31.10.05

A Villain's Soliloquy

I gave this post its title because it kind of reminded me of that scene in movies where the villain is allowed to make a little plaintive speech, trying to garner a little sympathy, a little understanding for his motives, but instead ends up more despised than ever by the audience. Mwa ha!

Warnings: (1) I think I'm about to have my period (never a good time for me or anyone within my reach). (2) It's cold again. It's supposed to be fall, but here I am, shivering in my apartment, turning "white" (my boss finally admitted admiringly, after much choked laughter and glances in the direction of my face, scaring the hell out of me, making me wonder if I'd perhaps developed some sort of facial skin affliction during the hour-long train ride to work) from extreme lack of sunlight, and being forced to witness people putting up Christmas decorations (argh) in shop windows and along the walkways to quaint little Italian restaurants that I have to walk past every day. (3) I've spent far too long--including the entire precious weekend--on a very big, ugly project of endless installments that just won't quit. (4) I was craving chocolate and was mixing up my usual batch of two cookies, but right as I was about to add the cocoa near the end, I decided I wanted oatmeal instead, so I shook in some oats, thinking cocoa and oats could be interchangeable when in fact they are not, and my cookies came out mealy and disgusting but I ate them anyway, and the disgust and irritability that I felt afterward is still lingering. (5) Just as I was biting into the first mealy cookie, I got a call from my boss because it seems I did "more than necessary" on the first installment of the aforementioned big, ugly project, so now I have to go over to the office tomorrow for a chat with the one lady there whose Japanese for some reason I cannot understand one word of, but that fact won't matter because I already know how the chat's going to go. It will be like: "You did a great job. But you did more than you have to (i.e., we are paying you pennies and wish to continue doing so, so please don't do extra work or too good a job, because otherwise, we might have to pay you, like, one penny more)."

Okay, let's break away from the over-burgeoning numbered list, shall we? But carrying on with point number (5), do you KNOW what that kind of talk feels like? Here I am, limited qualifications, barely able to take pride in what I do, yet trying to do the best job I can, and then I'm told not to BOTHER. It's like telling an architect: "Just give me something with four sides and a top." Or a cook: "As long as nobody chokes or dies. Don't worry about that 'tasting good' stuff."

And just maybe I'm feeling extra sensitive because--back to the numbered list for a second:(6) I recently received an email from a good friend, telling me, "Guess what? I got into med school!"

I'm so thrilled for her, I want to keep telling her so. And yet there's another part of me that is feeling horribly self-centered and miserable and angry at myself--though, surprisingly, not jealous (I did think I would be). Still, it's wrong. Here I should be nothing but happy for her. Instead, I'm feeling sorry for myself. Terrible, I know. It's just, there's suddenly all these doubts about what happened all those years ago when I finally gave up on my stupidly complex plans for after I became doctor, since it was apparent I was incapable of accomplishing the critical becoming-a-doctor part. Did I really try hard enough in college? Did I do everything I possibly could? Even though I laughingly agreed with my husband recently that I would have made a scary, incompetent doctor, it is still the most important thing in my life that I've ever had to give up. And it still drives me crazy if I *really* think about it--which I don't ordinarily allow myself to do. It's something best tucked in the back of my mind. Except thinking about my friend going to med school, dissecting cadavers, graduating eventually to become useful, helpful, valuable... it just makes my life seem so petty in comparison. So I mope. And use the approach of my period and a series of silly incidents as excuses to be mopeful[insert trademark symbol here].

And now I feel a little better and I shall return my stupid dream to the far reaches of my little mind--whose limited size means, unfortunately, that I can't send it that far away, but I shall pretend that it is far and that I can't see that little corner of it sticking out, waving for my attention... Now I'm just babbling foolishly, when what I really need to be doing is getting back to that big, ugly project, with which I shall try not to try too hard.

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9 Comments:

Rachel, if it makes you feel any better, trust me, there's no way you would've liked working in a hospital. It's way too depressing. I hated it. Besides, it's so much better to not have wasted all that time. I wish I'd chosen a less "practical" path when I was young and majored in something like photography.

11/01/2005 05:46:00 PM  

There, there, we've all been there. Think about it, if you went to med school you'd still be in...gulp...school. You'd still have exams and assignments. You'd have dull labs and annoying teaching assistants who aren't any help at all. You'd have to pull all nighters and be up at 7am for class. Do you really pine for all that?

11/02/2005 07:00:00 AM  

most doctors i see are unhealthy, candy bar scarfing, pharmecutical popping chain smokers. i don't envy them.

speaking of the japanese workplace, have you seen fear and trembling? it's a belgian film about a girl raised in japan who returns as an adult working for a giant japanese corporation as a translator. her enthusiasm is not appreciated and she suffers a string of "humiliating demotions". it's hilarious. and the amazing part is that the actress memorized her lines phonetically.

11/02/2005 12:51:00 PM  

Hey Rae, I watched the trailer of that movie and it seems hilarious. Rach, I wonder where we can get it. I really want to watch it now.

11/02/2005 06:09:00 PM  

Lynn, Jaime, and Rae,
I hate to be one of those annoying people who refuses to be comforted and move on--and yes you all have valid points about the negative aspects of being in med school/hospitals/a doctor... but, hey, it's a dream, not reality. So of course I've completely sugar-coated it and believe in my heart that had it come true, everything would have been peaches and rose-covered Snoopies. And even if it had been the pits, I would have gladly become unhealthy, stressed, and a chain smoker (yes, even that), all for the sake of The Greater Good.
But thank you anyway for trying to convince me otherwise.

Lynn, I see no reason why--except for the LCB thingy--you couldn't go back to school and study photography. You are already on your way to becoming a good one, why not get really serious about it?

Rae, thanks so much for the movie recommendation. So the non-Japanese parts are in... French (crap, what *do* they speak in Belgium?) but the actual title is English? Or was that you just kindly translating?

Lynn, tell me if you find it. I'll keep an eye out for it too, though I doubt my dinky little video store will have it.

 

from Rachel

11/02/2005 07:23:00 PM  

Hi Rachel, for someone who writes as well and as funnily (didnt want to use the pompous "humorous" here) as you do, you're far too undeserving of depressing thoughts like "I coulda done better". You just did different - which is not necessarily the same as "worse" :) Did I make sense? hope so, b'cos I gotta get back to work and cant edit this! :)

11/03/2005 10:38:00 PM  

Hi Shyam, no worries about using pompous language on this blog--I'm like the biggest abuser of pomposity around.

Thanks so much for the supportive words. Yes, you're right that I just did different, but reality always falls short when compared with big shiny dreams, don't you agree? I promise I won't mope anymore about this whole doctor thing--well, maybe just once a year, like a memorial ceremony of sorts.
 

from Rachel

11/07/2005 01:02:00 PM  

Rachel please correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought you went to architecture school? Or is that as well?

Also, it is my humble opinion that usefulness is overrated. Or it is at least one of those words that don't truly mean anything, like "smart," "pretty" or "sexymofo."

11/15/2005 02:41:00 PM  

Hi eachmachine,

Oh crap, did I fail to explain that I *went* to architecture school but soon after realized that it was a big mistake--and, hence, I never got very far with that whole architecture degree thing? It still remains one of the most foolish endeavors of my foolish little life. I think I'm going to have to clear that up on this blog, one of these days--can't have people thinking I actually accomplished something.

As for your other comment, I'm afraid I have a pitiful need to be useful. Don't really know how that came about. 

from Rachel

11/24/2005 11:41:00 PM  

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