Don't be the grumpy guy in line at Mailboxes, Etc.

I went to Mailboxes, Etc. last week and after that I started adding "Etc." to everything I said. Get dressed for school, Etc. Do your homework, Etc. Give me all your money, Etc.

It works for a variety of scenarios including highway robbery—if you're into that sort of thing. It also made me realize I would like to change my name to Elizabeth, Etc. 

Elizabeth, Etc. would be less confusing for everyone especially the people who can't figure out whether to call me Elizabeth or Esther. Or Elizabeth Esther. Or EE. It's totally a branding problem.

Elizabeth, Etc. takes care of that quite nicely. It encompasses all the iterations of my name, including my alter egos and various personalities that seem to appear when I'm manic. Elizabeth, Etc. Branding problem solved! I should go into marketing.


Anyway, the reason I was at Mailboxes, Etc. was because I had to submit my fingerprints for my new job. I don't know why, but submitting my fingerprints made me paranoid. I was like: "Did I commit a crime I'm not aware of? What if I have a secret criminal record that I don't know about and the FBI is just waiting for me to submit my fingerprints and then, WHAMMO, I'm locked away for 50 years without parole?" See, this is why I take medicine.

So there I was standing in line at Mailboxes, Etc. and there's this old dude in front of me who also came in to get his fingerprints done. But he was not happy about it. He wanted everyone to know that this fingerprint dealy-o was a "total racket" and that he was Very Angry About This Great Injustice. 

I was standing behind him silently judging him in my head: I think your real problem is switching jobs too frequently. Maybe try sticking with one job for awhile. Not that I have any credibility, here. I'm just the failed writer who can't seem to hold a job. But I try, friends. I try.

The Mailboxes, Etc. clerk was trying to be kind and helpful but the old dude just kept going on and on. Finally, the clerk was like: "I have an idea. Here's the number for the fingerprint company, you can call them and ask them to use the same set you submitted last time. It hasn't worked for anyone else but maybe it will work for you."

The point is, don't be that guy. If only because it's too exhausting. Why waste energy railing against the injustices of fingerprint systems? Maybe it's just me, but it seems like there are more important ways to spend my energy. Life, etc. Happiness, etc. Love, etc.

Let's discuss life for one minute. There's a little cliche I've come to despise. You see it everywhere. Plastered on signs. Hand-lettered on chunks of reclaimed wood. Stamped onto burlap garlands. LIVE. LAUGH. LOVE.

I hate that phrase. 

I realize it's supposed to cheer me up, make me think positive thoughts, maybe heal all my childhood traumas. But instead it just makes me ragingly mad. It makes me want to shout LIVE. LAUGH. BARF.

But that would be inappropriate so I don't shout, I just write about it on my blog.

Look at me turning into Grumpy Mailboxes, Etc. Guy.

I'm sorry, but there are just some things that should not exist. And that stupid phrase is one of them.

Do you know what's weird? Now that I'm all stabilized on my medicine, my brain won't let me freak out about stuff anymore. It's annoying. I miss freaking out. I miss my feels.

Except that while my medicine works on my head, it doesn't seem to work on my stomach or my jaw. Which is to say, the only way I knew I was getting nervous about my new job was NOT because I was having anxious thoughts—my thoughts were super chill—but because I had a stomach ache and I kept grinding my teeth at night. It's weird to have my brain on vacation while my body is still here in this REALLY OVERWHELMING LIFE. I miss having a full-being freakout. You know, where my brain is going a million miles a minute and my hands are shaking and my stomach is cramping and everything is working beautifully together to remind me just how awful life is.

Just kidding. I don't miss that. 

I certainly don't miss the mania. Or the crashes.

Life has become suddenly, rather boring. Is this how normal people feel all the time? I ask myself. Like, they just go through life without panicking over mailboxes, etc.? You guys, I'm turning into a normal person and this is very, very strange. I don't quite know what to make of my new normal. My family seems to like it, though. They have a No-Freak-Outs-Mom and apparently, kids dig that sort of thing. WHO KNEW. Life is strange, etc.


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