The gulf between insight and behavior modification is filled with the pushy whores of conformity.
If I accumulated all of the fiery, obsessive energy I’ve wasted comparing and contrasting myself with my peers over the past decade (which is about when this toxic habit took root), I could probably power a small rustbelt city for a few days. Trust me, I used a graphing calculator.
We squander so much time festering with envy and resentment over the accomplishments of our peers. (just me?) Has there ever once been a benefit to this petty habit? No. No, there hasn’t.
The thing we have to realize (and internalize) is that, ultimately, we are competing with no one. And even when it really seems like we are, we aren’t. How could we be? How could we all be running the same race when each of us has a different start and finish?
Yes, our tracks criss-cross from time to time. We tend to clump with others whose goals we perceive to be similar. These criss-crossings make you feel like a God or like shit, but, if your not an idiot, they usually make you feel like both. There will always be someone better and someone worse than you at any one thing. Always.
The point is this. Even if someone pwns you on their battlefield, you could surely pwn them elsewhere. The notion that some battlefields are more or less venerated by the public eye shouldn’t matter. No one ever died fulfilled and content by doing what everyone else thought was important. And if you ever stacked up your entire life against someone else’s, you would learn exactly nothing (also it’s impossible). Our stories with all of their triumphs, stalemates, vicissitudes, and premature ejaculations are far too singular for comparison.
The only lesson to draw from peer success is that you must work hard. You must work even harder than before.
For every one of your peers’ successes, you have an achievement and an aspiration that they do not. No one has what you have. You don’t have so many things others do. So why squander time suffering?
Do your work.
I wish someone had pounded this into my brain ten years ago.
Why do companies spend time making dog toys look like things?
It is perplexing that despite the lengthy and pervasive legacy of expletives, certain populations or environments prohibit their utterances. At this point, it is almost inconceivable that an individual could actually take offense to such a generic, ubiquitous word as “fuck”. It is obvious that those who take offense are foolish, as they are partaking in a delusional exercise of superficial superiority. Any utterance of the word is an excuse to be offended by their brutish company, as the refined literati have no use for such vile speech. This is one of the many, many telltale signifiers of ignorance, and is apt to incite much frustration.
Often overlooked, however, is the symbiotic necessity both parties have for one another. Without the snub-nosed, rigid-spined people to take offense, expletives are stripped of their potency. And without the swearers, there is one less thing to savor being offended by.
Of all the infinite levels at which humanity can be interpreted, from quantum to cosmic, the only one at which anything matters is eye level.
Yes you can. Unless, of course, you aspire to eliminate all discomfort, variety, and dynamic from your life. Seasons are a time reference. Without them, before you know it you are 42 with color-leeched tattoos and a blond ponytail yelling “yeah! perpetual summer!”. I was weaned on the colored seasons and cold coasts of the East. I inhabit four places every year. I know my home through the filters green and white and blue and amber. Each filter brings different features of my environment into focus. The perfumes of a budding forest and savoring reacquaintance with the sun. The sound of summer canopy drunk with rain. A field before a wood, all dressed in white, sinless, pure, and blank.
As a child, when people would say it was “so humid outside”, I misheard them as saying it was “so human outside”. A “human” day meant that it was going to be oppressive, sweaty, and sticky. Being the shy, nervous child that i was, this expression made sense to me.
ROOMMATE 1: Why don’t you make your bed in the morning?
ROOMMATE 2: If you make yourself a pancake, do you draw a smiley face with the syrup?
ROOMMATE 1: ‘course not, that’s the saddest thing ever… ah