Perspective

May 7, 2006 at 1:02 am (Personal)

I wasn't having a very good day today.

I woke up and had a hangover. I'm 28, and I fucking hate hangovers. I just can't deal with them anymore, almost enough to make me stop drinking excessively. Almost. I also have an unexplained soreness in my tailbone, as though I fell out of a chair last night or something. I don't remember doing that (anyone? did I do that?) I remember knocking someone out of his chair, so maybe it's karma. Vacarious pain. I don't know, but it has gotten worse throughout the day. These two things combined to make my favorite Saturday morning activity impossible.

I have been really stressed out about school lately. I look at all the stuff I have to do over the next 6 weeks, and it is unbelievable. I went down to do some work today in a computer lab, and my Ipod (which doubles as a flash drive) is broken. The FTP server that I use as a backup was down. So I couldn't access my data, or do any meaningful work on this huge project that is looming over my head like a guillotine. I went to the gym to blow off some steam, but my tailbone made working out painful so I didn't last long. I was extremely frustrated.

Then something interesting happened. I was driving home and had a strong sense of deja vu. The first Saturday in May last year, I was on my way home at almost the exact same time, on the same route, the weather was identical, the sun, the temperature, the breeze, the smell of spring in the air. Except last year I was on my way home to begin dealing with an extremely traumatic event that had just begun to unfold. On that trip today, I realized that I have absolutely nothing to complain about.

I just went for a run, down to a place called Grant Park. I was taking a break, watching a little league baseball game. I saw some kid strike out, get mad, and throw his bat against a fence. Coach pulled him aside and gave him a little pep talk. It reminded me of one of the commencement speakers at my college graduation, who reminded us that even the best baseball players in the world are lucky if they get a hit 35% of the time. They fail a lot more often than not.

I realized that my life is better today than it was one year ago, even one year and one day ago, in every measurable sense. I can never be certain of this, but I think that the oft-cited incident of one year ago played a large role in that transformation. At this point, I can't imagine what life would be like if it hadn't happened, and I don't even want to imagine it.

I have formed new relationships, and solidified others, to an extent that I wouldn't have otherwise done, with some high-quality individuals who I intend on remaining friends with for a long time. I feel smarter (school will do that to you). I am in the best physical condition of my adult life. I have long since stopped questioning my decision to move to the west coast. My gf told me today that we don't have sex enough; quite a change of pace for me and something I definitely look forward to improving. She is a superior human being to my previous gf, any way you slice it. Apple will fix my Ipod for free (because I bought a warranty, but even if I hadn't it would only be $49. Contrast that with Sprint, who will not fix anything not under warranty, and their warranties are so restrictive that pretty much means they won't fix anything. Yet I continue to send them a check every month.) I am going to Otis, Oregon tomorrow, to scope out my digs for my summer job on the coast. On June 14 I will be 3 credit hours from a Master's degree. I have 5 gallons of homemade glacier (excuse me, snowpack) beer in the kitchen, that I will put in bottles soon. Then I get to drink them.

I look back on how I felt this time last year and it makes stressing out about a paper seem kind of silly.  I'm going to go buy some shrimp and throw them on the barby.

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6 Comments

  1. BD said,

    well written and inspiring. just what i needed to read. however, it makes me slightly anxious. we never really FUCKING know what is going to happen, huh? one year from now, one day from now….an underlying thread of discomfort twitching through all of humanity.

  2. LogJammin said,

    Good, positive insight. For a second, I thought that you were about to drive off the mountain.

    Do you really want to know what happened to your tailbone? Hint…have you ever heard of a movie called “Bend over boyfriend”?

  3. neckfro said,

    Hangovers are now a 24 hour endeavor for me, and I agree–it’s not that I’m becoming more responsible with drinking, it’s just that I’m loathing the hangovers more and more…

  4. JB said,

    BD: so what do you do? Never trust anyone; go through life expecting to get screwed? If you’re smart you do, but that takes a lot of the fun out of life.

    LJ: I threw you a softball on that one.

    neckfro: I have found myself with a much greater appreciation for the One True Hangover Cure: beer.

  5. grundle said,

    i had two iPod minis and they both broke within 6 mos. so i switched to Creative Zen. unit is less user friendly but no iTunes necessary!

  6. TSS said,

    Since comments seem to be working for me now, here’s what I tried to leave here awhile ago:

    Good post. Good for you JB. I remember talking to you a year ago. You were not a happy camper. I’m really happy for you, to see you have everything turned around now. Awesome!

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