Too many exclamation points, too many thumbs-ups, too much optimism. Not enough sleep. Boeuf Bourguignon.

November 18, 2016

This week I’ve woken up every night at 2:15am, 3:20am, 4:00am, 4:30am, then 4:55am. At this point I usually gauge whether to sleep longer, or capitalize on some pre-dawn quiet time in the kitchen… That all depends on what happened the morning before. I usually alternate. Today I slept in until eight, because yesterday insomnia won at around 5:15am.

My insomnia is the product of a mix of concerns – mostly future-related thoughts, punctuated with a few regrets. Some are more realistic that others. If I were Julia Child, this would be my boeuf bourguignon (stew) of anxiety.

My reader and confidant – I’m sure you know I would tell you every excruciating neurotic detail of what’s on my mind in the wee hours of the morning. But, I can’t bring myself to publish this on the internet for the world to see. You understand. (If you’re curious, hopefully you have my number. Call me maybe?)

This week I talked to a few friends about feeling disappointed/angry/scared/ disillusioned.

“It’ll be okay”

People do not like suffering. When you can’t escape it via sleep – because your internal monologue makes that impossible – the next escape route seems to be hope. “This pain will feed future joy”. “This emotional compost will nourish personal growth”. “No mud, No lotus”. My facebook page is dripping with inspirational quotes ranging from Maya Angelou to the new testament to Anonymous. There is an epidemic of optimism out there.

Maybe it won’t be “okay”. Maybe I won’t find a “next step”, I won’t accomplish what I set out to do in the world, and my life will culminate into a semi-tragic end of wasted potential and loneliness. (Reader, did you know I have a thing for hyperbole?)

I wrote a few days ago that sometimes I’m drawn to the darker sides of things. They are not always a path to redemption or justice; but they are no less valuable to the experience of being a human – capable of feeling sadness or loneliness or rage at any given moment… Hence the legacy of tragic storytelling (Shakespeare, etc), 80% of music by Mahler and the Counting Crows, and some of the best poetry around. Sometimes life sucks. And that’s an important plot twist.

November is my favorite month to be a pessimist. I’m going to leave it at that for now. It’s time for lunch.

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