First, sorry this post is late getting up. I am home sick and did not have this written the weekend. In fact, I should probably apologize for the post in general as it is, no doubt, a little rambling….

I love the posts everyone has been writing of late – the honesty of the issues we face as gifted adults and parents of gifted children has been refreshing and poignant. This is particularly true with Jen’s post from Friday. In fact, it is her post and her reply to my comment that lead to this post. Just look:

In this “conversation” I mention my own existential anxiety – that at-times all-consuming angst that I live with. It is an interesting thing, really, having the power to paralyze me and propel me further. Jen mentioned in her comment how much it tends to paralyze her, and this is something I can really relate to.
For years, my angst has gotten the better of me, chipping away at my energy level, my ability to focus and my confidence. But recently, I have come to terms with this aspect of who I am. I don’t know if it is just my own normal maturation or the work I do in this field, but I have come to appreciate my angst as a source of creativity now. Something that helps to propel and move me forward. Somehow, this angst that I live with is no longer a “bad” thing. Now it is something that I have accepted as part of who I am; something that just is. I have learned to harness the energy from the angst and funnel it into my writing. The result is not always good. My fiction is filled with angst, emotion and anxiety. And while many people enjoy that, I certainly have my critics.
Further, my existential anxiety, my angst, still has the power to leave me overly depleted of energy, motivation, and confidence. But I don’t react poorly to these moments as much as I used to. Now, I use these times as a signal that I am out of balance. I realize that feeling fried is just my system’s warning call that I need to pull in and rejuvenate. And, not-so-surprisingly, I also do that through writing.
Okay, enough rambling for a Monday (I did warn you!). In short, I do get the angst and frustration my gifted friends feel. And yes, I live with this ever-present existential angst that can be overwhelming at times. And even though I may feel paralyzed and drained in these moments, I have learned that if I focus in and write during these times – if I wrestle myself to the computer and release the angst to the page, no matter how much I don’t want to – I will push through and harness the creative energy the angst often provides…
if that makes any sense at all.

9 thoughts on “Monday Ramblings…

  1. Angst can be an anxiety of realizing there is so much one can do, so many projects one can work on, that no single one will ever be completed to satisfaction. The flip side of the angst is the ennui, when the excitement of a project is spent, or the intense emotion of an experience has passed. When I was in college and felt like this, I decided to file books at the library as a clerk a job I’d enjoyed as a teenager. Seeing all those books got me excited and hopeful again to love the learning itself and just not worry about the product or achievement anymore, which seemed so far away. Even now, going to the library to get a bunch of books for my daughter really cheers me up.

    1. I tend to get the ennui smack in the middle of a project –which causes anxiety…which in turn can sometimes help me to force myself to get started again…but at that point, boy is it HARD.

    2. Absolutely! I typically think I am super woman and try to do way way way too much! And yes, the anxiety/angst has a great way of reminding me of my limits…and pushing me past them

  2. I can totally relate to what you said about your angst chipping away at your energy level and your ability to focus! And why NOW are we able to finally begin to work to overcome it? That is part 2 of my angst –Why couldn’t I have done better in my late 20’s? or Early 30′? Why now, when I’m old enough to be a grandmother (but I’m NOT, which is FINE!) am I finally getting better at this? I think a photo I found on Facebook, and then posted to my own status recently says it all: “The first 40 years of childhood are always the hardest.”

  3. The anxiety/angst and then the ennui – both with such intensity – yet without both I am not me. Yes, understanding, overcoming, developing and expressing has taken me time to know and do. Doing too much and expecting that’s the norm. Standards and expectations (ohhh is that the perfection tendency sneaking in?) – leads back to the angst. Yet with breathing and passionately doing – the exuberance is marvelous. Part of the balancing act is connecting – like with each of you – thanks for helping with my sanity.

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