This is a mean piece. I wrote it for myself, because I’m the only one I’d be this mean to. But it helps me. It might help you too.
I’m the voice inside you that knows your every failure.
They aren’t accidents, really. They’re not Sitcom level screw-ups. They’re embedded inside you. They make up your character. They’re etched into your soul and destiny, just like you feared.
You are bad.
You’re getting too old to cling to hope. You need something to save you from this fate, the one you both quietly know but never face head-on.
You want change, but don’t know how to get it. With your college friends, your fostered room and florescent lights…well, why wouldn’t you cling to hope? You’re too dependent on routine.
You’re a coward. Afforded every advantage, you’ve defaulted on the generosity of the universe.
Of course, you might be a late bloomer. That’s fortunate, if it’s true. If you notice some gains, some truth that even your darkest self can’t deny, well, good. But consider where that’s taken you. You’ve gone from an admirable fuck-up to the C- person you are today, buried in the belly of the bell-curve.
You’re average, and even that’s charity. You’re average if we round up.
So, smart guy, what are we going to do with you?
First, you need to face yourself with the mathematical, honest cruelty that the world has imposed. You must take inventory. It’s something most people avoid. That’s because a real reckoning of the self is ugly. It’s risky. But in doing so, you sacrifice your comfort for an incredible power.
When you see yourself truly, you can begin to build.
That’s it. Face the mirror of your soul. Take a broader accounting of yourself. You spend how much on weed? Your room is this filthy? You cook that rarely?
Let those waves hit you. They’ll be followed by anxiety and self loathing.
Don’t give in.
No, not because you love yourself, or happiness, or hope. Don’t give in because it’s weak. It’s weak to crack. It’s defense mechanism to collapse so over-the-top into self hate because that’s theatrical and purging.
Don’t purge this.
Let it cool inside you. Let the lava turn to stone and chisel it. It takes longer to chisel stone, but it lasts longer too. The changes you apply after taking full stock of yourself will be actual. They will be hundreds of times stronger than optimistic New Year’s resolutions. These will not be optimistic or fun. But they will be absolutely necessary self-improvements that come from within.
And it will be amazing.
To change, to actually change, requires a level of transcendence. You have to somehow remove yourself from yourself if you want to actually escape the etchings of your personal fate. If you feel lingering, implacable self-loathing – and who doesn’t, right? – you must face your demons. Head on. Not to defeat them, but to commune with those weaknesses fully. Take nothing for granted. View yourself with the distance and removal you’d judge others by: you wouldn’t let your Sim spend this much money at restaurants, right? You’d play to win. You’d make that Sim excel.
So why are you letting this weakness survive inside you?
It’s simple. The first reason is it’s scary. It’s terrifying to face your weakness. Second, it’s hard. Not hard to do, although it’s that, but hard to even think of. Our lives are busy. Day to day, we have ups and downs in work, love, traffic, meals- anything and everything. Our attention vanishes into screens.
Who among us has the focus, let alone time, let alone bravery to look at all their weaknesses head-on to change?
It isn’t easy to change. It’s scary. It’s hard. But it can be done. And, even a sliver of accomplishment will rest real and permanent inside you. It will be a permanent trophy against doubt, a fuck you to your fears. And it will build. Success builds success. Everything will improve, quietly but solidly and forever.
And so will you.