When I was in grade school, my parents would let me pick a place to go out to supper for my birthday. Most times I picked Pizza Hut. This was the 90s, which means one thing: personal pan pizzas and
Coke Pepsi in the red cups.
It also happened that, more often than not, we would go on the night Pizza Hut was honoring their BookIt members. For whatever reason, I didn’t participate in BookIt (even though I read books voraciously). So, I felt sad sitting there as other kids ate their personal pan pepperoni pizzas and got their book stickers, which seemed so neat at the time, and admittedly still do. I felt like an imposter in the Pizza Hut.
Sometimes I still feel like that imposter.
That’s not to say I’m unhappy; it’s just that sometimes I think “with everyone else doing everything that they are, why am I just sitting here doing nothing?”
I know I’m not really doing nothing. I get up early and run. I go to work, I come home, and fix supper. Then I read or watch TV for a couple of hours and then go to bed. Once or twice a week I play a TTRPG. But everyone else seems to be doing . . . more.
They craft, open up side businesses, network and make contacts, produce wonderful works of art, volunteer, go on trips, tell stories, get degrees, and just . . . seem to be at a higher level.
I know that social media doesn’t always show the whole picture: the struggles and the setbacks and the sacrifice necessary to do what they do.
But that also makes me wonder: am I lazy? Should I be sacrificing more to do more?
Things seem to come in fits and spurts – either I’m obsessed with something or I’m indifferent. There is no in-between. Unfortunately, I’m the same with relationships, and it might be why I’ve only been able to cultivate a few close friends over the years. Only a few have stuck with me long enough to realize that, oddly enough in a friendship, my interest or lack thereof isn’t personal.
There are nights Krystal and I spend in the same room doing totally different things, sometimes not even speaking to each other. Not out of anger, just . . . not speaking. And that’s okay, because whatever we’re doing, we’re doing together. Does that make sense? It does to me.
To be honest, the past few weeks I’ve felt like . . . well, a failure. I don’t know why. I have a job I’m happy in, my stress levels are the lowest they’ve been in forever, and things have been going relatively well. So why do I feel so crappy?
A few weeks ago, my brother told me something. Well, more accurately, he told everyone something, because he tweeted it out on Twitter.
Jay is a good voice to hear when in dark places.Charlie Eldred
That small bit of encouragement has helped a bit over the last few weeks. Knowing that there are people out there who appreciate my rantings and ramblings and infrequent shouting into the abyss.
Because I am not other people, I am me. I don’t have to be what other people are to get the prize.
I can get a personal pan pizza if I want it.