When there were tryouts for a 7th-grade play, a crippled girl and I were up for the same part. (It would be much more meaningful if I could remember the name, or even the theme, of the play, but I can't.) My audition was better than hers, but... only very slightly. We were both in the same narrow band of "7th-grade-talent." She got the part. The teacher in charge of casting told me that the crippled girl had gotten the part I wanted, but that she wanted me to audition for something else. (Hint-hint: She'd cast me in another part so I could be in the play.)
All stubbornness, I refused. I wanted THAT part. My 13-year-old friends even talked to me about just taking any other part: "Come on! It's going to be fun!" But no. I chose to be pissed off and self-righteous instead. And "self-righteous" about NOTHING! :) Like I said, it wasn't that I was so supremely talented and the other girl was terrible but just got the part 'cause she was in a wheelchair --- I was only slightly better, but she was nearly as good, in fact, just about the same.
Just thinking about this tonight because I think I've kept up the same pattern throughout my life: "Humph! If I can't be the lead, I'm quitting the play!"
(1) I got over that idealism when it came to college (both undergrad and grad) -- finally, despite not "feeling it" and recognizing the scam of it, just getting my damn degrees so I could say I had them.
(2) NYC taught me that there are thousands and thousands of people at roughly the same level of talent all competing for the same work.
(3) The temp work I've been doing for the past 4 years since returning from NYC: Trying to be accepting of the secretarial jobs I'd always hated, not wanting to be that self-righteous (and self-destructive) 13-year-old... But still continuing to hate that type of work and finding it utterly degrading, yet still being upset when I didn't "get the part" -- i.e., hired for a job that I hated just to feel good about being hired.
I suppose being in a relationship somehow relates to all of the above: "despite not 'feeling it' and recognizing the scam of it, just getting my damn degrees so I could say I had them." I relaxed my standards with college(s). I relaxed my standards with jobs. What's to keep me from relaxing my standards when it comes to a mate... just to say I had one.