction is a product of an angry, castigating parent and mine of an emotionally chaotic, unpredictable one. ”

    Interesting. What would the reaction be if one were the product of psychologically healthy parents?

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  2. What if your reaction doesn’t depend upon whose fault it is but how serious the problem? I’d have been disappointed to miss that MLA regardless. The MLA I did in fact miss due to weather wasn’t one I cared about as much as I have cared about some.

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    • Of course, there are serious issues that deserve an intense emotional response. You are in one right now. But I used to have a major freakout whenever a flight was delayed, and that wasn’t positively impacting my life. It was clearly an outsized reaction to a normal disappointment.

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      • Right. But I seem not to be able to choose between being more at peace if it is, or isn’t my fault. What drives me around the bend, right around the bend, is if something is not my fault and I am asked to say it is.

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