Enough! (Bad Choices, Time, And The True Self)

Dear Self,

Enough! I mean it.
Enough arguing until the bitter non-end
Which inspires no learning
And plenty of anger bordering on hate.

Enough obsessing about whether no smiley face
Or no exclamation point
Or lots of exclamation points
Or that strangely placed period
Means the message-writer secretly despises you.

Enough eating the whole napoleon
The plate bigger than your head and your hands combined
When — think about it — you really only enjoyed the first third.

Enough procrastinating before going to sleep.
It’s sleep! It’s nice! You’re tired!
You really want to ruin all of tomorrow
Because you’re not in the mood right now
To go through the actions of changing into your pajamas
And brushing your teeth?

Enough stewing about people
When they are perfectly happy.
You’re remembering past slights
And they’re probably laughing right now
Or savoring a cup of their favorite drink.
Who is miserable and who is content
And whose contentment can you control
At least somewhat?

Enough choosing the convenient option
When putting in slightly more effort
Might yield the best thing you’ve ever tasted
Or a conversation you’ll remember in 30 years.

Enough saying the thing that will annoy someone you love.
True, it was a fine thing to say in some objective universe
But the universe of the human mind is not objective
And you know it.

Enough stagnating in your own stale brain
When you could be reading something great
And growing from someone else’s thoughts.
You say you’re all about learning from other minds
So do it. I’m serious.

Enough staying inside because it’s cold.
You have a warm coat, a scarf, and gloves.
Get out there. Be in the world.
You know it won’t be that bad once you’re out and wandering.
It rarely is.
And if the chill is painful, you can duck inside
And savor somewhere more interesting than your living room.

Enough forgetting to bring tissues when you have 10 packages at home.
You have to run to the bar with your hand over your mouth
Begging for napkins?
No wonder people think you’re uncouth.
You deserve it.

Enough avoiding plans with other people.
You have more fun wandering around by yourself?
Yes, sometimes you do: I’ll admit that.
But often you don’t.
Make those plans. See someone new. Become the adventurer you claim to be.

Enough wasting hours tracking the UPS package
Because God forbid you should be out when it arrives
And it’s left in the hall in your building
And your neighbors touch it and maybe drop it.
Yes, the system sucks
But hours of your precious life are worth more
Than avoiding a scratch on your new gloves.

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Enough ordering a drink when you don’t actually want one
Just because others are doing it.
It’s a waste of calories and money;
Save it for when you will actually enjoy something.
You don’t always have to make the healthy choice
But if you seriously don’t want something, refrain
Even if you’ll have to subsidize other people’s drinks
When you didn’t get one of your own.

Enough looking down on people
Because they write “your” when they mean “you’re”
Or their accent sounds crude
Or they never want to try a new kind of food.
You are no package of brilliance and classiness yourself
Ms. Snot On Your Hands Because You Forgot Your Tissues.

At the same time (and I know I’m being impossibly ironic)
Enough criticizing yourself.
Enough going over and over past choices
Ramming them into the ground with your regrets
As if you could plunge your hands into the past and change it.
You already said that rude thing that made someone cringe.
Enough replaying the scene in your mind
Or, more likely, the fictional scene that you have imagined
Because really: you don’t remember visual scenes.
Think about it.

But if I renounce all of this, what will I have left?
That is the question.

A friend recently suggested that I focus on my self, my real self
My self that is spiritual
And not just situational.
And I was like: Great idea!
But, later, I was more like: Huh? What now? I’m confused.

If I’m not slamming myself around and creating worry over small things
Maybe I’ll be left with Me, capital “M” me.
And what would that be like?

The best thought I have
Is an image of me
At a little café
Eating something I love
In just the right size
To savor but not stuff
Maybe with a fantastic friend
Or more than one.
Probably so, actually
Since I love being alone mainly to recharge
From all the time I spend with others.

Regardless of what I’m eating or who I’m with
The main thing is time.
I’ve forgotten it.
I don’t feel it passing, don’t know it’s passing.
Everything is one big moment that never changes.
I mean, not actually, in that looming, objective sense of reality
But in my mind.
And my mind is a universe.

And if, in that universe
Time has ceased to pass
And I have grown and melded into all of time
Then that’s it, maybe.
That’s my real self, my spiritual self
The self I was born to be
But keep stomping over
With my absurdity and misplaced concerns.

Can I reach this place beyond time?
I think, in rare moments, I’ve gotten maybe a hundredth of the way there.
I catch a minute glimpse of it
As I smile and stir my raspberry chocolate tea
And laugh with a friend just for the sake of laughing
Just because something is funny, to us, in our universes
And we aren’t noticing or remembering anything
Except the laughter. And the tea.
And the feeling that where we are is all of everything
Because this is the only moment, an ever-expanding moment of all that is.

Can I get even closer? I always need a challenge.
I will try.


***Image Credit: “Enough!” by David L. August 7, 2010 on flickr.com