Why It Can Be Scary When Everything Starts Going Right

Lately, I’ve been down on my luck: nowhere to live, no one to love, and subsisting on an economy of rice, beans and PBR. As demoralizing as rock bottom can be, there’s something quietly comforting about being as low as you can go (and I don’t mean low in the sense Flo Rida does, although I imagine getting as low as you can possibly go in that sense might be quietly comforting too). Rock bottom means things can’t get worse. It means you don’t have any expectations. It gives you a degree of consistency. In short, rock bottom is your safety net—it gives you something familiar to fall back into if you lose your grip when you’re trying to claw your way out of lumps of crap that have piled up on top of you.

So it can be quite overwhelming when everything if your life starts going right. Suddenly, everything is uncertain. You start imposing high standards on yourself and your life. Congratulations, you now have a butt load of really great stuff to lose. I appreciate the inherent nature of this fear is a #whitegirlproblem and that in the long run the feeling is only a peripheral and easily forgettable symptom of very wonderful things. I am aware that when good things happen, you should be grateful and not look the gift horse in the mouth (or maybe you should, because then you’d see all the Greeks hiding inside, IDIOT). But still, when life starts getting good there’s a nagging in the bottom of my throat like a writhing worm tickling my insides—I’m terrified.

Now this is happening: I have the opportunity to rent my dream apartment, to love someone, and financially I’m starting to destabilize after a draining few months (if I never see another container of frozen lentil soup again in my life I will shit in a hat and eat it, I swear). Before: I had nothing and it was almost liberating—the free fall and the wallowing at the bottom—it was all such an easy excuse, a time when I felt like I could breathe despite the turmoil. Don’t get me wrong; there was a lot of stress, but when everything is bad failure is always an option.

When everything starts going right, however, the stakes are HIGH and REAL. You begin to have things that you’ve wanted so badly for so long you hardly know how to cope. If you hold on too tight will you squeeze them through the cracks in your fingers and back into the atmosphere from which they magically materialized? And if you loosen your grip might they simply just float away? WHAT IS THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF PRESSURE TO APPLY? TO WHAT DEGREE SHOULD ONE APPROPRIATELY CODDLE THEIR SHINY NEW ACHIEVEMENTS? Moreover, what if you do something devastatingly characteristic and fuck it all up irreparably?

I suppose now after this brief, frivolous rant, there is only one thing to be done. Eat bacon in my underpants. OK, OK, so there’s two things to be done. Once the bacon’s gone, it’s time to put on some grown up pants and take a deep breath. A deep breath that says,“You’re a ridiculous fool.” Because even though you’re all but paralyzed with fear, you’re now complaining about having all the things you spent so long complaining about not having. And that’s so illogical you’re risking ripping a wormhole in the fabric of the time space continuum and exploding your brain into it. So go forth boldly, and try not to let on if you pee your pants a little bit with excitement. TC mark

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  • Annnnnon

    I wish you good luck!

  • anon

    your articles are so damn timely…whaat gives?

  • Sophia

    The second-to-last paragraph applies really, really well to the initial stages of a relationship. AKA my life right now. I hate this feeling, of being so scared that you’ll be either too clingy or too distant, and end up either freaking them out or pushing them away. What a tough balance to navigate :/

    • Rebecca

      Word

  • Anonymous
  • Meena

    perfect start to my friday, thanks TC 

  • Meena

    perfect start to my friday, thanks TC 

  • Meena

    perfect start to my friday, thanks TC 

  • Meena

    perfect start to my friday, thanks TC 

  • Meena

    perfect start to my friday, thanks TC 

  • Meena

    perfect start to my friday, thanks TC 

  • http://twitter.com/Erikhaspresence Erik Stinson

    i am now able to guess an article is yours just by seeing the title on twitter

    • Katgeorge

      solidarity

  • erin

    i’m in the same position…sans apartment but yknow

  • Anonymous

    I feel this way every single day, and am constantly forming contingency plans in the back of my mind in case everything goes to shit and I’m back in some rat infested hole living on $200/week.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh

    where’s the beef with beans and rice?

  • Greysh

    In a bit of a writing spree now, aren’t we?

  • Greysh

    In a bit of a writing spree now, aren’t we?

  • Greysh

    In a bit of a writing spree now, aren’t we?

  • Tom

    I think our generation is full of anxiety (me included) about the future since everything is so ephemeral and fast paced nowadays (information, technology, relationships etc.) Therefore, it’s really difficult to enjoy the things we achieved b/c we’re constantly thinking that everything might go to shit any minute now.

  • Tom

    I think our generation is full of anxiety (me included) about the future since everything is so ephemeral and fast paced nowadays (information, technology, relationships etc.) Therefore, it’s really difficult to enjoy the things we achieved b/c we’re constantly thinking that everything might go to shit any minute now.

  • Waicool

    whenever i get that sense of impending doom, typically during an ebb of good times as illustrated in this article,  i remember the time honored phrase “paranoia will destroy ya” and muster up enough courage to keep pushin’….nice piece.

  • RZA

    Good one, Kat – really liked this one. I wait patiently for the day when I can also confidently say i would also shit in a hat and eat it with regard to something I’m doing right now. Like secretly cooking dinner with my flatmates vegetables.

    • Katgeorge

      Not so secret anymore. Hey guyz.

  • http://twitter.com/Melissa_Messer Melissa Messer

    Oh god oh god get out of my head!

  • Guest

    i would watch your first chickflick. i think it would be good.

  • http://www.twitter.com/mexifrida Frida

    it takes so little to bring everything crashing. 
    i think we need to remember it isn’t over, til it’s over. lots of chances to rebuild.

  • http://twitter.com/randommsugirl Meredith Krupa

    YES!!! This is exactly where I’m at right now. And I’m terrified. I feel like I’m going to eff it all up here. BUT, don’t forget that if you do, at least your safety net will be the rock bottom of loneliness, sleeping on your friends’ couches, and a huge vat of lentils. Move forward cause that isn’t so bad, even if it is super scary.

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