Welcome to the world of reality — there is no audience. No one to applaud, to admire. No one to see you. Do you understand? Here is the truth — actual heroism receives no ovation, entertains no one. No one queues up to see it. No one is interested… True heroism is you, alone, in a designated work space. True heroism is minutes, hours, weeks, year upon year of the quiet, precise, judicious exercise of probity and care — with no one there to see or cheer. This is the world.
— David Foster Wallace, The Pale King
It’s Saturday morning. You’re resting up from a long week of work, getting the kids back to school (maybe getting yourself back to school). You might even be getting ready for work right now, to finish up what the work week was too short to contain, or maybe a second job so you can pay for school.
It’s Saturday morning and you’re feeling, in some way, the painful truth that David Foster Wallace articulates with such heartbreaking accuracy: no one is interested. No one, that is, but you.
And also everyone who loves you, those who are cheering for you, and those who want nothing less for you than all that you have earned and deserve.
The problem, the very serious problem, is that it just doesn’t feel that way so much of the time. The problem is that it is so, so hard to remember that, so much of the time.
Because of that, this Saturday morning, I simply want to say,
You’ve got this.