Monday, 3 December 2012

Dear anonymous student

Dear anonymous student.

No, you don’t know me. You may have seen me or my face spewed somewhere on the Internet but you don’t really know me, but I know you. I’ve followed your progress for a number of years now and wanted to let you know how inspiring you have been to me, albeit unknowingly.

You’ve achieved so much with so much left to do; I’m in utter awe of you for your mindset. I wish I could be more like that – driven, determined and capable but instead I have only stubbornness and jealousy to push me on. They have worked sufficiently well thus far however I fear my grace period may be coming to an end and if I want to succeed it will require a completely different kind of person to any I could ever possibly hope to be. This, my anonymous friend, may be the end of my road.

People often say to me things like “I don’t know how you fit it all in!” referring to my work/studies/extra-curricular activities but in truth I’m just trying to be more like you. My impatience to catch up forces me to flood my life with more than I can realistically cope with but I’m so desperate to get to the end I’ve convinced myself I can manage. Is there an end? Am I chasing a myth? I wouldn’t expect you to respond to me and even if you did your words would probably provide little relief to my anguished state.

You seem so composed and able to cope with it all, is this truth? Behind closed doors do you battle with self-doubt and feelings of frustration like the rest of us? I have a pristine image in my head of you as untainted by the negativity that blights my own progress but the reality is no doubt different. I suspect this because I know it to be true of my own self - despite my weekly ramblings about struggling with motivation and my continual self-deprecation people focus on the positives and see that I am in fact making progress in spite of myself. How do they do that? How do they choose to ignore the negatives? Perhaps the same way I so admire you; I want need someone to ‘look up to’, someone to compare myself to so that when the doubt begins to set in I can refocus my efforts by looking to someone like me who CAN cope.

It’s funny though isn’t it, that you don’t know me. It occurs to me that I’m presenting myself in a somewhat stalker-like manner but let me assure you that’s not the case. My progress thrives on comparisons and emulation so please, consider it a compliment from me that I respect your ambition and intellect. I hope to one day be in a similar position and would be beyond thrilled if someone were following my progress and finding inspiration from my doings so take assurance that my admiration for you is just that.

The last two years of my life have been a cyclone of activity and they have seen an incredible shift in my attitude towards my remaining days on this mortal coil. I will be a long time working and I don’t relish the prospect of waking up full of resentment every day until I retire. This proved to be my greatest epiphany and I owe thanks, in part, to you.

Your silent and unknowing support has been beneficial to me in ways you will never discover. You have helped me make sense of the myriad mental images floating around in my glue-filled head of the different versions of myself I have dared to imagine over countless unfulfilled years. I can now focus those thoughts into something resembling a coherent plan and although I still have a lot of emotional mess going on up there I’m beginning to cope with it all and can now see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.

Thank you, anonymous student. I am indebted to you.

Yours, with admiration,