ALSO: Pity and self-pity are a couple of the worst things that can happen to us.
When I was stuck in shit jobs in my teens and early-to-mid-20s, I “dealt with it” by drinking with my coworkers and wallowing in self-pity, and pitying each other, for hours after every shift… often till it was time to hurry to bed, sleep a few hours, and go back to work. We were craving pity and recognition of our wrongs, but all it wound up doing for us was to keep us from doing anything productive with the time we did have off.
I really wish I could have gotten in a time machine for a bit to see this video:
It would have pissed me off, and it’s not like I was the kind of little douche who would run off with the Peace Corps and think I was actually doing something that would help anyone (unless the Peace Corps has a Condom Cavalry?), but the basic message is good for any kid: Look, the fact that you’re making yourself even more miserable than your shitty job makes you feel already is doing nobody any good, particularly not you. And you’re not alone, the universe has no particular grudge against you, it just sucks for everyone, so, I don’t know, just try not to be a jerk.
Yes, IT WOULD HAVE PISSED ME OFF NO END. But if I actually listened, it would have gotten me out of the shit jobs a lot faster.
Ah, sweet, sweet pity. The number one filler of jail cells. (And sweet, sweet irony: If I hadn’t wasted so much time and energy on hating my shit jobs, I’d have had less shit to deal with in total.) Just because we want things doesn’t mean they’re good for us.
But just because they’re nasty doesn’t mean they’re good for us either. The obvious example being hitting yourself in the face with a hammer, but more subtle things, like feeling overly guilty just to be sure you aren’t a jerk, perhaps more thoroughly permeate life with badness that can’t be reversed.
“OK, so be a jerk, but don’t be a jerk? Don’t do what feels good, and don’t do what feels bad? How am I supposed to know what IS good for me?”
Well, assuming you’re young, try to listen to your elders (if you’re old, you’re probably screwed already anyway, so decide for yourself whether that next beer is worth it), and learn to avoid the most common mistakes before you make them.
Suuuuuure. But then again, in order to come to the understanding that you should listen to your fuck-up, pathetic elders precisely BECAUSE they have fucked up and proved that the thing they tried doesn’t work, you generally have to learn by making the mistake of not listening to your elders… (and as you may have noticed, your elders can generally only give you anti-examples. Don’t do this, I’m rich but I’m miserable. Don’t do that, she died of starvation at age 82… does it start to look like there ARE no good choices?)… and by the time you have that lesson down you’ve already fumbled your way into middle age and now, jesus h. Christ, you’re the old fuckup now and there’s no one willing to give you free advice anymore. Your turn, gramps! Try to tell the kids to listen to the grownups, that’s the life lesson that’s become your job to repeat to no avail.
Hopefully you’ll just be advising the neighborhood kids. Because really, who needs Son of Fuckup around?