A Profile of This Week’s Sadness

I am sitting here, inside myself, waiting for things to get better. The sickly feeling of the morning washes over me. I do not feel good. I didn’t feel good yesterday. Will I feel good tomorrow?

I want to turn off all the noise around me, but I don’t know how. I’m addicted to noise more than anything else, and it is killing me. The constant stimulation. The updates, the notifications, the incoming messages, the flashing news reels. I don’t know how to escape a world that I love so dearly. The constant distraction of the rest of the world is a great excuse for letting my own life slip into decay. I am minuscule in comparison, but even though my life is small next to yours, I have to remember: it is all I have. It is easy for me to ignore my own life when there are no Vogue-style fashion editorials to walk through, no romantic scenes underneath unseasonal rain, no feasts of the century to wake up to every day. There is nothing cinematic at my life, which is why I no longer look at it. But chokes me nonetheless, no matter how much I pretend this life isn’t mine.

I don’t know how to start from scratch again. I look around me, and all these so-called friends are afflicted with the same exact problem: we are trying to be movie stars in regular life. We are trying to earn our ten thousand likes even though we generally always peak at fifty eight. We are so busy trying to look good in this lighting that we have forgotten: maybe the most movie-worthy thing we can do is tell a good fucking story. Anyone can tower on the silver screen – but no matter how good you look, the story is what matters.

I am trying to get back to my story. I can feel the chapter behind me dwindling down into impending memories, while the future is coming at me in a frightening way. The same question is being shoved down my throat: am I the protagonist in my own story, or am I an extra in someone else’s? I look at the picture I just posted: fifty eight likes. How can I be the protagonist of anyone’s story with just fifty eight likes? Am I an extra by definition?

I tell myself that there is dignity in being my own heroine, even if no one else is watching. I remind myself that people don’t have to watch – that’s not the point. The point here isn’t to be seen. My goal isn’t a mass accumulation of internet attention. I’m supposed to be working towards happiness, which is such a nebulous and intangible idea to work with. It’s a slippery thing to desire, seeing that it can’t be bounded into a single definition or measured through objective metrics. Happiness is my own fleeting beast. All I know is that right now I do not have it.

I try to focus back on the things that are supposed to make me happy. For some reason, it’s much easier to remember the things that make me miserable. I wish I had more money. I wish I had a better car. I wish my house were prettier. I wish I were younger. I wish that pair of pants still fit me. I wish I had a boyfriend who cared about my emotions. I wish my mother would say the right thing when I talk to her. I wish this head cold would go away. Why are these things problems, and why didn’t I appreciate them when they weren’t problems?

I sit on my bed and stare out the window. This is okay. I can survive this. I don’t know why I would want to, but I am going to survive this. Just because – well, I don’t really know why I am making myself survive this. I feel disconnected, disenfranchised. I am a lost soul, yet again, meandering through this world without any sense of purpose or destination. I am drowning in the noise of someone else’s making, but I am breathing just enough to live another day.

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