Forgetting the Danger
If I say it, it must be true.
“I’m happier than I’ve ever been.”
But what the fk does that mean?
Things are going well. I’ve got a job, a roof over my head, and a sweetheart. My health is good. I’m a bit fatter than I’d like to be. And my creativity is off the charts. Is there anything else I could do to boost my joy? What is this boredom thing all about? Why can’t I finish building all the damn furniture for my house? Or stop buying books until I’ve built the bookcase?
Okay, I’m so damn happy, but what’s wrong then?
I’m not famous yet. I mean, I’m close. No, that’s not true. I’m not even relatively close. There are plenty of great things happening in my life. And there are a few things that could be improved. Dramatically improved. And yet, here, I’ll say it again. “I am the happiest I’ve ever been.”
Obviously, this is bullshit.
What am I telling myself each time in my life history when this phrase becomes a mantra? Things are too stable, too easy, I’d better go fk it up? Or, how about some complications, let’s throw a few of those into the mix. Let’s fly off to Mars and quit doing my work. Let’s bet it all on black and take a once-in-a-lifetime shot.
And… We’re back.
The parsing must go something like this. I am happy. I am optimistic. I am creative and striving to be recognized in my various crafts. I feel loved. I know what ‘home’ feels like again. I am working a new job that demands I write about the cloud and the data and digital transformation. Things could be a lot worse. It was just over a year ago, six months after my mom died when I was not spewing explicatives of love and positivity. I was alone, living in a shitty flat with a swimming pool that was permanently boarded over.
I kept jumping into the freezing cold water of the local swimming hole. I noticed the shock to my system not only gave me elation, and hope, it calmed my firing synapses. Perhaps that’s what I need, a few more plunges and fewer binge scrolls on cars.com. Perhaps what I need is to underthink. Trust. Breathe.
It’s so damn easy to forget the danger when things are going well.
Read more Short-Short Stories from John.