How good it feels to fret

28 Jun

I went to bed last night absolutely fuming.

For starters, I was livid from all of the reports coming from Toronto about the insane “protests” that went down over the weekend in response to the G20 Summit. While I’m still not convinced about the necessity/effectiveness of most of the protesting, it was the absolute FUCKWADS who decided that this was the perfect venue to unleash their anarchist fury on the streets of a city I love so dearly that REALLY pissed me off. They torched cop cars, smashed store windows and were just general shit disturbers that ruined it for everyone, including the peaceful folks who just wanted to be heard.

And for what?

I don’t even think most of them know. I know that most of the rest of us sure as hell don’t.

Way to prove absolutely nothing, douchwagons.

I’ve never been so humiliated as a Canadian in my life.

And on top of all of that there was the storming and tornadoes and flooding. There is still the oil in the gulf. There was bullshit refereeing in the World Cup, something that is supposed to bring the world together in a joyful way but just stood to piss people off instead. Our military lost two more soldiers, young medics, in Afghanistan. The local politicians in our riding have been fucking up big time over issues that can’t afford to be fucked up on (but, really, what else is new?).

It was just so much doom and gloom and by last night I just couldn’t deal with it anymore. I was so sick of feeling young and hopeless. I had to unplug. I had to sleep it off.

This morning, after a fitful night of sleep, I had a few moments of reprieve in that fleeting bout of amnesia that seem to linger over your memories when you first wake up. But I also had some of the brain soup aftertaste of something unpleasant and it didn’t take long for it all to come flooding back.

I brushed my teeth in a haze of bitterness.

I glared at my reflection as I did my hair.

I punched Middle Brother when he said goodbye as he left for work.

Okay, maybe I didn’t punch him.

After all, it wasn’t his fault that the world is so fucked up.

It wasn’t until I was driving in to work, turning the news off after about the third bad-news item of the morning that it slowly started to dawn on me – as bitter and upset and worried as I was, it was the first time in almost a year that I wasn’t bitter and upset and worried about my own life.

Yes, I was still fretting and fretting about things that are relatively out of my control but for once all that fretting had nothing to do with money or my family or my career.

And you know what? It kind of felt good.

It felt good to get my head out of my ass and be reminded that there is a great big world out there and that my problems, no matter how massive they are to me, are not going to be the end of the world.

Those other aforementioned problems will be.

BUT ANYWAY.

This doesn’t change the fact that all of this scares the shit out of me. I have control issues you see – if there is a problem, I like to know that I can, if not necessarily fix it, at least help to make the situation better.

But I can’t fix any of this. I can’t fix the damage in Toronto or the human rights concerns that had so many people up in arms in the first place. I can’t control the weather or clean up the oil in the gulf. I can’t fix any of this and it fills me with anxiety.

It fills me with anxiety and leaves me feeling helpless and fearful for our future. What does the next 5, 10, 20 years hold for us? Is it all downhill from here? I don’t doubt that every generation feels like the world is ending around them. It may not help me rest any easier but it helps to know that we aren’t the first to feel that way. I guess this is all a part of being young – the perceived hopelessness, I mean.

And yet, for all of this fretting, I find myself better able to focus than I have in ages. I look at my own life and suddenly it doesn’t stress me out quite as badly as it did before. I appreciate the company of my family and friends more. I feel, at the risk of sounding like some cheesy afterschool special, like I’m part of the bigger picture again. And that feels good too.

Maybe it’s sad that it took so much devastation to get me to wake up and take a look around and stop feeling so goddamn sorry for myself (don’t get me wrong, I still feel sorry for myself, only less so. It’s a more manageable, less IN YOUR FACE self-pity. I don’t loath myself quite as much as I did before. Baby steps, people. Baby steps).

Wait, scratch that: it IS sad that this is what it took, but hopefully I can be smart enough not to let that be it. For all the faults, there are a lot of good things happening in the world too. Maybe it’s time to pop the ol’ bubble of self-absorption and start paying attention to those things.

Maybe this is also the most obvious lesson EVER, but it made me feel better so I thought I’d share.

Too fluffy for you? That’s ok. Here, have some beavers.

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4 Responses to “How good it feels to fret”

  1. Jo and the Novelist June 29, 2010 at 5:27 am #

    I think this is a point everyone gets to sooner or later. And it leaves you with the post-anger haze of clarity with a dash of ‘has everyone else realised this already? Was I really, slow on the uptake?!’. That might just be me. Besides, as if all these world issues aren’t *caused* by people having their heads shoved so far up their own arseholes they could probably lick clean their rib cages. That’s not an excuse.

    What I’m trying to say is, we all do it. Even the people with massive amounts of responsibility.

    Feels good to kick the self-pitying habits though doesn’t it? It always makes me feel somewhat liberated!!

  2. Elle Sees June 29, 2010 at 11:18 am #

    We had the G20 summit in Georgia a few years ago and some people just acted like idiots. People already think those of us from the South, with our Southern accents, are dumb. And the behavior of some made us look like the stereotype.

  3. alonewithcats June 30, 2010 at 2:49 am #

    “Bubble of self-absorption” sounds like a bitchin’ bubblegum that I would definitely like to pop.

    Also, I’ve been in quite the self-absorption bubble lately. And I thank you for reminding me that there is a whole world of suck looming outside my own personal bubble of suckage. And while that doesn’t make me feel better, it does make me feel a little zen with the (sucky) universe.

    • Jam June 30, 2010 at 9:39 am #

      “zen with the (sucky) universe”

      You just summed up this post perfectly

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