My Brain is Trying to Kill Me

So I had this great idea for a comic the other day…

I realized that everything in my life was fine. That underneath all my depression & anxiety was a curious, passionate person who actually was quite a fan of life.

In fact, I thought as I walked in the rain without an umbrella, the only problem is my brain. My brain is trying to kill me.

The preferred pastime of my brain seems to be working tirelessly to convince me that everything is terrible, especially me. I don’t really appreciate it, but it’s also the truth of my current situation.

…So then I thought it would be fun to draw a little comic of my brain pointing a gun (or maybe a bazooka) at me. It was a cute idea, until i realized that I don’t know how to draw a brain OR a bazooka.

It sucks when your (lack of) skills interfere with your questionably brilliant ideas.

I mused about what to do for a while, then sat down and drew the comic anyway. And since I already told you what it is, you’re not allowed to say, “What’s that weird blobby thing?”

It’s a brain. It’s supposed to be a brain. With a bazooka.

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My Hero

Watching TV can be very productive. For example, on while taking in Jeopardy the other day, I learned about Arthur Schopenhauer, the ‘Philosopher of Pessimism.’

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I don’t believe in reincarnation, but if I did, I would think that he was me in a previous life. I’ve never felt so down-trodden and inspired at the same time.

I’ve tried radically changing my personality in order to enjoy life a bit more, but surprisingly that failed. My latest technique is to go full throttle into my negative, pessimistic attitude yet try to enjoy and be delighted by such depressing things.

“Unless suffering is the direct and immediate object of life, our existence must entirely fail of its aim. It is absurd to look upon the enormous amount of pain that abounds everywhere in the world, and originates in needs and necessities inseparable from life itself, as serving no purpose at all and the result of mere chance. Each separate misfortune, as it comes, seems, no doubt, to be something exceptional; but misfortune in general is the rule.”

-Arthur Schopenhauer, On the Sufferings of the World

 

A Sensible Life, Part III: The Best Advice I’ve Ever Heard

I’m sure you’re dying to know how my quest to find a sensible career is coming.

My subconscious has a tradition, whenever I am either in the midst of a significant life change, to give me extremely violent nightmares.

Well, lately I’ve been having extremely violent nightmares. They’re usually quite intricate, with a full-blown plot and lovable characters (who die gruesomely yet poetically).

And of course, there is one exception: sometimes I get violent, bloody dreams when I’m about to make an incredibly stupid decision. It’s like a helpful compass.

I may become a therapist yet…but not yet. Not yet. I have unfinished business to do first.

***

I sat down with my parents the other day, and kindly shared that I would still be needing their money, but for different studies that I had previously mentioned. It was something I’d never asked for money for before: something not sensible.

They just listened.

I said something along the lines of, “I’ve always loved art…and creativity… But this goes against every fiber of my being. I’m afraid that if I put money—your money—into schooling which has very little guarantee of a job after graduation, let alone a lucrative career, I will end up losing what’s really important: my money. And then I won’t be able to pay for rent, or food, and I’ll die of a combination of starvation and humiliation.”

Silence.

So I awkwardly filled the silence with, “A career is not something to fiddle with. A career should be sensible. Sensible.”

To which my dad responded, “I’ve always thought it’s best to have an un-sensible life and sensible shoes.”

Thank you, dad.

Sensible Shoes_1Sensible Shoes_2

 

A Sensible Life, Part I: Career Comparisons

12 Peter and Wendy - F D Bedford - 1911Lately I’ve been obsessed with becoming a “real grown-up” and choosing a career. But not just any career…a SENSIBLE career. One which has at least a 50% chance of leading to a “job-thingy.”

Should you be in a similar (sinking) boat, I’ve rated the following careers for your convenience.

I’ve personally considered all of these careers with relative seriousness.

Each job has been rated under the following categories:

  • Job Guarantee (after schooling)
  • Job Security
  • Job Respect (When you tell people what you do, do they say “Oh,” in that unsure, disappointed way or in that I get you, you’re a reasonable person who doesn’t take chances and I appreciate that sort of way?)
  • $$$
  • Glamour Factor
  • I Wanna Do That

The rating scale is from 0-100, with 0 being “this job has none of it” and 100 being “this job has it all, and I am a god of this earth!”

Jobs up for Consideration:

Therapist

  • Job Guarantee (after schooling): 81
  • Job Security: 82
  • Job Respect
    • If you wear glasses: 88
    • If you don’t wear glasses: 80
  • $$$: 78
    • Having seen a number of therapists throughout my life, I’m aware that they have a very respectable hourly wage. So respectable, in fact, I’d rather be a train wreck than pay it.
  • Glamour Factor: 66
  • I Wanna Do That: 66

Park Ranger

  • Job Guarantee (after schooling): 65
  • Job Security: No idea. I’ll say 64
  • Job Respect: 67
  • $$$: 38
  • Glamour Factor
    • For hippies: 78
    • For everyone else: 44
  • I Wanna Do That: 68

Lawyer lawyer-ruling.Billion_Photos.shutterstock-370x242

  • Job Guarantee (after schooling): 77
  • Job Security: 76
  • Job Respect: 96
  • $$$
    • As a Public Defender: 33
    • As one of those lawyers like you see on fancy detective shows: 100
  • Glamour Factor: 100
    • When you’re working the long hours and you can’t pick out which children are yours on the playground: 66
  • I Wanna Do That: No.

b88526235z1_20170110165215_000glbfdljq2-0-f90cirm0ctmucdtpjn2_ct677x380Mortician

  • Job Guarantee (after schooling): 89
  • Job Security: 94 (It’s a reasonable certainty that people will continue to die, no matter how long it takes me to complete my schooling)
  • Job Respect: 88 (“Sensible. Very sensible.”)
  • $$$: 63
  • Glamour Factor: 100
  • I Wanna Do That
    • Before I realized that most of the job was putting gaudy makeup on corpses and comforting whiny relatives: 99
    • After I realized: 44

Screenwriter

  • Job Guarantee (after schooling): 7
  • Job Security: 4
  • Job Respect
    • Movies that break the box office: 100
    • Movies no one’s ever heard of: 9
  • $$$
    • Movies that break the box office: 78
    • Movies no one’s ever heard of: 9
  • Glamour Factor: 96
  • I Wanna Do That: 92

Film/TV Director

  • Job Guarantee (after schooling): 7
  • Job Security: 7
  • Job Respect
    • Movies that break the box office: 100
    • Movies no one’s ever heard of: 12
  • $$$
    • Movies that break the box office: 87
    • Movies no one’s ever heard of: 6
  • Glamour Factor: 99
  • I Wanna Do That: 93

Whiskey_Fragrance_OilProfessional Alcoholic

  • Job Guarantee (after schooling): 100
  • Job Security: 100
  • Job Respect: 1
  • $$$: 0
  • Glamour Factor: 50
  • I Wanna Do That: 97

 

 

 

And so, we add up the scores of the choices above, and it seems I will be becoming…a broke blogger.

I knew it.

The Magical Solution to Everything

And that’s when I realized: If I wanted to survive, I was going to have to do something drastic.

I was going to have to…lower my standards.

Now, for some people, this is not a good idea. Some people need to raise their standards. But if you’re anything like me, your standards are impossibly high and anxiety-producing.

Nothing I do is ever good enough. I make lists upon lists of things I have to do, but I practically have to force myself into making a list of things that I have accomplished or that I’m proud of.

Part of the reason for this is because my hand already hurts from writing and I would rather relax than make another bloody list. On the one hand, it makes sense. But on the other, if I actually do take the time to reflect on what I’ve done and the incredible amounts of time and effort it took, it really is impressive.

Do I find it impressive? No. I just keep thinking that I could have done it faster or better. I dwell on what I didn’t do, or how other people are doing what I’m doing much better.

…but lowering my standards? When your standard is perfection, you’ve got nowhere to go but down. And when you finally take one baby step down, things start looking up.

I believe this “lowering of standards ©” can work in practically every aspect of life: exercise, personal hygiene, what have you…

So feel free to be amazingly inspired by this post. I could write more, but I think this is good enough, don’t you?

The Final Bow:

Sometimes you don’t exit on a high note:

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To quote from Monty Python:

“Life’s a piece of shit
When you look at it
Life’s a laugh and death’s a joke, it’s true
You’ll see it’s all a show
Keep ’em laughin’ as you go
Just remember that the last laugh is on you!”

The Adventures of Mark Anthony [part XII]

Mark Anthony were the best of friends in many ways. For one thing…

      Cast:

MARK: Anthony’s best friend

ANTHONY: Mark’s best friend

***

Mark and Anthony were the best of friends in many ways. For one thing, they always ate scones together on Saturdays. Unfortunately, this particular scone was stale and had a slightly bitter aftertaste. What’s more, Anthony reMARKed on how the whipped cream on his hot chocolate tasted like the milk was just slightly overdone.

 

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My Latest Ingenious Idea

I’ve been feeling absolutely terrible lately! And then I realized something…

  1. I thought I had to make art in a particular way
  2. I thought I could only make art when I was inspired
  3. I thought my anxiety, depression, and indecisiveness was getting in my way

And that’s when it hit me: make art about it! If I feel like I can’t get out of bed in the morning…make a comic about it.  If I’m struggling with feelings of inadequacy, write a terrible poem about it! The worse I feel, the more likely something interesting will come out of it, and the more people will relate to it, because everyone’s just a mess pretending to be an adult with her/their/his shit together.

I know this is perhaps the most obvious idea in the world, but I’m taking full credit for it.

It turned my worst days and moments into something interesting. Unfortunately, this idea made me happy, and everyone knows you can’t make art when you’re happy, so I’m screwed.

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