An Open Letter To The Cockroach That I Stepped On That Made Me Ponder Life Philosophically

It is freezing, eight o’clock am, on Monday morning. I walk into my office and I am extremely exhausted. “Really, how much is one person expected to do?” Has become a consistent thought, especially on this grueling Monday morning. I am making my way to the back of my office and hear something squish beneath the wrath of my knock-off cowboy boots. I was honestly so mindlessly sleepy that I thought I had stepped on a Jolly Rancher wrapper, which I must admit, seems like a considerably ridiculous item to think that you stepped on. I finally took a gander at what I had stepped on, and it was a cockroach. I despise bugs and as a result screamed, naturally.

After screaming, I instantly thought. “What the hell? You are supposed to be an adult and you’re screaming at bugs like a five-year-old.” And then a plethora of thoughts plummeted into my head. My stream of consciousness consisted of so many thoughts that happened to make their way in and out of my maze of my random thoughts. This stream of consciousness progressed as follows –

  • Why am I incapable of treating situations like an adult? Seriously, I should just go get a Kleenex and pick this dead bug up and throw it away.
  • Yeah but if I do that, then I will be queasy. You know what else makes me queasy? The fact that I have a pile of work that needs to be finished by nine o’ clock and it probably will not be finished.
  • You know why this work isn’t done? Because I stayed up until the ass crack of dawn playing Grand Theft Auto 5. Wow, that was a terrible choice. Because I’m exhausted and now I’m behind on work.
  • You know what? I wouldn’t have been playing video games if I weren’t stressed out about all of this work I have to finish. I mean really how much can one person be expected to do within the time span of an evening? I needed some free time to clear my head. Mainly because I only think about work.
  • I don’t know I should have probably done something more productive with my evening. I should have went to the gym or eaten something other than the stale leftover cheeseburger in my fridge.
  • That kind of made me seem like the most unhealthy 20-something year old on the planet.
  • I wonder if any other 20-something year old feels this way? I feel boggled down by the everyday responsibilities that I have somehow acquired after graduation. I didn’t ask for this responsibility, yet here I am.
  • Am I old?
  • You know what made me feel slightly awful about myself? The lady with the insurance company asked me if I was ready to start a family yesterday. I said, oh no! Of course not! In which she replied, “Well you are 23 now.” I know I am not getting any younger, but come on lady. I am not responsible enough for a child! I forget to eat breakfast and I laugh when people say poop.
  • But then again… maybe I should consider growing up. Right?
  • At what age is an adequate age to consider oneself an adult? Is it when you begin your career? I definitely don’t feel like I am an adult. Is it when you begin to feel like an adult?
  • I really think that I need to accomplish more in life…
  • I need to begin following my dreams. I am halfway there; I have a job that is in the career field that I love passionately. I need accomplish more, though.
  • I want to be able to have an adventurous, stellar, and heartfelt response when someone asks me, “What have you done with your life?”
  • I cannot possibly answer that question in the way I wish at this current moment. Where do I start? I cannot suppress my creativity in order to fit a certain mold, especially if I want to have a beautiful life.
  • I think I should start by appreciating the beauty that life has to offer, let the world astonish me endlessly.
  • Who cares what age I am? I feel young. I feel bold. I feel brilliant. What I want in life cannot be achieved by complaining, by wishing, by hoping. I pity myself and give in to the monotony and stress of life. Instead, I need to appreciate the world and all it has to offer.
  • Why waste time worrying myself with silly problems? Why do I waste time worrying about things I cannot control?
  • I can control my future. I can control my emotions. I can control how I treat others and more importantly, how I treat myself.
  • I choose to believe in myself today. I choose to be happy today. I choose to work hard today to follow my dreams.

I look down at the cockroach. In one swift movement, I quickly glance at the clock. It was 8:06 am. I had pondered all of these random thoughts while staring aimlessly at back of my office for six minutes. Six minutes. Six minutes that I won’t get back. Six minutes that I did not spend working on my huge to do list. Six minutes that I am entirely glad that I spent just thinking. Time spins me in a whirlwind most days. I am so caught up in all of my responsibilities; I forget to take time to appreciate myself. I don’t know how long it would have taken me to consider the above things without stepping on that cockroach or if I ever would have ever had that stream of consciousness at all.

In short –

Dear Cockroach,

I am sorry that I stomped on you today. However, I am happy that end of your life allowed me to start living mine.



I cleaned up the goo that was on my office floor what used to be a cockroach, threw it away, and began to live my life the way in which I have always wanted. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

image – Steve Snodgrass

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