Sigh, if you want to quickly destroy my mood or self-image, forward me a copy of an alumni magazine. Those things can make you despair of your life like none other. Whether you're reading about the newly married, newly babied, newly hired on at a fashion house in Paris or whatever, it seems everybody, *everybody* is doing great, "never-been-happier, every-day-is-a-blessing" great.
There are two possible reactions, of course. 1) You share in the joy others and use their accomplishments as encouragement to achieve things in your own life or (and you know there has to be an "or" because this is my blog) 2) You despair of your failure and fall into a shame spiral of envy and depression. Now, my firend Caroline once made the interesting point that alumni magazines only include positive events. Nobody ever writes in to say: "Hey, I got divorced" or "I declared bankruptcy" or "I'm stuck in a dead-end job and have a terrible relationship with my parents". The alumni magazine is not a baseline of human achievement that we must compare ourselves to. I try to remind myself of this. One day, I suspect, when the tide turns, I, too, will write into the alumni magazine to share my accomplishments. Until then, fair readers, you alone will have the privilege of hearing about my triumphs and tribulations !