They* say happiness writes white, but so, too, does depression. And in my particular case, depression has cast me less a writer and more as a glorified morning kicking post and coffee maven. I’ve spent the last six months in a state of hibernation, hiding a fluctuating girth behind a kelly green apron, losing my penchant for language to punctuated small talk and impatient throat-clearing.
As summer transitioned to fall, I found myself at an impasse, and I scampered fearful down the path of least resistance. I like to think I’m hesitating, suffering The Great Crisis of Conscience of Your Early Twenties, but mine seems to be lingering. I’m hiding, really, crippled by that nagging fear that I just can’t do it, the great intangible “It” that haunts my unupdated LinkedIn profile like the great white specter of failure. I graduated Northwestern, or sort of kind of finished up, and couldn’t summon the courage to move forward. I live in the same town I went to school in, working in and around town, my nametag stitched to my chest and my big, ever-so-egotistical mouth a reminder that I have yet to exceed expectations.
There’s a lot I’m still coming to terms with, my Identity and Self-Concept and Ideas of Forward Motion constantly percolating. I think I’ve finally realized I’m too old to blame my critical failures on anyone but myself, but I’ve long built my sense of self upon this victimized approach. I’ve blamed my circumstances on the shittiness of the last few years, but I suppose I’ve perpetuated so much of the heartache by consistently choosing the wrong path. I’ve made the wrong move and the laughably misguided choice at nearly every critical fork, and growing up has proven far more tenuous and distressing than I could have possibly anticipated. It should be easy to make the choice to progress, forward motion being the default mode for the human passing of time. And, yet, I practice regression, contenting myself with minimum wage paychecks, piling bills, encroaching creditors, far more afraid of the prospect of change than of the staid settlement of curtailing my dreams.
So, I guess, any state of continuance is contrived as a poor means of keeping you from your dreams. If you fall too comfortably into any sort of emotional stability, you’re bound to amble from one day to the next, unaroused to any higher or even changed level of affectation. I think that’s where I am: I’ve contented myself to an emotionality that reaches toward – but fails to grasp – happiness. Each day is relatively similar, excepting the bow arbitrarily chosen to hold my hair back. The bright spots in my week – the occasional customer compliment, the visits from The Bear, the solid and sweaty runs – do little to raise my overall demeanor, and so I stay, rooted to my inability to seize the day.
I suppose this, in my way, is a reintroduction, but it’s, as per usual, unstable and relatively undefined. Nobody likes you when you’re twenty-three, and nobody likes you much when you’re not fulfilling your potential and sloppily sliding from paycheck to paycheck, embittered by circumstances you’re too scared to change. And, yes, it’s been said before, here so many times before, but this, this has to be my year. There’s more potential here, now, than ever before, and I have this support system constructed by two of the greatest people I’ve ever known. So, here, I pray, happiness or unhappiness or boredom or exasperation won’t write white, but, instead, will write as something approaching progress. There’s got to be something better than this, a sequel of Electric Bugaloo proportions.
Welcome back, thank you for reading, and, as always, okay.
*90s alternative rock demigods Harvey Danger