Yesterday, I stood in front of a car window, examining myself.
Rough. I was tired and my face was puffy from drinking all weekend. My hair smelled like the fire I’d stood in front of the night before. I wasn’t entirely sure when I’d last brushed my teeth. Looking at my reflection, I was kind of upset. I thought the thought that’s never gonna get your thinking anywhere… it could be better than this.
My life has been good lately. Like, really good. So, naturally, too good. Connelly the pessimist, the realist, the hoping-for-the-best-buttttt-ist.
I got a new job and I like it a lot. It has changed my life so much, in such a short period of time, that I fear I cannot contain it. I fear I may explode (again, right? I think I fear that fear a lot. It’s poetic, perhaps.) I get to write and I get to edit and I get to interview interesting people and on Saturday I almost got hit in the head with a cricket ball and then I “grabbed a pint” with the cricket players and can you even begin to imagine how much fun that was? That’s just one thing. There are so many things. I feel useful, I feel like I have a purpose, I feel like my brain is constantly moving like the muscle that it is.
So…what’s the catch? There’s got to be a catch.
Because it’s not just the job. I have a pretty decent number of friends now. I have activities. I have the kind of Charleston life I’d only ever dreamed of, even just a few months ago. I wonder what bad thing is lurking in the corner. What terrible, no good, really scary shit thing is out there, waiting to take me down?
I assume that one of two things could shatter my too-good-to-be-true world. The first is, of course, the unknown. Something bad could happen to someone I love. The range that starts with, for example, my sister’s small sadness regarding (fill in the blank)…and then grows exponentially into something terrifying like someone dying. Those tragedies (big, small, in-between) can shatter me.
And then. Well, there’s me. There’s looking in the car window and thinking not enough.
You know what I’m talking about because you do it too. It’s because we’re young and we don’t know any better. (Go with it, it’s easier to swallow if you think you’ll grow out of it.)
Because when everything is really good, I need it to stay that way. If I’m going to have a good day it better be good the whole way through. And then I need more. What am I lacking right now? That? Ok, then I need that. I’ll be devastated if I don’t have that — no matter that I have all of this.
A few months ago, or shit, a lot of months ago…I was on the phone with one of my friends. I was telling her about my life; at the time I had made a few new friends and I was job hunting and feeling confident about my future. I was running a lot and feeling good about my tan, despite the fact that it was October. (Yes, petty concerns flood me with the same intensity as the aforementioned serious stuff. Fuck it, I like being tan.)
But, on the phone, I was on the verge of tears. I was frustrated because a boy I’d gone on approximately 2.5 dates with hadn’t texted me in a few days. I think I said something like “I have bad luck!” or “Nothing’s going right for me!” And my friend practically guffawed. “What are you talking about?” she said.
And, so, now, I try to cling to that. What are you talking about.
It isn’t easy. Is it our age or our generation or shit is it just me? Nothing is ever good enough. It’s a weird and sad combination of not wanting to jinx your good fortune and wanting more than you already have. Who could ever be content with shit like that running through their mind?
I wish I’d looked at myself in the car window and said, hey you! what are you talking about?
Instead, I chugged a few beers, talked to a few people about, ya know, beer, Instagrammed myself (a sure sign if there ever was one, that I still exist. And that I’m having fun, damnit), ate a black bean burger. Because that’s another thing — if I am totally comfortable with myself, if I am totally satisfied with my life, then why am I 23? Why not just call it 65 and call it a day? I wish, often, that I would chill out. I wish I would let myself be. (And, I do. Sometimes.)
But, then, I settle into my moments of discomfort. I wiggle and squirm in them. They give me killer headaches. Sometimes, they make me lose sleep. Discomfort got me my new job. Discomfort got me all of the new friends (“Hi, I’m Connelly.”) There’s nothing comfortable about the steps between here and there — not if there is any place you want to be.
So, happy fuckin’ Monday. I have so much work to do and I haven’t been going to yoga enough and god knows I need to meditate and I’m pretty sure I’m eating pasta three times today. My bed is about one quarter covered in dog vomit and my self-tanner looks like a disease on the back of my arms.
It could be better than this… maybe. Maybe not. Maybe life just is that jumble of uncertainty I’m always trying to avoid. Maybe it’s the headaches that last all day because, right before I fall asleep, I get the good stuff — a deep and happy sigh from my dog, snuggled into my back. Worth it? Always. Vomit and all! Vomit and all, Mondays could be better, but by god, they could be worse.