Crushing insecurity

Probably one of the best work experiences I ever had involved being yelled at and demeaned on a pretty much constant basis. There was a lot of feeling bad, but I kept working at it, and I learned a lot. The best part of getting yelled at is that it’s feedback. Silence is a million times worse than getting yelled at. Mostly, people don’t care. When people yell and scream and say terrible things to you, its usually because they care. Maybe they care too much, but at least they’re telling you what’s going on.

I am a fantastically anxious person. Writing this blog has so far convinced me that I have nothing interesting or compelling to say. I intend to go on writing until I find something worth writing. I mean, I have projects in mind, but at the end of the night I just run into the lack of time, but I don’t want to let a day go by without writing something. So here I am writing this drek.

I worry I won’t have enough time to write worthwhile things here. I worry I don’t have enough time to think through what I want to write about. I keep thinking about posts I wrote about Friedman and Krugman, and thinking that I didn’t really think about it all that much – I was just angry at everyone bashing my favorite guy. I was looking at the Friedman report on Sanders’ proposals earlier this evening, and it occurred to me that, hey, maybe its not so unreasonable to think that if we engaged in a lot of really serious, heavy duty infrastructure building and public investment that we could see unprecedented growth. On the other hand, I feel very anxious about saying anything unreasonable in conjunction with a Presidential campaign. But on the first hand again, the economy has been stagnant awhile, and there is a great deal of room for growth.

I often find myself in the conundrum of wanting to be taken seriously, but not really doing the work. I write the wrong things, I miss cues, I get confused, I get angry. I make the wrong interpretation, and then I’m convinced that it’s all over. You screw up once, and it’s over. You’re done. You can just stop talking, because everyone already knows you’re an idiot. And that only confirms my expectations.

I wanted to become a community college teacher in part because it’s work I think is important, that I believe in, that I want to do, and want to do well. And I think that I can. But part of that goes back to my feeling like I don’t deserve to go to a PhD program, I don’t deserve that kind of respect. I’m not smart enough. Not good enough. I mean, I’ve got the whole white guy thing going for me, but that just makes it worse. It means that what I get, I don’t deserve. I’m just privileged. It’s all very depressing. I’m weak and I’m sad and lonely, and nobody wants to read this crap.

Published by samuelbarbour

Besides writing a blog, I also teach, farm, cook, and play music. I live in the Illinois River Valley with my partner, Molly Breslin, who sometimes posts stuff at

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