Friday, January 10, 2014

Life in the Grey Zone

A bit of advice I dispense readily to friends about to wreck their lives is, "Don't start down any path that ends up somewhere you don't want to be." True, it's just common sense, but it's a tough rule to follow since many paths that seem benign at the outset will lead you straight off a cliff. Since I rarely take my own advice, I've landed in a heap at the bottom of said cliff more times than I care to admit.

Today, hoping to avoid another of those mishaps, I cancelled a scheduled interview for a job I didn't want. I did this in part because it's snowing and the roads are hazardous, and also because I have a cold and feel crummy, but the teeniest reason was a meek little voice inside me whining, "Hey, I don't want that dumb job." Suddenly I understood that if I went for it and got it then I'd have it and complain about it until I quit it and felt even worse about myself. I patted myself on the back for that, something I rarely have occasion to do.

If only our best selves were always at the controls, we'd all be in great shape and smile more. Sadly this is not the case, which is why so many people are angry, confused and at war with themselves. I count myself among them, mostly because of bad decisions I've made while wearing those rose-colored glasses that are so popular. Once they're off, however, things can look grim. If you ask me, it's better to not ever put them on and deal with reality, grey as it might be.

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