Thursday, March 25, 2010

Bitter Root

This is an entry that I have pondered for some time, but one that I did not really want to explore too deeply because I had such a strong distaste for my own thoughts. I even considered just sitting down and writing to clear my mind and to gain some perspective, and then simply releasing my words to the wind. However, after thinking about it, I decided to just stand before you with my struggle. I figured that, perhaps, I might get some insight and comments from one of my readers that might help me wrestle things under control.

Throughout most of my life, I have been known as the precocious whiz kid. My intellectual abilities brought me recognition and helped me to define my self-worth. However, as the hands of the clock incessantly swing through their arcs, our roles must change, whether we want them to or not. Whereas I used to always be the youngest member of groups that I was involved in, today, more and more, I find myself in the position of an elder statesman. Elder statesman. I can tell you that this representation does not mesh in any way with my own internal image. This competition between my old self and my new reality is an ugly one. It does not sit easily with me. I find that sometimes when I am faced with the reality of my situation, jealousy and bitterness oftentimes can bubble up to the surface. The thoughts that run through my mind sicken me, and I can assure you that I am not proud of myself.

At the current time I am by far the oldest member of my church small group. Nearly all of the dozen members of this group are 20-somethings. Three of the women are pregnant, one guy is engaged, and one couple has just married. They are all just starting on life, still ramping up. Everything is new and young and exciting. When I begin to think of where I am in my life, with things not having worked out as I had planned and dreamed and expected, now realizing that I am getting older and starting to ramp down, sometimes I cannot face the "good news" of those around me. I find ways of isolating myself from them and not sharing in their joy nor contributing anything to it.

Why have I become so bitter that I can't enjoy or appreciate their happiness? Mentally I understand how petty and selfish and wicked and inappropriate my feelings are, but I just cannot fully distance myself from them.