Wrong Occupation

I am surrounded by people who are forcing their round bodies through square holes. Every week I talk to people who feel they shouldn’t be in grad school, they regret their debt loads, they’re tortured by their classes and their readings. My silent reaction is that they shouldn’t be here. But I can’t say that, it would only push them further into despair. So they will push themselves on to graduate and then, consequently, on into careers they likely will find equally uninteresting. Such is the tragic song of so many men, it seems. It’s so despairing in fact, that they cannot even admit to themselves that it is tragic at all. Instead they throw up their hands and say things like, “Such is life,” and, “What are you gonna do?” And they toil and toil and toil, thoroughly believing that it is the only acceptable way to live one’s life. After all, all their neighbors are living these lives too, everyone can’t be crazy, right? “It must be a matter of necessity,” they have to believe, or else they would have to make the devastating admission to themselves that they have made a series of irreversible mistakes that has needlessly committed them to lives of misery for years, and likely decades.

There is no solution for their tragedy and the only thing I can gain from seeing it is relief that I don’t stand in their shoes.

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