A professor of mine here at the University of Illinois was explaining the idea of guanxi today, basically pulling strings and using friends or relationships to get what you want. I’ve felt a lot of strings pulling me lately, but I haven’t been using guanxi.
I feel the strings of a better me pulling me from where I am to where I could be, and I see myself constantly cutting them, constantly letting them down.
Everyone important to me sees someone else in me. It’s easier that way, I think, but also somehow disappointing. I don’t want to be thought of as someone else. I don’t want to be held up to another person’s standards. I don’t want to fail another rubric. I don’t want…
…to try any harder? To do even just what’s expected of me? To be any less selfish?
For too long, I have associated responsibility, authority, and failure with fear. “I’m not afraid of failing,” I’d say. “I’m not afraid of anything you do to me,” I’d say. “I’m not afraid of letting anyone down, even myself. I’ve…gotten used to it…”
I think I have to stop thinking about fear. Because it’s cutting the strings that are pulling me up.