From the Bottom of the Well

30 Jun

We were at the dinner table and Devon was expressing his teenage angst, saying, “You’re born and then you die. Life is meaningless – why bother doing anything?”
Ann and I told him about some of the good stuff he might be lucky enough to experience along the way. We mentioned how you have to work and plan to make things happen.
Then Ann said a weird thing to Devon: “You don’t want to be a failure like me. I should have finished college. Now I’m trapped in this job.”
Devon said, “You can quit.”
Ann said, “How can I quit? It took me forever to get even this crappy job.”
It was unsettling to hear Ann talk in such a defeated way. She wasn’t feeling well, feeling overwhelmed and tired. But whatever she was trying to convey, it came out self-pitying, like a person grasping at powerlessness.
I told Devon, “The only time you fail is when you give up.”
(2005)

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