Friday, February 15, 2013
Buckle up, buttercup, time for some words of truth:
Hard as it is to say, the universe doesn't owe you a damn thing.
If something doesn't go your way, if you get the flu, if you get some bad news, if you get a speeding ticket or if a friend's cancer returns with a vengeance, that doesn't mean that you automatically earn gold stars or get a freaking cookie. There's no ledger in the sky that says if you get a hangnail, you're immediately allowed a better parking space at Target -- it just means that the world is turning and that bad news follows good news follows bad news follows good.
It's a cycle, old as time.
Doesn't mean you're special, sugarpop.
On the bright side, it doesn't mean you're cursed, either.
It just means you're a human being, standing atop a spinning rock, hoping to live another day.
Just like everyone else.
When negative sh#t happens, it doesn't entitle you to ANYTHING -- and yet, that's how you respond, EVERY.SINGLE.TIME, and this time? It's been worse than ever.
In the past, you at least *tried* to feign regret at your utterly predictable "uncontrollable" response to not-so-good happenings (read: slacking, eating thoughtlessly, consuming your feelings).
Except that's a lie, isn't it?
You don't eat your feelings, babe.
You *use* your feelings as an excuse to do whatever the hell you want.
(There, I said it.)
That secret inner smile, when you felt the flu coming on? That was like an elementary school snow day for you, wasn't it? Oh, so sad to be ill, but already gleefully planning how you were going to use it to derail your efforts...
This time was different, though, wasn't it? The food didn't taste as good, did it? The couch-surfing proved less enjoyable, the naughtiness not nearly as delicious.
(And never fear, darling girl, you did not gain a conscience -- but quite by accident, you may just have gained some insight this time...)
Because it's never been about the food, has it?
It's not even about the exercise.
It's really always been about FREEDOM.
Freedom to live without boundaries.
Freedom from the pressures of planning workouts and meals.
Freedom from the grind of 5:30AM alarm clocks and bedtime by 11, no excuses.
Freedom to say yes to a beer with a friend after work without planning for it.
Freedom to be selfishly self-destructive (and oh yeah, you know *exactly* what I'm talking about...)
There's so much freedom in carelessness. You crave it, more than cheeseburgers or PopTarts. More than couch-surfing. More than slash fiction featuring Benedict Cumberbatch, or Brad Pitt's hip bones in "Fight Club". You're so in love with carelessness, you'd have it's babies if you could...
You only have yourself to blame. The craving for carelessness, for freedom, for self-destruction has always been a part of you. It's your culture of choice: old-school punk rock, subversive literature, anti-heroes over heroes -- Alex DeLarge over Mr. Darcy, Lisbeth Salander over Joan of Arc, et al.
But it's a craving that may be keeping you from being the person you want to be.
So, how do you kill it, as it relates to your health efforts here, without changing your whole world view?
Conventional methods won't apply. You can't sneak up to it in the night, can't cut off its oxygen or report it to the authorities -- and locking it away, apparently, only makes it more surly. You hope that exposing it to the light here will kill it, but that might be a little too convenient.
Right now, you think that this realization may have brought you partially back to your senses, and you hope to land firmly on the wagon today (now that the flu symptoms have abated and you plan to return to the track tomorrow) -- but if you're truthful with yourself, you know you're still standing on a ledge, just tempting yourself to leap back into entitled ways of thinking.
But remember, girlie, the fact of the matter is that the world doesn't owe you anything.
Not even the freedom to self-destruct.