Maybe it’s because today was a rough day at work. It was going great and I was killing it at my new job. Until I had to show my boss the things that I’ve been learning (and I’ve actually been working hard to learn all this new stuff) and what happens? I fuck up a bunch of parts. Salvageable but still embarrassing. Is this what test anxiety feels like? You’ve studied and know the material until you’re tested on the material or asked to show your work and then poof, you’re incompetent. Great. Now, I look like a dick. Stayed late and fixed all of those. Oh yeah but this is after I fucked up a setup on a machine, too. Now, that probably wasn’t my fault, the other tech says it was likely wear and tear but it still doesn’t look good that it happened to me, the guy under the watchful eye of management already. Nevermind that I’ve learned two people’s jobs in a month, right? Nevermind all that. Easily forgettable, all that. On the way home, I felt myself spiraling. Full-on rage freefall. Maybe I need a vacation. I just want some time off to run away. Figure out if I even need to come back at all or if I can just stay gone. Come on, my blog has like 16 readers. That’s enough to do a thing like walk away from it all, right? Right, everyone? Hello? Maybe it’s all because, although it’s going great, school is time consuming and is, sadly, evergrowing in it’s tedium. Maybe it’s the fact that I haven’t been in a relationship for almost 3 years because once I started looking for “long-term partner” instead of “short-term available that might just work out”, the horizon emptied quickly. Maybe it’s because I’m a White Knight who is attracted to and often dates damaged people and, rather narcissistic-ally, thinks that if I can help them with their problem then it would also help me fill a void that I have and they’ll love me for that. How many times have I asked you if everything was okay? Probably a bunch. Please, give me an inkling it isn’t so we can talk about it and I can try to fix it so maybe you’ll love me. Unhappy in your current relationship? Please, give me a call. Let me etch and sketch shake my entire fucking calendar year so that maybe we can talk about it and, even though I’m just an asshole who reads too many books and is in no way qualified to help you in any fashion, I can fix you and that will, somehow, also fix me. Doesn’t really matter in the long run, you’ll probably get back with them afterwards. Thanks for stopping by. Maybe it’s because I’ve been home a little over an hour and already finished a bottle of wine. Fuck it, I’m going in. Spiral out, keep going. Let’s get funky! By that I mean, if I really have it so bad right now (in a funk), how could it get worse? Time for some negative visualization.
I could end up paralyzed (always a deep fear of mine). My back has had this weird pain for two weeks (it comes and goes from time to time, contributing to the fear). Maybe I won’t walk tomorrow. Maybe my fat ass will need a wheelchair, having wasted the years that I’ve had functioning legs by sitting around and lazing about. Maybe I’ll wake up blind. Regretting all the time that I’ve spent staring at screens instead of the beauty that is this world that I take for granted. Maybe I lose everything I own, everything I’ve worked hard for and wake up to nothing. Maybe I have to start over at the age of 32. Maybe with nothing I’d be mobile, right? Nothing giving me hesitation? Nothing to consider? Europe, or Pacific Northwest, here I come! Maybe I’m too scared of that move and have invented a slew of reasons why it’s never a good time. Maybe I’m worried that I wouldn’t make it on my own skills which is why I’m really going to college.
What if I wasn’t sure when I was going to eat next? What if I lived on the street and didn’t know how cold it’s going to get tonight? Do I have a strong enough coat and enough newspaper to keep warm? Is there going to be snow? Maybe I wouldn’t survive. Maybe things could be worse.
“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive, to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” – Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
Maybe things could be worse is an important thought. It’s hard for a lot of people, even myself, to find power in pessimism. That does not mean that the power isn’t there or that using it makes you a bad person. I’ve been called negative, pessimistic, even toxic once before, whatever you can think of at various times in my life. I’ve often responded in the way that most serial pessimists might respond, “I’m not a pessimist, I’m a realist” or “I’m being pragmatic.” I’m not actually a serial pessimist but when I’m low, I’m pretty damned low. But could I be worse? You bet your ass. This is the essence of pessimistic practicality. Is your pessimism useful? Are you using it to wallow or are you gaining perspective? The above non-structured, what the fuck type paragraph/run-on sentence nonsense is an examples of that. Oh, you want to get negative? Let’s get real fucking negative. Get negative about the fact that you only were able to make it to Starbucks twice this week, Tiffany (sorry if your name is Tiffany, I know you get stereotyped, it’ll be okay. Sip your Venti White Chocolate Mocha and keep reading). Is it really all that bad that you had to miss your morning coffee that’s grown in an overstrained ecosystem by exploited labor? Yeah, baby. Woo! I can eco-shame with the best of them. But seriously, is it like the worst thing like in your life like you totally can’t like deal because you like are hashtag like spoiled? I’m sure that was painful to read. Maybe it could have been worse and you could’ve had to use your brain to craft that sentence. Maybe you thought you had to talk that way every day. Maybe you couldn’t talk at all and had to sign in a world where people are faking being sign language interpreters because majority of interviewers cannot check if they’re telling the truth. Maybe your house was blown up over a nonsensical dispute between people in leather chairs paying other people pennies on the dollar to fight for the decomposed remains of animals from millions of years ago. Or worse, for their decomposing deities that they butchered in their own hearts. Maybe things could be worse. Utilize perspective as much as possible. Even if you’re, beyond a shadow of a doubt convinced that everything is totally shit in your life, remember that not everyone has it so lucky.