I’m addicted to stress.
I only recently figured this out. I was looking in my mailbox freaking out over why a new kindle hadn’t arrived yet. Did the mail lose it? I needed it soon! What if it doesn’t show? It’s hot outside, so what if the heat breaks it? The roads are bumpy and so it could shake apart. I’ll open a box of shattered glass and plastic! How do I even use it when it gets here? It seems so complicated! But?! Oh no!? AUUUGH!
Oh God, I think I’m gonna die…
My friend, Janelle, who was on the phone with me as my poor little heart ran so fast you would think I overdosed it with ecstacy and Pixy Stix, finally brought me back to earth. “Garrett. Stop. Why are you stressing this? It’s not solving anything and nothing can be done right now. Just stop." Her voice was so firm and each word given so much importance and stacatto she sounded like a female version of Allen Rickman.
I paused a moment, more because my heart skipped a few beats and caused me stroke out for a bit than because of what she said, but I thought about it.
Why was I? It was in the mail. There was nothing to be done except wait.
I realized then that I wanted to stress out about this. The adrenaline would flood my body. A neurotic electrical storm would rip through every memory and thought to find any shred – any damnable hope – of a solution. Muscle cells would fire like pistons raging against whatever dilemma was at hand. Stress, for me, was my power. Fuel for destroying my enemies be they human, situational, or, apparently, the United States Postal Service.
You see, in my experience stress brings about solutions.
The saying goes that you shouldn’t sweat the small stuff. The people who say this, usually have a gross excess of time and money, or a sugar daddy. When you sweat the small stuff it’s because the small stuff usually has a solution. Something can be done to remedy the problem at hand.
For example, when your flight gets cancelled you go into overdrive. You run like a greyhound after a mechanical bunny to the next information booth. You fight everyone else at the airport. They are your enemies; competition for a limited number of seats on the next flight out. They must be destroyed. You plead, yell, cajole, seduce, bribe the poor kiosk lady for the shittiest, leftover seat. Simultaneously, you’re on the phone with a booking agent looking for a backup to that as you e-mail a competing airline for an opening just in case. In the end you might get a flight out and still get home in time to watch a new episode of True Blood.
Sweating the small stuff gets things done. It gets results.
Many of you might not call something like missing a plane small stuff. My belief is anything not world ending is small stuff.
My house burned down? Screw it. I’m going to Mexico. Nothing to be done about it. (This is an example my own personal world ending.)
A meteor careening towards Earth? The end of the world is inevitable and no Bruce Willis on a shuttle with an atom bomb to save us all? Screw it. I’m spending my time at a drug induced orgy and having unprotected sex with strangers. Not like I have to really worry about the long term consequences, right?