A close friend of mine is also a third-year law student, in a school that is much too far away. But he recently started devoting some time to keeping in touch with his loved ones via letter-like emails. I say letter-like because these emails are not quick, one-off, largely superficial communiques. (In other words, nothing like the kinds of messages I send in my desperate attempt to keep in touch with the many people I have been lucky enough to know). Instead, his emails are substantial, deep, and theme-ridden. And beautiful. They're a pleasure to read and two paragraphs from the last one I received struck me particularly hard:
He's right, of course. We are blessed with the curse of excessive potential. I've come to learn more and more that the source of my discontent (which, in turn, is the source of my unfortunate personality modifications) is a disconnect between my expectations and my reality. Recently I've realized that I react poorly to changed expectations, especially when the change comes from circumstances beyond my control. I turn the blame inward, stress out about it for hours or days, and emerge at a whole new level of controlling/anxious/manipulative/depressed.
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