Where success can be measured with increasing accuracy, so, too, can failure. On the other side of self-improvement, Cederström and Spicer have discovered, is a sense not simply of inadequacy but of fraudulence. In December, with the end of their project approaching, Spicer reflects that he has spent the year focussing on himself to the exclusion of everything, and everyone, else in his life. His wife is due to give birth to their second child in a few days; their relationship is not at its best. And yet, he writes, “I could not think of another year I spent more of my time doing things that were not me at all.” He doesn’t feel like a better version of himself. He doesn’t even feel like himself. He has been like a man possessed: “If it wasn’t me, who was it then?”


    Meanwhile, parents continue to feed their children the loving, well-intentioned lie that there are “no limits” and they can “be anything,” which leaves the kids blaming themselves, rather than the market’s brutality, when they inevitably come up short.

Ding ding ding

I wrote this poem last fall:

  Constant cogitation,

Metamorphic ideation,

The obsessive re-creation

Of the self

Fears of inadequacy

Always injuriously

Feed the fundamentally

Empty internal monologue

Track a, track b,

Both can't crack me,

But make me empty

My thoughts to this page;

Unable to unwind,

Turn it off and get high

Forget and let it all go--

All this I forgo

In favor of words.

Fire finds fire fights

Friendly fire battle

Does it even matter

Am I good enough

posted by johan: 371 days ago