Hah, I just realized that I quoted from this very speech in a previous holiday post. Terrible to think how long it takes for a change in life to sink in, but poignant just the same.
[T]he real value of a real education [has] almost nothing to do with knowledge, and everything to do with simple awareness; awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, all the time, that we have to keep reminding ourselves over and over:
‘This is water.’
‘This is water.’
It is unimaginably hard to do this, to stay conscious and alive in the adult world day in and day out. Which means yet another grand cliché turns out to be true: your education really IS the job of a lifetime.
-David Foster WallaceI noticed this morning that I was enjoying the holidays. It had been a truism for a long time that the holidays were something to be survived, never enjoyed. I am mostly posting to acknowledge the work that went into getting to a place where I can enjoy the holidays. The boundaries that were established, the rules of engagement that had to be articulated and fought for and the awareness to say, "I don't want to fear the holidays anymore." It took me a long time to embrace as true that internal work that accomplishes nothing but bettering my experience in life is worth the time and effort and is worth prioritizing. No one will notice that this has changed but me and that is enough.
Honestly, even writing that sentence, a nagging voice of doubt pops up, "Was it really worth all that work?" Life is mostly work, struggle and frustration. The moments of transcendence are rare and fleeting. So yes, if there will always be work, then working on breaking down the distortions of my mind, my fears and biases is worth the effort.