The Treadmill

Everywhere I go I come across people content to loaft through life,

Putting the minimal effort into everything they do,

Content to force their misery onto everyone they come in contact with,

Content to think about their life one day, one hour, one minute at a time,

They live for 15 minute breaks,

Half hour lunch breaks,

The last break comes,

They go home,

Using their free time to reflect on how much they hate their lives,

Or to seek escape through family and friends,

They hope something else comes along,

Yet they don’t work towards it,

Some do,

Knowing that their hunt will pay off,

Eventually,

It could be months or years,

Until then they have to bear their burden,

Some bear their burden with grace,

Adapting to stress and pressure,

Learning how to control or vent it effectively,

Others lack the fortitude and become walking vessels of rage and self-loathing,

Projecting their insecurities, fears and anxiety onto others,

We have too many of these people in the world,

I want them purged,

But we need them,

A twisted dependency that won’t end anytime soon.

 

 

 

 

Drama

Sometimes, it honestly seems like some people can’t cope without drama in their lives,

It gives them a sense of purpose,

Energy,

Belonging,

As long as someone else is being ridiculed it takes attention away from them,

By joining in the ridicule, they also get to  be part of the accepted group,

Even if that sense of inclusion is only in their heads,

 

I’ve fallen into this trap myself,

I was surrounded by people whose acceptance I craved,

I wanted them to like me,

So when they singled someone out for their derision,

I was quick to join in with them,

Even though I knew,

Deep down,

That I was not one of them,

It was hard for me to accept this at first,

I was in denial for months,

I ignored one comment after another,

It was harder to ignore the way everyone avoided me,

I was only a conduit for my roommate,

I only mattered if I knew where he was,

 

It was during this time I also noticed how quickly people follow a crowd,

My roommate was the most popular person on the floor,

He started hating someone,

So everyone else started hating that unfortunate person,

That person’s tics, habits, shortcomings,

Were magnified,

While the same ones were ignored in everyone else,

Even when I realized I wasn’t going to be accepted,

Part of me was happy that someone else was more maligned than me,

 

That was when I realized I wasted too much time trying to please these people,

Nothing I did was ever good enough for them,

And it took a while for me to realize that was fine,

For me to finally realize that I needed to branch out,

I wasted four months of my life in a miserable situation,

Before finding friends that I now cherish,

In  a way,

Those four months,

Saved me from wasting years

 

 

Perspective and Empathy

Hello everyone,

TGIF and I hope you have all had a good week. I’ve made a commitment to post to my writing instagram- wmoviegrapevine- more and it is paying off so far. Hopefully I can keep building it while I work on getting published. I have started submitting queries for Elseworld again since I was able to find some more literary agents that accept science-fiction. For a while I seriously thought I exhausted the entire list of agents available in Canada and the US.

Also, my latest article for comicommand is available here and I will repost it later today.

With that said, I wanted to share a story from earlier this morning. I got into work early and decided to stop by the McDonalds a block down. I was cutting it somewhat close with my starting time, so I rushed there and was in a hurry to get my order and leave. A man was in front of me and slowed his pace to a crawl as he neared the cash register, which blocked my access to the self-serve computers. I walked around him and the look on my face made it clear I was irritated. As I waited for my order he came over to me, smiling and asking how I was doing. He explained that he realized I was in a rush, but that he is old and has to take his time when moving. We talked while we waited for our orders and wished each other a good day.

When I originally saw the man I assumed he was yet another person wrapped up in his own world: going at his own pace and oblivious to people around him. It turns out he was only going at a pace comfortable for him. I was just another irritated person in a rush. I deal with clients like that at work, who complain about every second they have to spend on the phone with you, thinking that the world will stop spinning if their issue is not resolved in a certain amount of time. I was acting like the people I hated. I was judging someone else, but I was the person who deserved to be judged. The few seconds that the man delayed me didn’t make me late for work, and my iced coffee might have been delayed by a minute. Truly not the end of the world. A true first world problem and I’m disappointed in myself for letting it bother me so much. I pride myself on being more level-headed and patient that the masses I deal with five days a week but this was a moment of failure. The situation itself is not a big deal but I think the lesson can apply to more important situations. Hopefully it can be a valuable lesson for anyone who reads this.

Anger

I reacted poorly to a client at work today and the situation got me thinking about why I reacted the way I did. I originally didn’t want to discuss this online because it is public and my employer could see it. However, I recanted that decision and hope I don’t regret it.

While helping a customer today, I asked if I could put them on hold while I checked something on my end. Before I put the caller on hold, I heard her whisper to a co-worker that she couldn’t understand me. As a child, I had a lot of problems projecting my voice. I was even seeing a speech therapist at one point. I have improved, but to this day I do often hear that I talk fast and that my words can come out jumbled. I think it is my long history of struggling to be understood that makes me very sensitive to criticism of my volume or diction when I speak. I hate being told to repeat myself, to speak slower or to speak up. I think this insecurity was what led me to immediately call the client out on not letting me know directly that she couldn’t hear me. I criticized her for whispering to a colleague instead of letting me know and once the call was over I felt terrible for doing so. I could tell that the client was genuinely taken aback and didn’t mean to be rude with her comment.

Thinking of the experience got me thinking of a poem I wrote for my wmoviegrapevine Instagram. I don’t mean to post this as self-promotion or as a lazy repost. I feel like the words truly summed up what happened today, and it makes me think of what I need to do to become a happier, less insecure person.

******

I could feel it coming again,

Crashing through my body and slowly taking over my brain,

It contained all the worst things in me,

Bitterness, envy, insecurity,

It built up slowly and now it would come crashing out,

My body was the dam,

It needed to break me to break free

 

 

Half Full

There are many institutions meant to prepare us for the shift from childhood to adulthood,

They herd children in, and in their minds, send adults back out,

Many of these institutions fail, and I think universities are the most glaring example,

I am one of millions of people who worked hard to graduate with good grades and a degree I hoped would ensure employment in my field,

It’s been half a year and I have yet to secure that goal despite actively pursuing it,

 

However, I don’t want to delve into more negativity,

For the past decade,

I feel as if negativity has drowned out rationality and optimism in my life,

My life has not been perfect, but no one’s life is, and I believe I have a lot to be thankful for,

It has been too easy for me to forget this,

My bad experiences overshadow all the privileges and opportunities I have had,

I constantly compare myself to others, never being happy with myself,

Sometimes I spread my misery to others,

Lashing out at people who help me and driving them away,

It is a vicious cycle where my attitude leads to rejection, which then leads to more negativity,
It is easy for me to remember friends I’ve lost,

It is easy to remember those who betrayed me,

The people who made me feel unwanted, used, stupid, ugly,

The people who only paid attention to me to tear me down,

 

It is so easy to forget the people all around me who are always trying to clear the negativity from my mind,

The family that can’t stand to see me doubting myself and want nothing more than to see me happy,

The friends who always make time, not excuses, when they want to see you,

The co-workers, bosses who always go out of their way to praise your contributions,

 

I do not normally feel optimistic, and my writing reflects that,

Writing has always been my catharsis, my way to release my negativity,

Yet I have come to realize that my writing is not enough to combat the negative thoughts that my mind harbours,

My writing is merely another engine of negativity,

I cherish every piece I have written,

I don’t think my mindset makes them any less true but I now understand that my pursuit of happiness must be a proactive one,

I cannot wait for it to come to me,

I must create it.