“It’s better to be silent and a fool than to open your mouth and to prove it.” Hopefully this isn’t your point of view because I’d like to know who the fools are, just as long as there’s an equally vocal retort and opposition to unethical or unreasonable conceptions. Considering the human condition, we are all subject to reproach in our normal discourse. Here are a few facts about myself that seem nonsensical.
- I have trouble going outside. This isn’t to say I struggle with agoraphobia but it’s a combination between nerves, my lack of spontaneity, and desire for organized plans. There are times where I plan out an entire day of errands but when the day comes, I can’t bring myself to leave my apartment. Irrational thoughts flood my mind. I didn’t leave the apartment early enough and everyone will know how lazy I am. Why do I even have to do this today? The weather’s not great and I’ll feel under-dressed. What if I get to the store and they don’t have anything that I need? What if I make a fool out of myself when I’m out? How will I forgive myself if I do or say something stupid to stranger? If my roommate says he’s going out to dinner in 5 minutes and asks me to join him, I’ll always hesitate, even if I have absolutely nothing to do. Dinner? I didn’t plan this! What if something happens when I’m away? The majority of the time, I’ll reject these spontaneous offers. However, I do my best to challenge and repudiate each and every one of my anxious thoughts. I overcome them most of the time but I’d rather not deal with it.
- I constantly make unnecessary accommodations in order to avoid looking like a creeper. A caustically humorous acquaintance once told me, “As a single guy, you know what you do when you feel as though you just can’t creep anymore? You creep harder.” Although this cracks me up, I could never follow this exaggerated, borderline sarcastic, advice. In reality, he’s really implying is that it pays to be insolent, albeit not always. I’m arrested by anxious thoughts because I don’t want to be misunderstood. Here’s a couple examples: I do most of my reading on the subway and as every New Yorker knows, one is not always blessed with a seat. As I stand in the aisle, I’ll hold my book by my stomach and look down to read. However, if there’s a woman sitting down in front of me, in my line of vision (underneath my book) wearing a low cut skirt or a revealing top, I’ll raise my book to eye level so it doesn’t appear as though I’m looking at her. In all honesty, I’ll sneak a peak but 99% of my attention is on my book. Second example – yoga class. Having no knowledge about yoga, you can imagine how lost I was at times when I started attending a few classes. Ignorant to the vernacular, my poses were an embarrassment and I had to rely on others in order to correct my stances. Yet, I felt like a jerk for looking at someone up and down for a second to assess what I was doing wrong. True, in most circumstances, I’d be smitten by a room full of gorgeous women – okay, I was a little overwhelmed – but in this case, I wanted to learn and my methodological glances felt abasing. So, I memorize everything I screw up on and research outside of class. Well, that is if I can remember.
- I’ve asked “Can you keep a secret?” Lying is probably not below those that can’t keep a secret, so it makes absolutely no sense to propose this question. The same goes for when someone asks you a question, and your first response after a moment of hesitation is, “Truth?” No, they want your fatuous lies. That’s why they asked you a question; in order to never hear an answer. This is just plain dumb.
- I procrastinate. Edward Young said it best, “Procrastination is the thief of time;Year after year it steals, till all are fled, And to the mercies of a moment leaves, The vast concerns of an eternal scene…At thirty, man suspects himself a fool; Knows it at forty, and reforms his plan; At fifty, chides his infamous delay, Pushes his prudent purpose to resolve; In all the magnanimity of thought resolves; and re-resolves; then dies the same. And why? Because he thinks himself immortal. All men think all men mortal, but themselves.” This should be a prescient warning so that one does not end up losing more than one can bear. Yet, I keep delaying and procrastinating. Such a funny thing.
What senseless habits or thoughts do you have?
-Single Guy in NYC