The Status Quo

I’ve been pretty down since that weird bullshit with the yelling trash thrower.

On the one hand, her manic screaming and chasing routine reminded me a lot of my mom’s manic screaming and chasing routine, although she didn’t end it with an attempted fist fight, which was refreshing for me. But it did take me back to an emotional place that I’d hoped I’d never be in again. On the other hand, the very nature of her whole deal left me doubting a lot of my own instincts about myself and my judgement calls.

If I hadn’t thrown that shit in her trashcan, she probably would have just flipped out on her helpless, terrified little children and never left the house. I essentially made the first wrong move of the night. But if my judgement on trashcan etiquette is wrong, where else am I way off base? I probably shouldn’t have been walking in such a nice neighborhood in the first place, I mean, why did I ever even try to leave the barrio? Clearly, I’m not fitting in here as well as I thought. My whole business is about community and connections. Hell, my mission statement talks about “reaching out with an honest hand.” My entire empire is built on the notion that I have good instincts.

If I’m making bad calls, then what the fuck am I for?

I know, one psycho with a froggy iPhone case does not a trend make, but tell that to whatever section of my brain is responsible for the last four days of moping and depressive emotional spirals.

What am I doing here? Why did I think I could? Isn’t it about time I stop trying to make fetch happen?

16 months ago, I took a flying leap and launched my freelance career. It was horrible. I was insane for six straight months. It was also amazing, in the way that so few things in life really are legitimately amazing. It was stomach-in-my-throat intense.

That’s mostly faded. The stress still grinds me apart from the inside, but it’s nothing I haven’t felt every day since I started this thing. Overall, the most persistent feeling is exhaustion. When I sleep, I dream about work. When I work, I run myself into the ground.

Then here’s this lady, and I just feel defeated. I’m already running on fumes. The excitement of taking a new risk has completely worn off, the sense of accomplishment that comes with building something is a long way off, if it’ll ever happen at all, and I’m totally vulnerable to every kind of doubt.

This is when the status quo kicks in. I get up every morning and work because that’s what I do. It’s what I’ve always done. I feel like this might be pointless, like I’m a failure or a bad bet, but I make the phone calls I’m supposed to make and I take the meetings I said I’d take because that’s the plan until I have a better plan.

We all want to do what we love and live the dream, and that’s nice. Everybody needs inspiration and motivation from time to time. At the beginning of something is never when you need that shit. It’s smack in the middle of year two when you’re starting to burn out, and you lose sight of the passion that brought you this far. It’s a late summer night, when you’ve taken three showers just to keep you awake, and nobody knows or cares.

You’re not getting a medal for showing up at work every day, just like there’s no news articles about people picking their kids up from school on time. Even in the dreamiest of dream jobs, there’s a slog that everybody does. There’s a moment when you’re too far in to remember the beginning, and far enough away that you can’t see the end.

We’re covered in rhetoric about seizing the day, grabbing the bull by the horns, claiming the prize, winning the race. That’s one day a year. Maybe every other quarter if you’re a lucky son of a bitch. But every other day, you get up, you go to work. You keep your head down, even if you’re the fucking boss, and you bang it out. Day after stinking day.

Then one day, the sun comes out. The birds sing, the planets align, and everything everywhere is amazing. And the next day you go back to work. Because someday, the sun will be back. If you’re willing to work for it.