I had a major “what the fuck is wrong with me” moment the other day when I found out I cared a lot more about somebody else than they did about me—top 10 nightmare, but still ranked below spiders—and I was emotionally and physically drained as I boarded a plane for a five hour flight.
My only issue with flying is that I’m stuck inside my head for the duration of the journey. For some reason I’m fine on long car rides, but flights destroy my mental stability. Someone told me recently that the lack of oxygen on the airplane makes it easier to cry, so maybe that’s why I’m more of a nightmare. When I got to my seat—18C, aisle seat always, near the exit row because I’m a control freak—I knew this flight was going to be particularly rough because I had a lot I didn’t want to think about.
I’ve consulted with other writers about this: within recent months, as I try to grow as a writer (read: attempt to write things I don’t hate), I’ve noticed there’s an unfortunate correlation between how often I write and how bad I’m feeling. There’s a quote that I found in my daily deep dive of internet content from Lang Leav’s Sad Girls:
I don’t think all writers are sad. I think it’s the other way around—all sad people write.
I really hate romanticizing and fetishizing sadness. I think the internet does an excellent job of doing it and it really bothers me because of how much time I’ve spent swallowing all of mine. It’s like how wearing glasses is cool now, but when I was growing up everyone was, like, waiting for me to take them off to see if I was hot or not. Except the sadness thing is a lot worse. Obviously. And also I can pull off both wearing glasses and not wearing glasses, so everyone who was in my third grade class can shut up!!!
I don’t really like to write about my own experiences with it because I feel like I’m only further contributing to the problem. And because the thought of people knowing how I really feel is also in my top 10 nightmares—ranked above carbon monoxide poisoning, still ranked below spiders.
But there is some weird truth to this quote. I don’t even know how I really feel about it because I honestly haven’t even read the book and all I know about the term “Sad Girls” is that my coworkers and I come up with jokes about the idea of them. I even wrote a whole joke article about them.
Anyway, my “what the fuck is wrong with me” moment didn’t come from the fight I had with this person or the shocking epiphany I had realizing that people can actually exist without me. It came from recognizing how underneath all this Sadness, I was secretly coveting the fact that something Not Great was happening to me and how it had so much potential to inspire creativity. I mean, I wrote an article inspired by it on the plane. Writing is a monster.
How twisted is it of me to secretly cherish someone being shitty to me for the sake of being able to write about it? Am I okay??? Someone call 911.