The can of soup cost X. The gasoline cost Y. The materials required to make my lunch cost A, B, and C; sometimes more, sometimes less. The apartment-mansion costs Z daily. When we are granular with our spending, we realize how much potential for regret there is over how much money we’ve squandered on this or that. That’s too bad, right? It’s easy to say we should focus on our future. What about financial vicissitudes?
Throughout these over 900 essays, if there’s anything I’ve learned about myself, it’s that I have the most energy in the morning then it fades off from there. Morning’s dew is indifferent to evening’s stew of failures and shortcomings throughout the previous day. My dreams abstractly tell me what’s wrong and vaguely points out how I can fix these benign problems. My evening routine: prepare my coffee, lunch, hydrate, soak in the tub, then go sleep.
“We plan on keeping on going.” Positive affirmations like this can go a long way. There are times when life is hard and you might be ready to give up. Using your time and energy to give back to people and communities can bring you more than it seems. Shedding the parts of ourselves that we might feel insecure about and focusing on the positives of others or ourselves can make any obstacle worth overcoming.
I’ve made many friends throughout my life, and lost seemingly many more. Making friends is easy. The way I’ve found most effective is to approach someone with a compliment over something that they have added to themselves; a compliment on a shirt. Other times, making jokes will do, and other times, still, just by association. How about splintering friendships? Growing up, they were always aggressive psychological assaults. Until recently, they faded due to proxemically-inconvenient inevitabilities.
Even while watching a movie, it’s always there. The noise of self-doubt echoes louder than most lines in movies, the self-loathing permeates into every conversation, and what self-assurance is mucked by an overwhelming sense of artificiality. Neon colors can’t cover it. There are moments when I can get distracted from the past or future and focus on something nice, but otherwise, it’s a constant that I cannot escape from. Let’s explore that darkness at length.
Now that I’m tracking my calories, I can add objective data points to my subjective observations surrounding my comprehensive health. On days with limited stress, I am not that hungry. My hunger pangs are more of a reaction to stress than any malnourishment. Looking over my calorie charts, the spikes correlate to stressful days where I was “hungrier.” This should help me assess my anxiety levels quicker to properly lubricate and clean my mind’s gears.
Insidiousness creeps in quicker than I realize. I could be having a nice, calm day when something causes me to enjoy less of about reality. I get more impatient. I care less about my surroundings and what happens. I can usually notice this reckless behavior after I have exhibited trace behaviors that might not even be noticeable for most. That’s when I have to face myself in the mirror most and face down this beast:
If life is a highway, the until recently, I’ve been driving in the faster lanes for years. I won’t reveal the exact date and time that thought went off in my head, which said “you will die if you keep driving like this,” but I can assure you that it was within the last six months. I’ve seen too many figurative car wrecks, stalls, and clear collisions to want any of that for myself, thanks.
It’s taken years for me to develop a sort of hardened empathy for drivers. I’ve always understood when people would drive erratically because of mistakes, but ohhhh those people… the ones that cut you off! Surely, they are the most terrible of people! The thing is, though, driving is actually dangerous even when there aren’t other drivers around. Crashes, mechanical failures… anything. Why, then, focus on them? Shouldn’t we rather focus on driving safe ourselves?
I hate being the buzz kill of parties, where people will openly talk about getting high or drinking, and having to excuse myself from the situation. I hate that sort of awkwardness because although it’s my right to live without people being inebriated in various states of consciousness all around me, really, it’s more of a weakness that others can and have exploited. It’s just unfortunate that I can’t live in a calm, serene moderation.