Just Shut Up and Step Back
I find it bizarre that I am white, male, fully employed, the father of a wonderful daughter, in love with (and remarkably, loved right back by) a beautiful woman. I have it so. damn. easy. And yet I’m fully capable of feeling miserable, frustrated and desperate at times. The logical, engineer side of me finds this appalling.
A few simple facts I’ve picked up on over the years:
- Everyone.. EVERYONE has problems. If they say they don’t, they’re lying.
- The ability to step back and put things into perspective is a skill well worth developing - the sooner, the better.
- Stepping off and away from this godforsaken treadmill, even for a few minutes, can be both calming and fucking terrifying. Do it as often as you can. Practice it.
- The painful minutae of life and the big picture are interwoven in such a way that you’re saddled with both. You can’t have one without the other.
One night we struggle with homework. Tempers flare. But I clench my jaw, go make that cup of coffee, close my eyes, and take some breaths. The questions come. Where does this argument about squares of negative numbers really fit into the story of my life (our life)? Does it matter? Are 13 year old girls all this intermittently crazy? Oh crap.. DO I REALLY ONLY HAVE ABOUT 40 MORE TIMES AROUND THE SUN!?
I find I’m having this same sort of conversation with myself about all sorts of things lately. Debts, work stresses, fatigue, my procrastination tendencies, my “lack of progress” whatever the fuck that means. The list goes on.
Get it together bruh. Yes, plugging away through the shit times is required. Yes, feeling uninspired, ineffective, stuck, frustrated, angry and stupid is part of the deal. It will never go perfectly smoothly.
But I’m finally learning to just step back and really look at things. Man, I have it easy.