The most regret a person can experience is when lamenting lost potential. I’m horrified by it every waking moment of every day. I stand petrified by it, the looming specter of my failure inching closer every with every second that passes without me working towards my aspirations. Sometimes I think it stems from some kind of self-hatred. I hardly think I’m talented enough to make it big and make my mark before I wither away, failing to have my name stay on the lips more than two generations down the line. On the other hand, it might be due to some kind of unacknowledged megalomania, a craving for exceptionalism that forces me to ignore the true joys in life in favor of some unachievable, selfish dream. I think about it every day, ruminating on my every move trying to see where specifically I fucked up, flinging myself down a timeline where I die unhappy.
But is that every timeline? Am I always going to be unhappy? Crushing myself with unrealistic standards isn’t a great way to live a long and prosperous life. I can’t remember the last day in which I haven’t fantasized about shoving the barrel of a rifle down my throat. Oh, how I yearn to feel my tongue dislodge when the cold steel of a firearm finds its way into my mouth. That or a quick shot in the head from some stupid fucking pig of a cop while fighting against injustice, accidentally martyrizing me and solidifying my legacy further than I’d ever imagined. A guy can hope.
A lot of what this stems from is what I project onto others. I fall into the category of “gifted kids” who impressed their elementary school teachers with a reading skill marginally better than the rest of the class (who would shortly catch up by the end of the year). In the hollow and vapid way many parents and friends do, they compliment you and bloat your ego with meaningless bullshit until one thinks they’re destined for greatness. Statistically speaking, no fucking way. That was me projecting again, as half of this is just justification for my own failures and inflated expectations for myself. I had a small anxiety attack just looking at another person’s pictures on social media the other day. It wasn’t even someone I knew, just in my explore page on Instagram. But they were going to a more prestigious college than I, framing themselves in the photo in front of a New York subway. I’m not at said prestigious college, or in New York, so I’m probably going to die an unnotable failure. Something as banal and non-intrusive as that set me off. Or like when I see a lengthy and eloquent post on Canvas that I didn’t write. That situation in particular often puts me into “existential crisis” mode. I perceive them to be more talented than I. I’m crushed by the presumption that they managed to cultivate their skill greater than mine in the same timeframe I was given. It demoralizes me to such a degree that I have to resort to drowning in alcohol. I’m fucking pathetic.
Why do I always find myself being compared to others by none other than myself? Maybe that goes back to the gifted thing. Maybe it’s the insecurities that rule my life (ironic, given the megalomania that’s being discussed). Maybe it’s the way our society has raised us, telling us it’s a “dog eat dog world”, and that the Darwinian principles of nature and competitiveness somehow apply to the anomaly that is human society. There’s a lot of culprits here, and my willingness to accept everything as my own fault has proven itself to do nothing but make things worse.
Y’know, I’m not really even sure why I’m writing this. What purpose does this little essay serve? Why do I feel the need to broadcast this to my astounding audience of the 50 people (if even that many read this stupid fucking blog)? I can’t really give an answer. Do I like to vent? Yeah. Do I think this offers any meaning to anybody but me? Probably not. Maybe you can relate. The constant cacophony of garbage that’s thrown at a person by modernity and capitalism might elicit revulsion from a few of you. ‘Cause I think that’s what some of this whole thing stems from. My grandeur is fueled by consumerism and the worst of Western values. Individualism can be toxic, forcing people to pigeonhole themselves into an auto-cannibalistic pit of dismay and shattered dreams. Not to say that being fiercely independent is always horrible, or that Western values are all trash (for the Tradcaths in my audience), but something about fervent self-reliance isolates the individual and poisons their soul. That’s how I rationalize what I’m going through. Sounds better than just “being a selfish and elitist asshole”. So to you, dearest and most treasured reader, don’t be like me. Don’t feel ashamed to revel in mundanity for a while. Don’t feel ashamed to merely exist.