Saturday, May 05, 2007

Meritocracy

I have been very conscious recently of the fact that I am close to 50 years old.

On the one hand, I am amazed to be here and am very aware that I am lucky and many people do not get here.

On the other hand, I can't look at my life and feel like I have achieved anything or been successful at anything.

On a personal level, I have conquered anorexia, bulimia, drink and drug addiction, smoking, OCD, bi polar disorder and changed myself profoundly, managing to undo much of the damage done to my psych/soul by the abuse I suffered. On that level, I have succeeded. I am not the easist of people to like or to love,
that is clear, yet I am loved. I have been in a committted partnership for 26 years.

I have not succeeded at anything else. I have never earned my own living. I have never 'shone' at anything. I am adequate at a few things. I enjoy things and am passionate about them but that is personal and doesn't reach out beyond. I am adequate at my knitting but am no Kaffe or Alice or Debbie. I am not good enough to have made my mark there. I enjoy my dogs but have only in the last few years been able to go where I want with that and given my age, my disability, am not likely to get where I planned.

On a society level, I am invisible, worthless. I do not contribute anything. Meritocracies do not value people such as me. They only value those that can contribute. And even then it doesn' value the 'lowly' like street cleaners, teachers, nurses etc. You may be surprised at the last two but it is clear to me they are not valued-look at their pay!

We are told that we live in lands of opportunity. Yes we do - as long as you are inteligent, physically and emotionally healthy and do not have any disabilites.

I am aware of my luck-how I can pretty much please myself on daily basis. How I am no longer homeless. How I am no longer living in torment. How I more than survive now. How good my life is when i compare it to the lot of others.

It would have been nice to have achieved something. I know it may sound odd, but all of the people I know well are older than me by quite a bit. Assuming I am old when I die, there will be no one to say goodbye. And no one to remember that I was here.

Gosh, I never would have thought I'd ever think those thoughts. Mind you I never would have thought I would ever be this age either.

If life is only to be enjoyed, then I do that - mostly....
Post a Comment