Have you ever had one of those tiny moments that just feels like everything is about to go wrong? Like, you stub your toe harder than usual, and suddenly everything you’ve done up until that point in your life has been a complete and utter disaster and a total waste of time? Because you stubbed your toe, and everything is now terrible.
That was me, these last two weeks—constantly on the cusp of that feeling.
It all seemed to start when I sat in pee on the bus. I had every intention of getting “back on track” (whatever that means), of collecting myself, and working hard at maturity and responsibility and planning and blah blah blah blah blah. And then I sat in pee, and everything went to hell.
Remember those goals I had? Those minimal goals that were so easy a child could do them without parental supervision? The hope of making my bed and not binge watching TV like a shut-in? Well folks, I am here to finally admit that I achieved almost NONE of them.
Now before you write me off as an ambitionless disaster with no potential, let me explain. While I will fully admit to what my manager refers to “falling down,” I think I started this project with the wrong mentality.
Every writer has a list of things they have to do before they start writing. For me, it’s “I have to have a clean room to write.” Totally idiotic, right? I know, objectively, that I don’t need a clean bedroom to write, but I will procrastinate personal writing for so long when my room is a mess. Why? Because I am convinced I will be distracted if I see that beer can out of the corner of my eye, or the dirty red wine glass (yes, I am a slob). The motivation will sap right out of me if I have a messy room. Is this always the case? Of course not! But it is something of which I have fully convinced myself. I can’t write in a messy room.
When I sat down on the bus that day, ready to take on work and get excited about the “rest of my life,” I kind of got slapped in the face by this pee. Sort of like trying to work in a messy bedroom, the pee felt like a step backward. I had tried so hard to mature and be an adult and get my life together, that when I had to work in pee-covered pants, I just felt like everything I was doing was a sham. I’m not an adult. I have someone else’s PEE ON MY BUTT FOR GOODNESS SAKES. I mean, what am I trying to do? Just quit already, because clearly what you’re doing is all a joke. You’re not an adult, I told myself, you are a disaster just waiting to happen.
Over the weekend, my cat had to get rushed to emergency. There was a problem with his bladder (there is a theme of pee in my life…) that could have been fatal if we didn’t treat it immediately. This ridiculous adventure has me and my roommate out WAY TOO MUCH money. I laid down on the fake hardwood of my apartment and cried for him and my brand new credit card debt.
A week ago, when I told a woman she couldn’t use our bathroom without making a purchase, she returned to my store twenty minutes later to berate me about not being a “good Christian.”
On Wednesday my OkCupid date bailed an hour before we were supposed to meet, messaging me while I was in the shower shaving (for the first time in like a month—it’s slow around these parts).
And guess what? I have focused on these tiny disasters so acutely that for a few weeks, I convinced myself that this WAS all a sham. That I wasn’t a “real” adult, that my whole plan to fake it until I make it was actually not working, and that of the successes that I thought I was experiencing were really just luck of the draw. That being an adult was something you could just bail out of. I quit, I’m moving to Cincinnati with my sister and never trying again.
Oh the naiveté. I can probably do a backflip sooner than I can bail out of being an adult (which, mind you, I don’t think I will ever have the flexibility to do).
But I have to do it.
So now we will try to focus on the positive aspects. It will feel impossible some days, of this I am fully aware. Some morning I will miss my alarm and sleep until 1, but I am still an adult. I can’t ignore it, there is no escape hatch. We are growing up, getting older, forcing ourselves into maturity. We can let it drown us, focusing on all of our failures, or we can accept the failures and move past them. We’re all just trying, very hard, to be better versions of ourselves. We let other’s have a break now and then, so let’s do it for ourselves.
This week, I failed. I fell down, I didn’t get to the point I want to be at. I’m about to drink a beer that a fly landed in—but I’m trying. I’m trying so very hard, because I don’t know what else to do. I am going to fail a lot. I am going to spill my coffee all down my front and face the reality of the farce I’m putting on. But I can’t bail out. I need to focus on the positive.
We are all growing up. We are bumbling through this madness like dancers with no coordination. I’m sorry if we bump into each other. But let’s embrace and help each other with the steps. I am a walking disaster most days, but some days I can convince myself I’m a real dancer. I’ll keep your secret if you keep mine.