Tuesday 10 February 2015

Be Careful What You Wish For

I just was reading about Lucy Maude Montgomery’s life and was surprised to discover that her personal life and the life of her heroine, Anne Shirley ran parallel to each other in many ways. They were both abandoned at an early age and went to live with a disapproving, strict older couple. Both did well in school, eventually achieving their teaching certificates and going on to become writers. Of course there is more to the story but I don’t know a lot of it, but there are numerous books that can fill in the blanks.
 Image result for lucy maud montgomeryImage result for anne of green gables
What was surprising to me is that L.M. Montgomery suffered from depression. Her married life was terrible; her adult son moved home after a failed marriage and fathered a child out of wedlock. These were horrible scandals back in those days. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at all. She had attained success in her chosen field and still was very unhappy. There is speculation that she ultimately took her own life. Ironic that someone who brought such joy to so many people wasn’t able to find it herself.

I suppose that the same can be said of many people who attain their goals. The example that comes to mind right now is Robin Williams. It isn’t surprising that you or I weren’t aware of his mental state, the surprising thing is that those closest to him were unable to detect that he was on a precipice and about to fall over the edge. Not their fault either because none of us can really know what is going on inside of someone’s head.

A number of years ago now, I was quite depressed. I didn’t refer to it as depressed in my mind; I was just “down”. I was at a point in life where I had probably accomplished as much as I was going to accomplish. My parents were both gone and although I had a wonderful, loving family, it didn’t seem to be enough. The way that I phrased it was that “I am not suicidal, but if I were to die, it wouldn’t be a disappointment.” I knew that this wasn’t the optimal way of thinking, so I eventually saw a professional.

Well, I think he was a professional, but all that he told me to do was to find something you are interested in and pour yourself into it. I told him that I didn’t find anything interesting at all, that was the problem. His answer? Pretend to be interested in something and before you know it you will develop a real interest. It is possible that he got his diploma in Guatemala, Ecuador or Paraguay. I only went once, not my choice but his. It’s possible I was bringing him down.
I am reading a book about the Beatles lyrics right now. I have always been interested in the back story of those lyrics. This is a pretty good book; the author seemed to have spent a lot of time hanging around the Beatles in their heyday and has done his research. Some of it is just speculation, but whether it is fact or fiction it is the same to me. I just want to be entertained. There are a few song lyrics written by John that indicate he was unhappy with his life. Here was a guy that in his mid twenties had achieved all that he had set out to do with his life. Well, in some ways. Fame, wealth and talent just aren’t enough to make a person happy I suppose.

It kind of makes you wonder just what is needed to be happy in this life. Adulation, wealth, talent, someone to love, someone who loves you, gainful employment and just being able to wake up free and healthy doesn’t seem to be enough to keep the “blue meanies” away. What is that magic spark? Why is it so hard to find? If and when you find it will you have guilt feelings because you can’t share it with friends and loved ones?

Perhaps the reason magical beings can grant us mortals wishes is because we don’t have a clue what it takes to bring happiness. Be careful what you wish for… there is a good chance that you might get it.

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