Thursday, August 17, 2006

Melancholy Musings

I beg your indulgence for the minor rant that follows. I'm a bit down today, hence the following.

I don't know what went wrong. I don't know where I went wrong.

I don't know what it was but the majority of this year so far has been "off" for me. The year began badly when I had joint trouble in January, landing me in the hospital for the first week of February. I spent February and most of March recovering. I spent the successive time.. well, I don't know if I was still recovering but I know I hadn't fully recovered. Even now, given where I am, what I have to do and how things are at work, I don't consider myself fully recovered. In my mind, I won't be fully recovered from everything until this work-year is over (which is either at the beginning or end of December). Until I survive into next year, this year, and my current status, is in the loss column.

The harder part for me is reconciling my poor performance this year with previous years. Not health wise but work wise and performance wise. Not infrequently I've looked back over the limited history that constitutes my sum total of experience and either wonder if/where I went wrong or whether things were always wrong and I just managed to scrape by on luck, intelligence and ability.

Long, long ago I was a good student. I'm talking elementary school, middle school and high school - Hell, I graduated top 2% in my high school. I took a lot of AP classes and passed (scoring 4 out of 5) a lot of the AP tests. I entered college in good position. In college, I wouldn't say I necessarily thrived. I learned a great deal and I got good grades in my major, okay grades elsewhere. I did well enough, in college and on the LSAT, to get into a first tier law school. I took a year off to work and live at home then went to law school. In law school, I scraped by. I passed. I graduated, eventually. I wasn't on a journal (by choice, presumptively) and I didn't get published. I sat for but did not pass the Patent Bar. I sat for but did not pass the CT & NY Bars.

In other words, my school experience, if graphed performance vs. time, would tend to show a negative trend.

Maybe I lost something during that year off. Maybe I never had the focus, dedication and perseverance it takes to do well in law school. I wouldn't say I turned out to be a bad lawyer or patent agent. With my work experience thus far, I feel qualified to do what I'm doing and I do it well, really. I know I'm smart enough and capable enough.

I just don't know what, if anything, is wrong. And sometimes, sometimes that really bothers the Hell out of me. I only hope I survive this year. That's my goal now – survival. Because this year is already a loss and it is far from guaranteed that I will be where I am come December or January. I can't read, no, I don't want to read the omens yet. I cling to the hope that I can prove myself sufficiently by the end of this year, in these last months, that I am awarded a second chance, a second year to really do things right. But right now, in the uncertain darkness that precedes salvation or ruin, I hope. And work. And, sometimes, I pray.