Today is an ordinary day. I woke up, tired still and not quite ready to face the rest of the world. I am going into work later than usual today, so I drink my coffee and watch talk shows. I peruse on Pinterest. I read the news. I am content here on my couch. Soon, I will get ready for work like I do every day; albeit, with a bit more enthusiasm as it is no longer dark outside. I will go to my office and stare at the paperwork mountain on my desk, the motivational quotes on the walls. I will work with youth; we will discuss domestic violence prevention today. We will listen to stories of battered women, scared children, families affected by violence. We will talk about what we can do to curb violence. I will come home and wipe off my kitchen counters. I will throw a load of laundry in. Maybe I will paint. Maybe I will stay up late reading because tomorrow is Friday.
No, there is nothing special about today. I’ve lived this day many days before, in fact. Slight changes, of course, maybe I had tea instead of coffee. Maybe I took kids on a college tour, or listened to someones story of their multiple foster homes. But this day is familiar to me. It is comfortable, even, like a favorite sweater on a chilly day. This day is mine, this life is mine. This is what I have created for myself.
I will love it, all of it, for that reason. This life is my sunshine.
As I was sitting here tonight watching the latest episode of Girls (HBO. Highly recommend it), I had an epiphany of sorts. Seeing the characters go through their various issues, I thought this: if all these people are so miserable, why do they still look so happy? Why is it still so funny? Like, [SPOILER ALERT] the main character’s ex-boyfriend who is now gay who is now her roommate slept with her best friend and that is just SO OFFENSIVE.. in a sarcastic, I’m-yelling-but-not-really-mad type way. Or, [MORE SPOILERS] She can’t find a job and she doesn’t have any money but this is TV so she will pay for her cell phone/apartment/food with sunshine and rainbows and have cool dinner parties with wine and weird conversations about sex. (“Like, hasn’t everyone used butt plugs?”)
I mean, I personally don’t have an ex-boyfriend who is gay who is now my roommate that slept with my best friend BUT I feel like if I did it wouldn’t be nearly that funny. I definitely wouldn’t have as many witty things to say about it. If it were real life, we would have the kind of relationship where we were Facebook friends but avoided any and all eye contact in person. And furthermore, if I was broke and living in New York City, I wouldn’t be redecorating my apartment after I kicked out my gay frenemy guy because I WOULDN’T HAVE ANY MONEY.
Think about ‘Friends’ or ‘Sex and the City’ or ‘Two Broke Girls’- they all go from traumatic to serenity in 30 minutes (really 20 with commercials.) It’s just not even fair. I want a life where my zero bank account balance gets a roaring laughter from a studio audience. That time when I thought the transmission was out in my car and I cried in the Autozone parking lot? Comedic gold. Or that time when I made about $600 a month and everything was budgeted to the penny? That would be perfect because somehow, being broke on TV is almost a good thing.
Why is the shitty stuff in real life just shitty, and yet, when turned into a half hour special it’s all hilarious and everyone rides off into the sunset on a purple unicorn? I’ll let you ponder that while I sob over my bank statement.
A few nights ago I laid in bed wondering… is this all that life has to offer? Will I forever be tied to some menial job, wishing the minutes away until I’m free to go home, only to be instantly bored upon being there? How many more minutes of my life will I give away to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram; checking up on the whereabouts and doings of people that I don’t even talk to in real life? There has to be a world outside of this all-consuming age of social media where everyone is constantly trying to outdo one another. No one is actually living life anymore; instead they’re posting status updates about it. Why do we care what people that we haven’t seen in six years had for breakfast? Beyond that, when do our real lives begin anyway? High school was supposed to be the best years of our lives; then college, now conveniently, our early to mid-twenties. It seems as if it just keeps shifting with age but one must then wonder, do the “best years of our life” even exist at all? Is it something that happens without any effort, or must we make a conscious decision to block a period out and live it wonderfully? It seems like a silly notion to plan out something as such, as it seems like something people say as an afterthought. Most people can’t appreciate the beauty of something in the moment. You never hear someone say, “Man, I really hate my job but I sure am lucky to have it” or “I may not ever really do anything exciting but I’m okay with being average.” Nope. It’s because we all want more and dream bigger; which is all fine and great if any of us intended to do anything about it! The thing is, we don’t and here’s something you may find shocking: most people don’t really want to! Most people are so comfortable with the routine of their lives that any shake up is considering daunting. God knows what would happen if we just up and scheduled that trip abroad, or took a weekend to explore a new city. What would happen if, one of those boring days off, we shut off our computers/smart phones and drove until we were lost? What would we find, what kind of memories could we make?
Life is too short to simply just blog about how life is too short, or ‘pin’ inspirational quotes on Pinterest; we need to get off Facebook, etc. and get out there… do something…actually live.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go tweet something witty and post an Instagram picture of my coffee.
Til next time-A