There was a survey done a few years ago that affected me greatly. it was discovered that intelligent people either estimate their intelligence accurately or slightly underestimate themselves, but stupid people overestimate their intelligence and by huge margins. (And these were things like straight up math tests, not controversial IQ tests.)
I always wanted praise and I always wanted attention; I won't lie to you. I was a jazz critic and that wasn't good enough for me. I wanted people to write about me, not me about them. So I thought, What could I do? I can't sing, I can't dance, I can't act or anything like that. OK, I can write.
I felt more alone that week than any. Sometimes I'd feel a body lying next to me like an amputee feels a phantom limb. All I did was think about Jennie Gerhardt and Alice Quinn and all the decades of people I had known. The more I thought, the more I felt like crying. Life seemed so sweet and so sad, and so hard to let go of in the end. But hey, man, every day is a brand new deal, right? Just keep on working and something's bound to turn up.
My parents' work ethic amazed me. How could they put in such long hours, day after day? Part of the reason was to keep the family going - to keep me going. I realized that, although we had different values derived from different cultures and wouldn't agree on certain issues, they were good people, incredible people, and I loved and respected them.