It’s weird how you can confuse discomfort with inability. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said “I Can’t” to something I just didn’t want to do. (Which I don’t recommend…because when you REALLY can’t do something…guess what? You’re the boy – or girl – who cried wolf.) But the point is, as Augusten Burroughs said in his book This is How:
“It was uncomfortable.
It was only uncomfortable.
And I didn’t like being uncomfortable.
Feeling like you cannot stand one more minute doesn’t mean you can’t. You can, actually.”
I was feeling exactly this way last night. Anyone who’s experienced the melancholy that follows drinking knows what I’m talking about. The feeling when you’re out, having a bunch of fun with your friends…but then you come home…and okay, so maybe your house isn’t TOTALLY empty (you do have cats afterall), but you still can’t help but think that there is something missing.
And I thought to myself, “I just can’t do this anymore!” It only took me a few seconds to realize that that’s ridiculous, and I’m full of shit. I just don’t WANT to do this anymore. Would life be more comfortable if I had X, Y, or Z? Yes. Will I DIE if it doesn’t happen? No. Sometimes I think people need to learn to live in the moments of discomfort a little more. Because the truth is – not everything that feels like it’s going to kill you actually will.
We live in a culture today of instant gratification. Cell phones, texts, the internet…Practically anything we could want is at our fingertips. And I think this has us spoiled into thinking that everything should be that way. But you know what? Real life isn’t instant. If it were, we’d be here for the blink of an eye and then we’d be gone. But that’s not how it works. We’re here for 20, 30, 40…80…100 years! That means there have to be SOME things worth waiting for. That means that even though things aren’t perfect now, it doesn’t mean they’re not going to be great tomorrow.
As crazy as it may sound, we need to find a way to ENJOY the disappointment. Because like Butters says in South Park (yes, this reference is actually happening): “I’m sad, but at the same time I’m really happy that something could make me feel that sad. It’s like, it makes me feel alive, you know? It makes me feel human. And the only way I could feel this sad now is if I felt somethin’ really good before. So I have to take the bad with the good, so I guess what I’m feelin’ is like a, beautiful sadness. I guess that sounds stupid.”
But it doesn’t sound stupid. It sounds real.
And real is better than anything you could make up in your head, because real actually happens.