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Well....at least its more Sadness Than Jealousy

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Way back when I was a good student and an all-round High Achiever, I even found it within myself to get a solid friendship group together.


We were all fifteen or so, and in a school for bright kids (oh, I know...hmm, not sure how healthy THAT was). None of us were "outcasts", but certainly not part of the "popular crowd" - having said that, neither did we want to be. We formed a kind of clan/group that went so far as to have a password/members only forum. I maintain we weren't elitist, but we had a very strong mutual bond.


Nine strong-minded, very intelligent individuals (the last year I was in that school, there were 12 prizes awarded in our year...and our group claimed 7 of them or something daft like that!).


Then I had a mental breakdown and left. And, over the next couple of years, I kept in touch with a few, but dropped out of contact with most. Not that I had a new group; I didn't. And going to a college in poorest part of the country, next to some of the roughest estates in the area was so utterly refreshing. Not only did they offer Philosophy, I didn't have to wear "business clothes", I didn't have to constantly worry that I would be perceived as anything less than "terribly bright", and so on and so forth. And the people...at my college, everything is better, more genuine, more relaxed.


Not that my old friend ever understood that, and now we live in completely different worlds. Part of me feels ungrateful - I didn't benefit from the "great education" that was offered at my old school....Part of me feels envious..."how come they could put up with an environment like that and I couldn't?"


I'm a year behind them all academically, two of them have places/are at effin' Oxford for heavens' sake. The rest are at very respectable Unis and one is on her way to being a biomedical scientist.


And there's me bumming around council estates, having tried (and failed at) a whole load of qualifications, and etc etc all the while battling endless rounds of depression and so forth.


I felt honoured to be there tonight as seven of us (all girls) had dinner; I was clearly in the company of some seriously talented and brilliant young women who I was/am lucky enough to be friends with...but I felt so rubbish, so patronized at times (..*smirk*.."Emily's special..with a capital R"..).


Don't get me wrong, they were not all/consistently nasty, yet I got the distinct feeling I Am Different. Well, fair enough, but I dislike feeling that this automatically classes me as inferior. A couple of nastyish asides were made concerning the path I had chosen.


Funny, because at no point did *I* ever say "Well, I'd rather staple my foot than mess around in laboratories all day". *I* was polite and encouraging.


I guess I thought I'd deserve a bit more respect from old friends? I left very early because I felt/feel so bl**dy wretched...not sure they even picked up on that.


And to come back to original title - I honestly don't think its jealousy, more a sadness that I couldn't have just bl**dy stuck to The Plan - go to my school, go to its adjoining college, go to Uni as it was all planned from the day I ever set foot in that place.


Yet I can remember the day I left, the school head was frantic that I should stay. You know...in conclusion, I'm glad I left. I suppose now I'm paying for it. Must just keep going.

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You know I have encountered some of this myself, at a different age. I had friends who went from high school to college to graduate school and did so with success and studying, and then had early professional success. In college, I was less than stellar, and then I decided to go to sea for a living. In that area, I had success. But no one who knew me had any understanding of that success, to them I came home from work with greasy clothes and could swear more creatively than anyone else they knew. But I got more from having that experience than I can ever really explain. It was what I wanted to and enjoyed and needed to do for me. No one else got it, but it only occasionally bothered me. Do what you need to do, be the best you, and enjoying doing it as much as you can.

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I have been in a similar place, and relate to what you are saying. I guess it's just going to feel bad for now.


But if it's any consolation, I moved on to things later that were far more up my alley than the fraudulent existence I would have led had I been 'successful' in the beginning. I also think I am much happier now, much more intellectually engaged, and perhaps even making more money.


The bright young stars around me also lost their shimmer a bit; over the years I learned that some of the major scholarship receiving future captains of industry didn't actually like what they were doing after all. Several of them later gave away all the years of study and acclaim to become primary school teachers, and were much happier as a result. I kind of look back with some 'pride' now that I stuffed up (although it was mostly involuntary) and was the first to leave the group because in the end it took me to where I needed to be much faster than some of the others who lived a lie for longer and had to deal with bigger decisions later.


At the time when I dropped out, I NEVER would have seen that coming, I just felt that melancholic left-behind, 'what if I just don't amount to anything' feeling.


Yes, just keep going, god knows what's in your future, you may well eclipse the lot of them in ways you cannot see right now.

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Well, they get to be them, and you get to be you. Who would you rather be?


I constantly meet those old friends who thankfully never had to be on a psych ward. They're stupid. I don't know how else to say it; maybe they never had a dissociative episode -- lucky them -- and can handle stress better, but they're dumb. They do stupid things; they drink too much. They hurt people who love them. They feel superior. They have no clue about anything that doesn't somehow reflect their experience. They can't relate to anything that isn't all about them, unless it's to relate to it as something they can feel superior to or confused by.


There used to be a word for this; vulgar. They're vulgar. I don't understand how this is, that very bright, accomplished people could somehow be stupid, but they are.


Life is a teacher. G*d, AntiLove, do you honestly think that people like Charles Bukowski or Joan Didion would have given a rat's a** to talk to those women? Now, you, they would have loved.

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