5.17.2008

Loneliness

It's strange that I can spend all day with people--breathing the same office air, heating the same water kettle, gripping the same tube pole, crowding the same carriage--only to come home lonely.

Don't get me wrong. The first week of my internship turned out even better than I imagined. I'm in the process of editing two books with fun topics, and amazingly, my boss entrusts the final proofreading to me. It's not just dirty work--filing, getting people tea, running errands. It's actually work that's beneficial to my hopeful editing career. The editorial director is bouncy and spontaneous and full of energy and humor. She literally runs around the office and is happy to rush to my side if I need anything at all, even if I'm interrupting her work. In fact if I walked into the old brewery office off the street I would have had no idea that she's the boss (after the publisher, of course). She's humble and interested in my opinion and encourages me to think for myself. I couldn't have landed a better internship.

But now that I've glimpsed the life I've wanted, now that I've pulled back the curtains on that mysterious dream world to see it for what it is, I realize that I was putting much more hope in it than I should have. I hoped it would fulfill a need I've never had filled. I had it in my mind that once the career I wanted was in reach, I would be happy. Turns out that there are other things that matter so much more than a career. I've been slowly pushing them out of my gaze, farther and farther, until they were in my periphery, and finally, out of my vision completely.

Those things I've been missing? They're not things at all. They're people. I haven't loved people. How do I get myself scrambled up in self-satisfying messes time and time again, forgetting that my purpose in life is greater than my happiness?

2 comments:

MattCario said...

I'm really happy you have found an internship you enjoy. I get those same feelings at times with my students. When the calendar is packed and I'm so focused on doing stuff, I have moments I think to myself, "I have no clue what's going on in that kid's life". Constant struggle! Good stuff!

FYI, if editorship doesn't work out, you can always be the editor at my blog!

joanna said...

there's often loneliness in loving people too...

i know you'll find the balance my dear friend.