I Hope You Get There Safely

If I had a penny for every time I felt unnecessarily guilty about something, I wouldn’t feel like I deserved magnitude of wealth and would shovel the mountain of change in the direction of the homeless guy who lives under the bridge across from my bus stop.

I wasn’t raised Catholic. And I’m not a bad person; sure, I make mistakes, but so do you, and that’s no reason for either of us to be consumed constantly with a looming sense of wrongdoing. Yet every morning I wake up immersed in directionless worry. Then, I spend my first few waking minutes growing increasingly fearful that I forgot what it was I felt irrationally terrible about initially, and then I stumble out of bed into a cloud of new things I’ve identified for myself to feel remorse for, so as to not waste the deluge of contrition.

Responsibility is scary, like armpit hair. You spend the beginning of life knowing it’s coming, and then one morning you wake up and it’s there, and you’ve no idea what to do with it.

And just like my armpit hair, I remove as much responsibility from my life as possible. So it’d be a hefty serving of logic to deduce that I have nothing to feel guilty about, ever, since I take responsibility for nothing.

I’ve been through this rapid process of “if, then” so many times, I have whiplash. And I haven’t been able to come to any sort of conclusion, until now.

Armpit hair and responsibility are not the only things I’m afraid of. Sobriety is one, too.

For the past ten years, I’ve skewed reality for myself nearly every day, through one unhealthy medium or another. I started by cutting. Yes, I was an “emo.” Not to be confused with


which would be a better story to tell. Cutting, though, was a strange sort of high, and didn’t make me feel good by any means. I’m sure you’ve heard every cliche surrounding why people do that, so I’ll spare you the “I just wanted to feel something“‘s and move on.

But from self-infliction, I graduated into boxed wine. Threw that up for a few years, then turned 16 and discovered things you can smoke. Around the time I turned 20, I took up beer. And now I’m 23 with a drinking habit and a raspy cough.

I’m not an alcoholic, that I’m aware of. Yes, I understand the circular untruth in stating that outright. We’ll debate that in a few weeks.

Anyhow, I don’t think I’m at the point where I need a support group and a 24-hour chip, but I do drink too much. And I drink for the wrong reasons. I’ve never woken up in a bush, or with an ugly stranger spooning me, but I’ve gone into work on a Tuesday with a headache from too many IPAs Monday night, and that’s not an acceptable way to transition into being a big girl.

That I can not remember the last time I went more than a day without a drink frightens me. That I can’t pinpoint what it is I’m constantly consumed with guilt about confuses me. And that I haven’t realized until this morning that the two are obviously intertwined is just embarrassing.

I’m going to have to go au natural with the responsibilities in my life, and just let them grow into a stinky forest of underarm fuzz. Being responsible for what goes on in my life can’t start anywhere except with me (thanks, Oprah), and admitting that I’m not leading the best possible life I can for myself is the rock-bottom of the future I’m constructing for me.

I don’t like when I’m not funny, and I’ve accrued a slew of new readership this week, so being serious is even less appealing. But to those just hopping on the ChaoticProlixity train: I don’t always wax sincere. I usually don’t wax, at all. And I will be back to my rambling, random, awesome, and entertaining self in my next post.

14 thoughts on “I Hope You Get There Safely

  1. I agree with Brother Jon—funny or not, this post was good, honest and real. And the fact that you’ve made big realizations about yourself, that’s huge. Congratulations

  2. Thirty years ago when I was your age I pounded the sauce hard, I didn’t focus much on what I was doing with my life figuring I had time to get around to doing that later, so I worked rut jobs that were never fulfilling that only paid eh. Thirty years later, I have a job that could best be described as Any Job. Think someone that’s been unemployed for a long time that proclaims, “I’m willing to work any job!” That’s my job. I’ve had this one closing in on 8 years. I deal with the office machines. If there’s a leak someplace, someone whines to me about it. I empty big bowls of stupid. Daily. When I refer to my mind I usually say, “What’s left of my mind.” Do you really want to travel down that road? If so, keep following the beer truck. If not, make a conscious effort to do something productive with your youth that might segue into something akin to fulfillment in thirty years. Youth ends in a flash and time compresses with age. I’m only a partial train wreck today, but if I knew thirty years ago when I was 23 I’d be like this at 53 I might have stopped pounding the sauce so hard a lot sooner, or — light bulb! — I might not have pounded it hard at all. Just sayin’.

    1. It’s definitely easier to look at what I’ve done to myself thus far and say, “Gosh, why do I do this to myself?” than to look forward and say, “Gosh, I deserve everything I want, so I should start behaving that way towards myself.” But here’s to hoping, right?

      1. Exactly! If you let go of beating up yourself and embrace “Gosh, I deserve everything I want, so I should start behaving that way towards myself” attitude you’ll be much better off. Only you can make that happen and the sooner you start trying, the better off you’ll be. Don’t adopt the “I have time to get to this later” attitude. Just start doing it now. If I could turn back the clock thirty years I would.

  3. You are a most courageous and intelligent young woman…and to think you deserve anything less than exactly what you want is just wrong…now don’t let anything or anyone get in the way!

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