Nothing in life is really a problem, simply a situation that needs to be resolved. The unfortunate fact is that my life is nothing but situations. Some days I wake up in short breaths and anxiety.
I think many people do.
Poor people will tell you that money fixes everything. Rich people will insist that money doesn’t really solve a thing. I’m only seeking a happy medium, a way to pay my bills and shrink the steadily mutating debt weighing down on my shoulders. Some days I wake up aching, my muscles sore from carrying the daily burden of living here.
This illusion of freedom like hamsters in glass cages or Dobermans on retractable leashes. Trapped. A mime in one of those invisible boxes, all blank expressions and palms flattening against air.
We grow up believing that we can do anything. We can’t. But sweet disillusion tastes so much better than realizing that your parents are liars. Santa Clause and Tooth Fairies. Easter Bunnies. No mother sings a child to sleep with lullabies of mortgages and repossessions, student loans and health insurance. No father tosses a football and tells his son about car payments and credit card debt. Layoffs. Dead-end jobs. Divorce. Child support. Taxes. You can’t be anything you want to be, you can only attempt to be the best at what you do. We can’t all be astronauts and movie stars.
Some days I wake up and wish I didn’t. Open tired eyes to another day of trying to be something. Trying. We’re always trying. Trying to get through college, graduate school. Trying to get a nice salary. Trying to impress people. Trying to buy a house. Trying to start a family. Trying to make it to retirement. Trying to die. They say that rational thought is what separates us from the beasts, and from our little domesticated housepets. Animals are never trying to do anything. They just are. I want to cross the threshold into a place where I can just be. A day, a week, a month.
A frozen moment where situations do not exist. The wild spectrum of emotion disappears. Nothingness. Deep breaths and complete ease, without furrowed brows and headaches. Without the falsehood and the facades. Instead we are click-clacking at keyboards. Paying people to teach us things that we already know and then selling our recycled thoughts back into the consumer circus at some marketing meeting. In some promotional campaign.
We are borrowing money for tuition for the sole purpose of getting a job where you will spend half a lifetime paying it back. Thank you, Sallie Mae. Thank you, Savings and Loan. This degree under my belt will surely make the next 30-years of succumbing to authority worthwhile. Climbing this corporate ladder rung by tireless rung will now be somewhat bearable. As I’m creating my situations.
The work situation.
The home situation.
The car situation.
The situation with my family.
Masking the problems.
The only problems that ever really get solved are in arithmetic. But we still try. Try and try again. Try to find ourselves on the other side of the equal sign. But some days I wake up, and the entire equation seems nothing but a dream.