I was recently sitting on the commuter train that I take into work each and every day next to a woman who was having a very stimulating phone conversation. Despite her call dropping out multiple times, an issue that she verbally expressed to the passengers of Train 1033 on every occasion, she was expelling word vomit at an Exorcist level rate. This impressed me, as I am no stranger of listening to people who have chronic diarrhea of the mouth, and I was obligated to eavesdrop since the volume and proximity of her rant may as well have been in Dolby 7.1 surround sound.
She went on and on about how much she hated her job; she despised the “incompetent morons” that walked the halls in her office, she loathed the “bullshit tasks” that her boss gave her on a daily basis, and she had a very large axe to grind with a particular “Carolyn” character who sounded downright terrible. She emphasized how she barely had enough time to cook her microwave lunches, how there is not enough lighting in her workspace, and audaciously, she stated she would rather be in Nepal than be on her way to work! In between bites of blueberry muffin that fell between the creases of her blouse with pinpoint accuracy, our Wisconsin skinny speaker disparaged the “skinny bitches” that only ate fruit for lunch and how she felt sorry for the skeleton. But I digress, this entertainment lasted only about five stops and I was off.
As ridiculous as it sounded, I realized that I belly-ache just as much as that woman does. I mean, I get that everyone has their gripes about their workplace, and the people they encounter on a daily basis; hell, I’m complaining about someone right in this damn column. The point being is, we spend too much time telling the world how much our lives suck instead of doing something about it.
Hate your job? Good, then quit. If you’re worried about finding another one, then you probably haven’t thought this process through because you’re too busy bitching about what you’re doing now. Everyone has shit they hate about their job. Even Hugh Hefner probably complains about seeing nipples every day. If you’re so miserable and you won’t do anything about it, stop complaining – you’re either enjoying one aspect of it or you’re a masochist.
Do you really loathe the people you work with? Good, avoid them at all costs. It’s like people who complain about their exes. They’ll spout off about them like, “Man, Sally was such a bitch. She was the worst, huh?” Buddy, didn’t you two break up two years ago? “Yeah man, but I’m just saying…total buzzkill.” If you have to mention someone in a negative way, you obviously want to talk about them. If you have people who get under your skin, get under theirs. There are so many ways to fuck with people. I used to work with a thorn in my side who I couldn’t STAND. So, every time he got up to go to the bathroom, or God knows what he was doing, I lowered his chair all the way down. Every time he rushed back to his seat, he would take a two-foot plummet into the chair. If you want to get away with stuff like that without laughing, bite your tongue.
Hate that you’re single? Break the mold and stop thinking that you need a significant other in your life to have some kind of purpose. If you’re a guy, odds are you just want semi-regular sex and some arm candy to trot around town with; having a girlfriend makes you look more successful and desirable to both genders. For the ladies, of course you want some hunk to hang around your place, to fix your creaky IKEA furniture and open jars for you; you know full well that you want your girlfriends to envy your tall, dark, and handsome boyfriend. Well guess what, life doesn’t pan out like that. But you’ll counter with, “But so-and-so has all of that, and I’m way more handsome/pretty!” What keeps you from accomplishing goals probably lies around a fact you’re ignoring, like maybe you’re a douche, or you’re catty and arrogant. Mirrors weren’t only made to see whether there’s a cop behind you when you’re speeding; take a look at yourself once in a while.
Despise your significant other? Dump them. If you’re so unhappy in a relationship that the crux of your talking points is to complaining about every miniscule thing they do, they’re probably doing the same to you. Misery loves company, and dragging out a relationship that you don’t want to be in is a colossal waste of time for both parties. Scared about breaking up? Rip the bandage off and never look back. Of course it sucks at first, and yeah, you’re going to have to play the field until you find someone else. But so does everyone, so either realize that you need a significant other, you don’t need one, or that you’re asexual. No one ever made it to the big leagues when they were making errors in the minors.
The point of all this is, sometimes you just have to nut up and shut up. I personally wish I realized this a long fucking time ago, because it wouldn’t be writing a column about it. Life is too short to sit around and bitch about what’s missing from it. Everything you hear can be taken for fact or fiction, and with this, I saw take it with a grain of salt. I hate self-improvement listicles that preach about better your shitty circumstances, but a sporadic trip to a tropical destination won’t fix the fact that you’re unhappy about life. No, you’ll probably never be an undergrad again, and you may never run into the circumstance where a case race on a Tuesday seemed like a genius plan. Live with it, there’s more to life than getting shithoused on cheap beer and rationalizing a face-first dive onto a folding table..
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