It’s 10:45 PM. I’ve spent the majority of the day in bed feeling sorry for myself. It’s become an almost weekly occurrence. I’ve slept in over the past few Saturdays. I look at a list of things I should be doing and I just sit there. No movements. Mentally, my mind is racing, computing, calculating, analyzing — but all to the same end. You’re stupid, you’re ugly, you have no future.
“What happened to you,” I often ask myself. “What happened to that passionate kid who wanted to have his own show on the radio, who wanted to build cool things that would change the world?”
I find myself flicking through social media, peering through a glowing screen searching for meaning. I look at everyone’s highlight reel, acknowledge it’s their highlight reel, but then wonder why it can’t be my everyday reel. I run my fingers through my uneven hairline. Should I get a haircut? Well, let’s see, I got one just… just a few weeks ago. And that helped my self esteem for all of two minutes? Grow up.
Why do I care so much? Is it wrong to care so much? I mean, part of it is human. We’re wired that way — or maybe the better word is cultured, at least to some extent, to fit in. Still, it’s in the gut of every creature to herd. “No man is an island.”
We care the most about impressing the people who have the least impact on our lives.
That’s a problem. It’s why I’ve deleted my attempt at podcasts, writing, a YouTube channel. It’s why I didn’t wear that shirt that one day or ask that one girl for her number because I cared too much about the people around me.
I stumbled across an insightful nugget this past week. “Think about the last time you were at the grocery store,” some stranger on the internet wrote. “Do you remember who was there or what people were wearing?” If you’re anything like me, chances are your answer is no. Thing is, everyone is so caught up in their own lives, doing their own thing that no one really pays attention to you.
We’re all messed up people.
I ponder what I’ve accomplished in life as I sit on the floor of my unfurnished apartment writing down these broken up thoughts for you. For me. My couch is in the mail. Somehow, I made it out to the gym tonight. Somehow, like a gift from above, I’m at peace with myself, at least for the next two minutes or so. I’m okay with being me. I’m okay with the acne scars on my face, the car that needs its serpentine belt tightened just an inch, the cheap apartment and this body I call my own. I’m okay with being unsure about my career, not having many friends, my imperfect smile and my stupid jokes that rarely make sense to anyone but me.
To be clear, I’m not settling. Settling is dying. (I really hope I’m not settling.) But I’m not sprinting either. Neither is any reasonable way to live. But by being okay with slowly drifting downstream, I’m allowing myself to grow in a smart, consistent way. We’re all human, we’re all in this together. Oh-so-cliché, but oh-so-true.
Let me reword that. I may have said this before, but here’s a quote that’s been stuck in my head.
Overnight successes rarely happen overnight.
If you’re not okay with the person you are and the steps you’re taking then you’re going to live your entire life like my morning: motionless in bed. That’s no way to live. If you allow yourself to improve even just a single percentage a day, by the end of the year you’ll be a completely different person. You’re in control here. Whatever happens, good or bad, it’s your fault. Own it and move on.
That’s it for me. I’m ready for bed. Just be okay with yourself. I’ll see you on the brighter side.