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4:44 p.m. - 01.29.2003
An Underachiever's Diary - a synopsis by Amishboy
I've been tired of the last 72hrs in front of the computer. Sending out resumes isn't creative or challenging - I didn't see that one coming.

As I listlessly drift from site to site - my employment dreams change with each new golden future that is promised me.

Like yesterday, by the end of the evening I had worked my way to international job sites. I went to bed convinced I am to be an 'English as a Second Language' teacher in Germany. I spent the better part of the night emailing Germany. Strangely enough - this is something I am qualified to do.

But it's no secret - Seattle is the place I want to be. Who wants to go to fairybook Bavaria, with all of it's hot Aryan woman and endless tankards of beer? Seattle I say, dammit!

Besides, I've already lived in Germany. Yes - it is every bit as beautiful as you could possible dream. The Sound of Music wasn't filmed with trick photography. But Seattle! I have absolutely NO idea what it's like at all! How exciting! (well, I'M the type of person that gets jazzed about the unknown.)

***

I took the day off today from job hunting. I might as well enjoy this unemployment some too.

So I read a book - and it was fantastic. And one of those books that finds you at JUST the right time, because secretly - it's about you. It was "An Underachiever's Diary" by Benjamin Anastas. Do pick it up. Here's the part that hit home:

"Our relationship to the world which we enter so unwillingly seems to be endurable only with intermission; hence we withdraw again periodically into the condition prior to our entrance into the world: that is to say, into intra-uterine existence. At any rate, we try to bring about quite similar conditions - warmth, darkness, and absence of stimulus - characteristic of that state...It looks as if we grown-ups do not belong wholly to the world, but only two-thirds: one third of us has never been born at all."

- Sigmund Freud, from General Introduction to Psychoanalysis

Of course, Freud is talking here about sleep and the state of dreaming, but I think it speaks in a larger sense to my current state of affairs (the "intermission" of which he spoke). I've returned to an intra-uterine existence here in my mother's care. I'm at a sleepy crossroads, and my mother has been kind enough to give me temporary sanctuary back in the womb. How nice.

The author uses the above quote to describe the underachiever of the title, William. In the book, the following is presented:

UNDERACHIEVING: A THEORY

1. Alone in an age of increasing competition and diminished possibilities, the underachiever, when face with doing battle, will forfeit rather than draw blood in the modern arena. He is powerless , and deliberately weak.

2. The underachiever is misanthropic by default. He will use negativity as his greatest weapon, and reserves the right to criticize all that is exalted in both secular and religious society. He lives at a calculated distance from the mainstream, longing secretly to be included, while at the same time voicing his contempt for those who play by the rules, that is, achievers of the garden variety, and especially his nemesis, the overachiever.

3. Rather than saying, "Yes, yes" to life, the underachiever will say "No, thank you." If pressed, he will turn belligerent.

4. Underachievers are not to be confused with younger, slower brothers of southern presidents, like Billy Carter, and Roger Clinton. These gentlemen do the best with whatever genetic leftovers they've been given, while the underachiever is entrusted with a master key to opportunity's home office, and misplaces it.

5. If the underachiever were a mixed drink, he would be a dry martini, one part obscurity (vermouth), and three parts unhappiness (gin).

~

At least, when all is said and done - I have a kick-ass beard again....

 

 

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