There are many things that I hope for and wish for in this world. Among them, there are of course, the usual suspects. An end to war, hunger, discrimination, things like that. There are also many other, less lofty, hopes and wishes that I have. Like, for instance, for the Minnesota Gophers to field a competitive (much less winning) football team in 2010, or that Steve Jobs sees the error of his ways and decides to name the new Apple tablet after something other than a feminine hygiene product. Yet, high up on any list I might decide to make would be this: that someday, inshallah, I will be able to quit my frakking day job.
Now, bear with me a moment while I explain. I have had an extraordinarily horrible last couple of weeks at work. I won't go into all the details because it would just stress me out and bore all of you to death, so let's just say it was really icky and leave it at that. I would love to be able to blame all that horribleness on work and absolve myself of any responsibility in the matter, but if I'm really honest with myself I have to admit that I'm part of the problem. More specifically, Writer M e is part of the problem.
You see -- and those of you who are writers will get this right away -- I think about things. A lot. When somebody says something, I wonder why they said it. When somebody does something, I wonder why they did it. If it stopped there, you probably wouldn't be reading this, however, I have a problem. I think about things. A lot.
I don't just think about things, I ruminate. I think about what happened, and then I torture myself by extrapolating on it. What if I had said this in response? Or what about that? How does so-and-so feel about my reaction to the situation? Are they mad? How mad are they? What might they do? Who might they be telling? What would I do if they told so-and-so? (Let's think about that for a while.) And, oh my God, if they did that, would it mean they think this or that?
You get the drift, my friends, and oh yeah, it's sick. I'm sick. I can't turn it off. It runs all the time. It runs when I'm in the shower. When I'm eating. When I'm at work. When I'm in the car. When I'm in yoga. When I'm at church. When I'm in the can.
It -- is -- incessant.
I suppose, if I sit back and look at all this objectively, I could put on the glass half-full spin and say this sickness of mine is really a good thing. A strength. I, Shawn Enderlin, have an overactive imagination and that overactive imagination is going to lead me to great places. I'm going to write great stories and I'm going to do great things, and some day, by the Grace of God, I'm going to be able to quit my day frakking job and spend all of my time doing what I love, writing.
Or maybe not.
All I know, is that this overactive imagination of mine means one thing: I am, despite my best intentions, my own worst enemy.