Mmkay, art life support is being built up. Reached out to a few old art buddies, and we plan on getting back together for old man art sessions. Feels like getting the high school band back together for jam sessions. While arting again will feel nice, yammering with good buddies sounds great, too.
At this hospital, some of my favorite people are from back in the day. Other-Steve started out as a night nurse is now a nurse practitioner, has a large family, keeps admirably busy. Gal friend Amy who started as a CNA, is out doing her clinicals, a hairsbreadth away from graduating herself as a nurse practitioner. My-shell-Michelle survived poverty, a large family, and working this place as a nurse. Went back to school, got another degree, now employed with a six-digit salary in a happier place.
All three are wicked smart and deserve the successes they earn. And I’m sure they do earn them.
So here is why I’m sharing these three with you. Some envy and inadequacy on my part. These three have grown in their careers and lives a lot. When I try to measure myself against their accomplishments, I can’t help but feel, well, smaller.
I know, I know. The infamous case of the grass looking greener. And, too, comparing triangles to circles. The results clear, but what isn’t so clear is the price paid. I am not privy to the sacrifices made nor the tears shed on behalf of the prize. Also, my path is separate from theirs even though I am compelled by their gravitational pull because, you know, the people you surround yourself with influence you. I don’t want to be them per se, I want to be successful like them.
As it stands, whenever I run into any of these three, the easy rapport endures. But, and there’s a “but,” I have to wriggle past their preconceived notions to get to real-deal them. For instance, Other-Steve looks at me with pity. He’s grown; meanwhile I haven’t. I have to be firmly confident with him before both of us can relax and be ourselves. Amy greets me with disdain. Harsh, but that’s because her instincts value status first. Again, I have to meet this with confidence before we can reconnect. Michelle, aloofness; me, charm. Work past the awkward discourse and she warms right up.
Minor inconveniences, to be sure. Wouldn’t it be nice if I could brag about my accomplishments? Instead of manipulating my way into their good graces, to wriggle my shit together in such a way where, well, they greeted me with respect. I’d be nice to inspire them the way they do me. And maybe it’d be nice if they were jealous, too. . . You know, just a little.