Shit on the present

This quote has been bouncing around my head today…

If you are depressed, you are living in the past

If you are anxious, you are living in the future

If you at peace, you are living in the present

It’s often attributed to Lao Tzu, but given that depression is a relatively new term and Lao Tzu supposedly lived in the 6th century BCE, it’s highly unlikely he is the source. It sounds more like the kind of new-age pop-psychology bullshit that annoys the piss out of me. But hey, if it works for you, go ahead and rock it! It’s just not my life.

I live in the present and my present is home to both depression and anxiety. It’s not because I am simultaneously living in the future and the past. It’s because of the particular way my fucked up brain is wired. Living in the present does not bring me peace but living in the present is my only option; at least until I get a visit from a blue police box. In the meantime, I struggle and I fight and I immerse myself in the mystery and chaos which that battle provides.

Today was not one of those days. Today there was calm on the battlefield. Today had structure and a schedule and I pretty much knew what was going to happen. I was going to go close my checking account (finally), have lunch with a dear friend, go to therapy, pick up my daughter and spend time with her, after which I was going to come home and write about my day. These are all wonderful things and I was looking forward to all of them. They just weren’t what I needed to overpower the chemicals in my brain.

I found myself in tears this morning, overcome with sadness  There was no reason for me to feel that way. I had nothing to be sad about but I could feel it in the pit of my stomach. My chest was tight and I was having a hard time breathing. It’s that feeling you get when you are walking home, all alone, late at night, and you just know Freddie or Jason is about to appear from behind the bushes and attack you. But I was safe at home in my kitchen. I had nothing to fear.

I did find my self thinking about losses in my past and uncertainties about my future but the feelings came first. If anything, I was conjuring up thoughts to make sense of my emotions.

It made me think of this quote, which I believe was first discovered written on a bathroom stall:

If you have one foot in the future, and one foot in the past, you shit on the present.

That’s what I was doing… on purpose. The present was so uncomfortable that I stretched out my legs out in both directions just so I could shit on it.

Well, one glorious thing about the present is it doesn’t last long. That is to say, it’s always changing. Whatever discomfort I was feeling was not going to last forever. However predictable I thought my day would be, it was bound to get disrupted by something. I guess I do find peace in knowing that.

I expected to be able to close my checking account. I did not expect a pending transaction to prevent me from doing so for another two days. I didn’t expect Elsie’s to be out of veggie burgers today but found the bean quesadilla to be quite wonderful. I did not expect my therapy session to be all that helpful since I pretty much talk about everything here on my blog but I did notice my SUDS-level decrease significantly. I did not expect my time with my daughter to lead me to Electric Fetus where I got to see my friends Aby Wolf and Grant Cutler perform.

I did not expect to find in my mailbox, anything of value. I love the US Postal service but since they usually only deliver bills and advertisement, I’m okay with them taking a day off now and then. Let me just say that today was the best mail day ever!

The first thing I saw was a postcard from one of my favorite people on the planet. She is in Bali. I got a fucking postcard from Bali – how cool is that?!?

Then I saw a letter from one of my delivery accounts. They periodically send me bonuses for doing my fucking job. I’m not sure how I feel about that. It’s not like it is enough to make me work harder. I do my job because it’s my job. It’s more like it would make me feel shitty if I didn’t get it. That seems kind of manipulative to me. Anyway, I figured there might be money in there so I ripped it open. Three bucks! Whoahoo! Hey, when you’re broke every bit helps.

Then I saw a small envelope, hand addressed in red crayon with a Finding Nemo stamp in the corner. It was from my first true love. I turned the envelope over. Across the seal was drawn a pink heart. I opened it and pulled out a card with a picture of Tinker Bell, colored in with crayon. I opened it and read:

You are Loved!

Please use this gift to treat yourself to a fun night out

and the rest for whatever.

Happy Late B-Bay!

Enclosed was a hundred dollar bill. She sent this after reading about my financial troubles. I guess I called her just after she had put it in the mail, just to tell her I love her, having no idea what she had done. For the second time today, tears welled up in my eyes.

I will leave you with one final quote:

“There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle” – attributed to Albert Einstein although there is no evidence he ever said it.

I prefer the later.

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About lefreakshow
A walking contradiction attempting to make sense of this crazy world though the power of creation, exploration and communication.

2 Responses to Shit on the present

  1. Kayla McCauley says:

    dayum. But I loved this entry. -K

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