- Ryan Kretch
Stop pretending everything is all rainbows and ‘sunshine’
The past few days, I have been sick and off work. Sick days as a child were an absolute dream; being perched on my couch for the entirety of the day watching serie after serie (on non-cable TV, by the way), occasionally heading to the kitchen to grab something to eat, and then back to my spot on my couch just in time for Price is Right.
Sick days as an adult (at least for me) aren’t as simple. The other day as I was trying to relax and recover lying on my bed, I got caught up heavily in my thoughts. Thoughts as a kid can be tuned out by never-ending TV series, but it isn’t always that easy as an adult. One thought led to another and before I knew it, I was diving downward in a never-ending whirlpool of negativity.
Why do I feel so empty? · Why can’t I just relax on days off like this? · What do I actually do outside of work? · Why am I so boring? · How did I become such a capitalist? · Why is the world so fucked? · And again, why do I feel so empty?
In a voice message exchange with a friend here in Berlin, I found myself venting about the negativity that emerged. One thing she said that struck me particularly hard was:
It is not negativity, it is the reality.
The point is, most days I do everything I can to reduce reality. I work my ass off so that I can forget reality during the week. I sometimes party my Saturday’s away so that I can distort reality during the weekends. I do every thing that I can to cloud it, inject it with pretty colors, sever it and re-stitch it — so that it doesn’t resemble anything close to reality anymore.
We all do this. As soon as a ‘negative’ thought — the true reality that we live in — surfaces in our mind, we do what we can to submerge and drown it back down. We grab our phones, we desperately seek partnership, we indulge and then overindulge in food and substances, we exercise ruthlessly because our slightly swollen chest and shoulders will somehow make the pain of reality forget to show up.
However, in choosing not to both individually and collectively feel the pain of this reality we have sculpted for ourselves and continue to deny it by placing a fat facade front and center, we will never truly live but rather degrade; if that isn’t so obviously evident in today’s society.
Let’s actually, once and for all, allow ourselves to get back to reality because that is where the deepest progressive change lies waiting to blossom.