Pride for Other People

I’ve been sitting on this post for a while now, thinking that I really shouldn’t post it. Not because there is anything inherently wrong in doing so, but I’ve just got this feeling that, perhaps, it isn’t a good idea. You know that feeling? The gears of my thoughts just kind of clink together, instead of coming together smoothly.

What the hell? I’ll share with you some thoughts about having pride for other people.

In any case, I used to know Somerville, back in high school, but we’ve long since lost touch. Sometimes, when I’m bored, I look up people from my past, just to see what they’ve been up to. That’s not creepy, right?

Well, on one of those very occasions, I stumbled across Somerville’s blog, Sweet Madeleine. As it turns out, all that book reading she did back then has likely helped her become quite the writer. And, now she’s written a book, All You Need Is Less.

Here is a picture of the iBooks page for the book (ebooks are eco-friendly, no?):

All You Need Is Less by Madeleine Somerville. It's available in ebook format.
All You Need Is Less by Madeleine Somerville. It’s available in paperback and digital format.

As you can see, I haven’t yet purchased the book. I’ve been wavering on whether to find a copy in a local bookshop, if I can find a local bookshop, or purchase the digital edition.

Anyway, the real point that I want to make in this post is about the type of pride that it’s possible to feel for other people. High school was nearly 15 years ago, and, besides her name and what I read on her blog, I don’t know Somerville anymore, and, yet, I still feel a sense of pride for her and her accomplishments. The pride is independent of me, other than me being the one to experience it. And, really, this pride has no bearing on her life.

She’s not the only person that I feel this type of pride for. There are many other people for whom I am proud, but, to my knowledge, they haven’t written a book. Yet. (My sister may well argue that her thesis and dissertation are equivalent.) I got doctor-friends, engineer-friends, teacher-friends, artist-friends, bartender-friends, consultant-friends, etc., and I feel proud for each one of them, and for each one of their individual accomplishments. If I can support them by writing a post about their accomplishments, I will.

ASIDE: I listen to a lot of interview programs, and have often wondered what it’d be like to interview people who fly under the radar, as it were. Wouldn’t it be kind of neat to talk to, so-called, regular people?

ASIDE to the ASIDE: I was a pretty awful interviewer when I worked for the student paper. Like, it was just bad interviewing. Horrendous, even. I was much better when I had a camera pressed up against my face. Did you know that I used to do photography quite seriously?

Where was I?

Right, pride for other people.

Now, if I can do so, I’d say that I’m more proud of some people than I am of other people. This is likely the result of just caring more about some than others, as we all do. What makes Somerville’s accomplishment worth celebrating is that I knew her once, and she’s done something that I would like to eventually do. Am as proud of her as my close friends? Probably not. Still, it doesn’t take away from how exciting it must be to publish a book.

I think the other exciting thing is just seeing what people have done in the 15 years that have passed. When I look back on my life, and think about all that I’ve done, I really don’t have anything material to present. Sure, I’ve done a lot, but I can’t actually show you anything to prove it.

That said, my friends and family are very good about celebrating all of my successes. It’s nice to know that people are proud of me, despite how self-deprecating I can be.

I resisted and resisted and resisted and then conceded when my family wanted to come out for my convocation. To be honest, I’m not entirely proud of what I’ve accomplished in the last year. My family, however, has seen me grow survive through the last 15 years, and this convocation is really the only thing that they can be shown as proof of my accomplishment. I think just seeing me follow through on a decision is achievement enough for my folks. The only thing I’m committed to is inconsistency.

But, whatever.

I just checked, and there is a copy of Somerville’s book in a bookshop in the next town over. It closes soon, so I’ll wrap this up and go pick up a copy.

Congratulations to you, all of you. Never forget to raise a glass and make a toast to yourself and the people who have flitted through your life. The beer stays colder for longer if you do.


Be sure to check out Somerville’s blog. It’s a good read. I’ll let you know what I think of her book, once I’ve read it.


One response to “Pride for Other People”

  1. […] noon. I’ve been passing the time by chatting with friends over pints of beer, and reading a book by my high school sweetheart, who is now married, with child, and happier than I could ever have made […]

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