“God would never let me be successful. He’ll kill me first. He’ll never let me be happy.” – George Costanza
Summer is just around the corner and I have some potentially amazing things lined up. Of course that could only mean one thing. Disaster lays in wait. It’s only been a mere seven hours since my last meeting and I’m already completely wrought with self-doubt and the sweet sweet assurance of failure.
As a mortician it’s pretty impossible to convince me life isn’t horrific, as I have seen some of the very worst that it has to offer (I realize that I am not a Syrian refugee so I don’t want to be dramatic here). But to be honest I’m fairly certain my brain is hardwired to think that way anyhow. Being a mortician just gives me an extra excuse to claim that life is constantly out to get us. I guess that is why I relate so much to Seinfeld’s George Costanza. Arguably the most selfish and depressing character of the cast, every single positive thing that comes his way is ultimately thwarted or destroyed by his vacillating hubris. I feel bad for George. Sure, he’s kind of despicable, but isn’t that darkness somehow a tad recognizable? Even, endearing? But, if it’s true that such a monster is my spirit animal, or really, that Larry David is, how will I ever find success in life? How will I make it, season after season? How will I ever survive this endless summer?
I’ve written about my depression briefly before and I do this because I think that it’s the healthiest outlet for me. Acknowledge it is there. It’s liberating and in a weird way helps me feel more like, well, me I guess. I enjoy George for this same reason. Depressing sad-sack that he is. He always finds a perfect morsel of truth in his selfish lamentations. And that, Kiddos, is the upside to depression. It gives way to some of the most glorious moments of clarity. While George mostly proves that he is either too stupid or proud to realize it, he often touches on the most relatable and humbling facets of being truly ‘human’. And those are the very same things that help me get by. Like in times like this, where I am pretty darn certain I am going to fail. I am going to fail. Dear God. I’m a sham. I’m a failure…
“You know, If you take everything I’ve accomplished in my entire life and condense it down into one day, it looks decent.”
It’s hard not to compare myself to my friends. I keep trying to write these stupid blog pieces, but I can never really seem to finish a single one. While, on the other hand, my business partner just finished her second book. You go girl. I’m not #jelly, I’m impressed. Ok I’m a little jealous. Also, all I ever talk about is how I want to see the world but the best I can do is make it to the end of the block before I am completely overwhelmed with anxiety and seconds later I’m hiding back under my covers. However, one of my other more motivated girlfriends had no sooner arrived home from New Zealand before she was off again to New York. Just like that. (snaps fingers). Seriously Jenna, how do you do it? You sell drugs right? Just admit you sell drugs. Anyways back to me. The thing is, when I feel really really bad, I think of my life as whole. And think, maybe it isn’t so wretched after all? If I were to squeeze it into 24 hours, well, I am actually doing pretty fantastic. And all we are is a speck of dust in time anyways. Yup if I were a day old-which in the scheme of things I am-I’d be the best human alive. And that is most def. something to brag and feel better about.
“It’s not a lie if you believe it.”
Ok that one sounds bad at first. But sometimes those little lies, like, “You can totally get out of bed today without killing yourself.”, is a pretty important lie. Sometimes the lie is that I think I am totally worth all of the great things that have been coming to me. Like my business partner. She’s rad. ( No clue if you read this you seem busy, but, “Hay Gurl!”) And that is how I keep feeling motivated. Because my brain is sincerely telling me I deserve nothing. And that is the truth. It’s horrible and anyone who suffers from depression can probably relate. It constantly whispers in my ears that I will fail and to give up on all my endeavors. Quite frankly I’m impressed I haven’t just collapsed like a dying star yet. So, I have to lie to my brain. I suck? No I do not brain! I am the greatest thing in the world. Well, ok, I’m decent. And let us not forget that if George had not lied about being a Marine Biologist, he may not have found the courage to go swiftly into the angry sea and rescue the Great Fish. So it’s clearly a two wrongs make a right situation we have here. Right?
“I don’t want hope. Hope is killing me. My dream is to become hopeless. When you’re hopeless you don’t care. And when you don’t care, that indifference makes you attractive.”
“So, hopelessness is the key?”
“It’s my only hope.”
This is actually some pretty awesome pre-Matrix philosophy right here. Although George has skewed it once more for his selfish misgivings, what he is lamenting over is rather profound. In the second Matrix when Neo meets the Architect he is told something quite similar and dismal, “Hope. It is the quintessential human delusion, simultaneously the source of your greatest strength and your greatest weakness.” Like George I can’t help but constantly hope and yearn to be better. To do better. Only to find that I am led to greater disappointment and self-loathing. Every time I meet someone I think I can click or collaborate with and it falls through I wonder if it was me. Did I lack that certain James Dean je ne sais quoi, that thing that would have made me a more attractive whatever? I guess all I can do is hope that next time I don’t get my hopes up. And now I’m really starting to believe more than I did when I started this, that George is really on to something. Oh holy crap I just realized George always wanted to be an Architect. Coincidence…? I just blew your effin’ mind. Go re-watch the Matrix. George is the Architect. Oh man…..
“Why did it all turn out like this for me? I had so much promise. I was personable. I was bright… My life is the complete opposite of everything I want it to be. Every instinct I have in every aspect of life, be it something to wear, something to eat…It’s often wrong.”
And here we have it. The pièce de résistance of my summertime sadness. The ultimate low in my morale and despair. As I sit here trying to hammer this out, even now, the thought creeps in. Nay it crept in about thirty-five minutes ago when I had to pause to eat before I passed out. Everything in my life started out so well. So so well. So, how did I end up here? Insecure. Paranoid. Neurotic. A mortician during the day. An angry angry waitress at night. Is it because I was terrible in math? Is it because I suck at using computers? Seriously I do. I can barely turn this on to type this out. And then I think. No. I can stop all of this now. I can become a better stronger person. The second I get a lobotomy! No no no. I’m just kidding. What if I just did the opposite? What if that was the ultimate life lesson? The greatest gift George could bestow on me/us? I will do the opposite. When I am scared to ask for help. I will send that email and accept the silence with grace if and when I get no response. When I plan my first event I will definitely be there, and not at home breathing in a brown paper bag. I will order my sandwich on gluten-free bread. No wait. Let’s not get carried away. I will be confident. I will state that I am capable and have experience doing whatever the heck it is I am telling someone I want to do. I will do the opposite of everything my brain tells me to do when it comes to career decisions. I’ll still listen to it when it comes to creepy men in bars. George says hes often wrong, not all the time wrong. That’s important. Listen to your gut. Don’t be dumb.
And so maybe that’s the key? While George Costanza isn’t a real person, Larry David is. And, even though George ends up locked away with his partners in crime for a year to think about their misdeeds, Larry David still runs wild and insecurely free. And, while I do not know anything about Mr. David personally it’s pretty clear to me that George is very much him. And that’s really inspiring. Because it means that there is an end to the summer. That George didn’t just learn to walk during his rehab, he ran. He ran a show. He wrote compelling characters. Funny stories. Really incredibly funny stories-even if my brother disagrees-that are still just as great today, as they were twenty-years ago. So I’m going to keep lying to myself. I am going to feel good about the fact that I am neurotic and I will own it. And maybe, if I find the time, I’ll drape myself in some GD purple velvet while I’m at it.