Tuesday, July 06, 2004

The wisdom of fanfiction

I was reading one of my favorite Harry Potter fics tonight (instead of writing a cover letter I wanted to e-mail today for a job I don't actually want). I'm not going to link to the fic because it is above a PG-13 overall, and I don't want to risk a youngster happening upon it by chance. But I will give credit to the author by her pseudonym's initials - IGToW. Anyhow, the war is over, Voldemort is gone, and Harry and Snape are dialoguing in the Astronomy Tower. I just read these few lines, and they struck a chord with what I am feeling:

(Snape is speaking first)

"...You wonder if you're condemned to forever rest pathetically on a fading past glory, or worse, damned to always do the things you hate the most?"

"What good am I now?" he heard Harry whisper. "It's all I have and I don't want it anymore."

Severus felt his way along the issue carefully. "It may have been all you've accomplished to this point of your very young life, but it is certainly not all you have." He realised he was talking to himself as much as he was to Harry. He continued in a soft but intense voice, "One does not have to be useful to have worth, Harry. Don't ever forget that."

Harry was silent for a long time, obviously thinking on his words. "Yes, it's a whole question of worth, isn't it? Do I have any? Do I have any value left?" he asked quietly. Snape was suspicious he'd not intended to say that last bit out loud.

"Tell me Harry, what is it you like to do? What might you want to do if there were no obstacles?" he asked trying another tack knowing he wasn't going to convince the young man of his value in one moonlit conversation.

"I don't know." he replied, at a loss.

I am Harry in this conversation. Except I never defeated a dark lord in order to have past glory to rest upon.

A friend tried to tell me the part that is bolded, but she did it with Phillipians 1:3-6. I've read it before, I've studied it with students before, I've proclaimed it at mass before. I used to believe it. I just don't know that I have any good work in me for God to bring to completion.

The one thing that I've never hated doing is writing. But every time I open myself up and actually share something I've written that isn't work-related, I get hurt. Either I get negative responses or I get no response (which is worse in a lot of ways). Now my work-related writing always gets positive comments, but I've never been in a job where writing was my primary responsibility. Therefore, I can't find a job where writing is primary. Not because I lack skill, but because I lack experience.

I wish I hadn't been a secondary education major. Then I could have done an internship in technical writing or something like that. But I did so many field placements during the school year, and I had to work full time in the summer so I couldn't take an internship then. It just stinks.

But the thing that really stinks is that deep down inside, buried under all the self-doubt (and, if I'm to be honest right now, self-loathing) I know I have a bunch of different talents. I've just never been a situation where they have been allowed to be expressed fully.

Take St. Al's Church and Country Club. I thought I was coming in there with the opportunity to take over the YM program and really take it to the next level - true comprehensive youth ministry. But I get there, and they tell me that for the first year they want me to observe, make no changes, etc. Well, that pretty much destroyed any authority I might have had, and any chance I had to make the position my own. I honestly think that if I had come in and I had been allowed to be in charge from the beginning things would have been different. And I told the pastor that in a letter I wrote when I was let go.

You know, I'm sorry for continuing to rant on this whole St. Al's CCC situation, but this is becoming something like therapy for me. Since I have no one to talk to ever, this gives me a chance to get things out. I'm still not thinking rationally (if I recognize that I'm being irrational, does that mean that I'm relatively stable?), but at least I can express somethings before they eat further holes in my stomach lining.

Blurg. I feel kind of ill tonight. Maybe I can get to sleep early. Like before 3 a.m.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So, this is only one of two results that I got when I googled "the wisdom of fanfiction". I almost expected to get more than two results, really. I love those verses from Philippians :) Those words are comforting to anyone who does not feel as if they've accomplished enough in life, and they are 100% true. In the end, our worldly accomplishments do not really matter so much as we'd like to think. What matters is what each person makes of what God gives them - a combination of their life situation, their skills and talents, and especially their personalities. Every person has worth, even if they are not someone's definition of "useful". Heck, being "useful" is really not all it's cracked up to be. Really, it's not...