I am blaming The Office for my irrational freak out session on a cloudy Saturday morning.
There’s really no other explanation for someone to wake up and feel like the future’s not going anywhere. That I’ll live alone for the rest of my life or never amount to all that I want to be.
I mean, isn’t it easy to blame pop culture?
I know that Pam and Jim end up together and have a baby and all that, but I’ve been watching season two and they’re not together. Pam’s with Roy, a fiancée that doesn’t treat her right; Jim’s hopelessly in love with Pam.
It’s not fair. I want to pick up my TV and shake it until they snap out of it. But I don’t think that’s so healthy. It’s not real life.
Confession #37680: I am terrified of ending up with my very own version of Roy.
Honestly, that might be worse than living alone with twenty cats. At least I wouldn’t have to listen to my husband put me down and reprimand me for doing what I love.
But of course, it didn’t occur to me that there’s no way to know how things will turn out in five or ten or twenty years. Who I’ll be with or where I’ll live. How I’ll spend my days.
Perhaps I’ll sit on a bench in Central Park and scribble stories on a legal pad for only myself to read. And what if I’m happy with that? Is that OK?
Some small denomination of Christians decided the world’s ending on Saturday.
Pack up your bags and throw some prepackaged food in the car, kids. We’re headed to Disney World to enjoy our last week on Earth.
“The way I see it,” I told my friend Saturday night, “if the elect rise up to Heaven on Saturday, we’ll know it’s real. And we’ll have five months to live. So I’m just going to party like crazy until October.”
I think she loved that plan. But it probably was entirely inaccurate.
Because really, I’d finish this novel I’ve been revising for the last year. I’d query agents and write a short story every day. I’d cook a different recipe for dinner every night and buy the expensive ice cream that I want but never goes on sale. I’d sit around with people I love and have existential conversations.
Probably, I’d go to Central Park and sit in a gazebo and write about the people around me. Take notes so I could save them for a day when, if the whole world didn’t end up as a pile of ashes, some new inhabitant could find it. And then they’d know what us Americans, or at least New Yorkers and tourists, are like.
And it wouldn’t matter that I’m not married or never had kids or that Pam and Jim are two fictional characters on a television show. Because I would be content.
And at the end of the day, maybe that’s what pulls me up from that anxiety that sets in on an early Saturday morning when I’ve convinced myself nothing good can come from the next ten years of my life. Maybe it’s making lists of things I’d do with my last five months on Earth.
Maybe if we all lived like that, we’d learn a little something about happiness.
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