What to do when you suddenly realize your problems aren’t special
Crap. Now what?
With every new year that comes and goes, I don’t think of myself as getting older, just less naïve.
That’s what life is. A continual process of lifting the veil and losing your innocence and consolidating your vision and cleaning the shit out of your ears and rounding out your perspective about how the world works.
I remember the first time I worked for a company that underpaid, overworked, manipulated and neglected me. And the cute part was, I actually thought my problems were special. I actually thought my situation was unique. In my most deflated moments, I would overthink myself to death, trying to figure if my undesirable job situation was unique to the company I worked for, the people I worked with, the industry I was part of, or the city I lived in.
But it was none of those things. It was just a job. Jobs are hard. People suffer. Get over it. And if you’re really that unhappy, go find a new one. And if you can’t find a new one, just hire yourself.
Rollins has a great passage about this. He says depression is so personal and so unique to each of us that when we’re in its teeth, we think you invented it. Corinthians also has a famous passage on this topic. No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face, says the scripture.
Both are sobering realizations. Because nobody likes to learn that their problems aren’t special. We all think we have our own specific brand of misery. But terminal uniqueness is really just a way to excuse yourself from meeting the regular struggles of adult life.
So suck it up. Assume that there is no camera. Assume that there is no one watching. And see if you can’t develop a case of the humbles.
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Are you growing up in years, but also growing down in naiveté?
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That Guy with the Nametag
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