Wednesday, March 5, 2014

My Breakdown

You know how they say that you determine your own happiness?  That it's all about perspective?  If not, you need to eat more fortune cookies.

Usually, I’m pretty good with this.  When it’s raining and I don’t have an umbrella, I think to myself, “Well, at least it isn't boiling lava that’s falling on my head.”  It takes a conscious effort at times but I do my best to remember that some people are praying for my "problems."  To “choose joy,” as one might say.

But other times, I don’t care.  Sometimes, when I’m down and I hear that little Jiminy Cricket voice of reason telling me to keep my chin up and choose happiness… I tell him to go take a hike and get the eff off my shoulder.  Because I’m being miserable right now, damnit, and you’re ruining the moment.

Sadly, that was exactly the scenario last night.  I had done a pretty good job up to that point remaining positive; sure, it’s been snowing for three months straight but look how pretty everything looks!  And yes, there seems to be some sort of rodent in our kitchen pantry but now we have an excuse to get a cat!  And the exterminator comes tomorrow!  Hooray, life.

But last night, I reached a breaking point.  It actually started after my post-work workout, around the time when I realized that our back gate into the alley was locked and I didn't have a key.

Ten minutes and ten frozen fingers later, I got inside.  After kicking around a few boxes of clothes that are still in the kitchen, I went to make the next day's lunch… but couldn't find our can opener.  Did I forget it?  Where was it?  Why are there so many boxes anyway?  Where did we even GET all this stuff?!

I gave up and decided to just buy lunch the next day.  With that decision, I went to go take a shower.  I shut the bathroom door, and it bounced back open.  I repeated this five times because I was exhausted and sweaty and just wanted to slam a door, which made the un-slammability of this door overwhelmingly infuriating.

Finally, after telling that door exactly what I thought of it, I turned on the shower.  Out gushed a burping flow of yellow water that puddled over the clogged drain.  (It should be noted here that I have not been in this apartment long enough for my own hair to have clogged this drain.)

But these things are not what sent me over the edge.  At this point, Jiminy was still in my right ear telling me that at least I have an apartment and a job and all the rest of his optimistic mush.

No, my breaking point was at 2 AM when the Caged Wolverine decided that sleep was over now.  It was actually 2:14 because I looked at my phone the moment I heard the first rattle.  But even then, as completely exhausted as I was, I tried to stay positive.  “Surely, this can’t go on all night,” I thought.

At 3 AM, I lost it.  I had spent the last 45 minutes going through the same five minute cycle, where the Wolverine would howl and cry and clatter, then stop just long enough for me to think that he was done.  Then he would start again.  At 3, I jumped out of bed and just crouched by the radiator.  I’m not sure what I was hoping to accomplish by crouching next to it; I guess I was awake enough to realize that kicking it wouldn’t help but the thought of lying there for one more minute seemed unbearable.

Not surprisingly, my crouching didn’t solve the problem.  So with that, I got back in bed and just cried.

At first, they were dainty tears of exhausted frustration.  But then once I got going, I really got going.  This apartment was dirty and cold and it was snowing AGAIN and I had to get up in 2 hours and I miss my mom and I miss clean things that aren't broken and water that doesn't smell funny and my oatmeal is in the fridge right now because I don’t want a rat to eat it and I don’t even have a trashcan yet but I can't buy one this week because TJ Maxx is so far from the train and it’s so cold and THAT DAMN RADIATOR WON’T STOP CLANGING AND I WILL NEVER, EVER, EVER SLEEP AGAIN UNTIL I DIE.

As you can imagine, me rolling around in anguish woke Derrick up.  (How he slept through the clanking to begin with, God only knows.)  But while he really deserved to shake my shoulders and tell me to get a grip, instead he just rubbed my back.  And I stopped crying because I realized how ridiculous I was being, and put my headphones in.  I drifted off with Blake Shelton softly serenading me to sleep.

The next morning, Jiminy was right back up on my shoulder and was very appropriately shaming me for the previous night's debacle.  And yes, I was ashamed of myself in the harsh light of day.

So I guess the only real takeaway from this story is that Derrick is the type of guy who rubs you on the back when you don't deserve it, and I am on the market for a pair of earplugs.  And also that this whole adult thing sounded a lot better in theory.

Want more tea? Have a second cup!
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