Thirty essays in thirty days, number seven
For years I thought it normal to spend every Sunday consumed by panic and dread. It was just a feature of adulthood, this nauseous anticipation of returning to how I spent the majority of my waking hours. My friends were no different; they all dreaded Mondays, and the three and a half days that followed, too. On Sundays we’d nurse hangovers and laugh about another week of slogging our existence away. We were all Sisyphus with an expense account.
What made this bearable was an implicit belief that the alternative was worse. The alternative was the unknown: an amorphous purgatory clouded by fear.
Fear is a funhouse mirror. It distorts your vision, altering the size and proportions of everything you see. Objects like stability and reputation appear larger and more important, while independence and creativity seem insignificant. Imagined consequences and failures are imposing and catastrophic, while a wide range of potential upside is obscured. Reality is misrepresented.
Two years ago, almost to the day, I took a leap into that purgatory of the unknown. Since then the worst case scenario has come to bear. The imagined consequences and failures, the most catastrophic of outcomes—everything that fear warned about came true. And this is how I know about the funhouse mirror.
These experiences have sucked, to be sure. Catastrophes are verifiably catastrophic. But I’d take another ten years of them over one more Sunday spent dreading a life I have no interest in living.