First, it was my planner.
Then, it was books and binder.
Next, my all-inclusive folder.
And then I lost….
I concede I am rather scatterbrained, especially
this semester. It seems like I would lose something, only then
find it and then lose something even more valuable. Books, folders,
binders, planners—these items are the necessary materials
for student learning. Just as I would lose hope of reclaiming all
my precious, expensive supplies, they would providentially reappear.
At the pace I have been misplacing important things, I could reasonably
be labeled a loser.
Loser—I lost the original draft of
this journal, just two hours ago. It is probably buried in a chaotic
pile on my desk. I’m not joking or exaggerating.
I did it. I lost it. Humans associate the word ‘loser’ with the undesirable.
Surely, it is undesirable to lose the things one needs for learning. If we associate
the word ‘winner’ with gaining or earning something, I propose it
is natural to consider ‘loser’ as also someone who lacks.
has more serious connotations as well. Humans experience loss as a part of
the life cycle. The most serious forms of loss are usually correlates
of trauma. Loss is connected with death and damaged relationships. Generally
speaking, we avoid thinking about loss—whether it be money, luxuries
Yet, I propose loss does not have to be a
horrible thing. I have lost more
this semester than books and binders. More important, I have dropped some
unrealistic expectations of myself and others. I lost some of my
anxiety about the present
and the future. In the process of losing, of lacking, I think I actually
gained. I continue to wake up in the middle of the night, but not
because my energies
are ruminating on my anxiety.
I remember that I was always labeled a winner—especially
in high school. I was always winning something, speech contests, writing
contests, acting awards.
I remember the résumé I sent to UT was an inventory of the
awards I had won. Certainly, I am not going to decry my past achievements.
I think achievement
is a beautiful thing, especially for the right reasons. Now, surely, achievement
has its trappings: recognition and respect. Yet, I believe one can have
a high volume of achievement and not gain anything.
In high school and
even in college to some extent, we talk of being in
the right activities with the right people and doing the right things
UT, it seems there are variable “right paths,” but occasionally
I perceive there are some commonly recognized ones. I am not going to
criticize the aspirations of any people in very specific activities on
I am going to express some of my dissatisfaction with my own choices.
I purposefully joined general-interest things
I thought would advance my career here. There is nothing wrong
with that. Nonetheless, I admit
some of the
activities I am involved in I do not feel very passionate about. I
do not think that there is anything intrinsically wrong with some
am actively involved in. I am a member of some “winners-only” groups.
The funny part is that it seems like I am lacking something. I am missing
to an indiscernible finish line. In being a “winner,” I
perceive I lost some valuable self-regard. I gave second priority to
some of my
deeper affiliative needs.
Nevertheless, by losing the illusion of the
fixed trajectory of success, the path of the winner, I have attained
a more refined vision of my
that is unique to me. I lost some things in the process: complete
approval and a predetermined, well-trodden path. Yet, in the process
of losing I gained a better sense of self. Now, if I could just manage
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