I complain a lot. I complain about where I am and where i’ve been; I complain about the weather and student loans; I complain about being unemployed and not having a life. I complain because I only see what’s right in front of me at this moment. There is no next week in sight, only here, now and the past. I don’t intend to complain so much, there is never any intention to sound annoying; it just happens. A frequent indication of my whiny ego is always in regards to what I studied in college (I studied English): So you want to become a teacher? My response is almost natural, I roll my eyes, sigh and utter the perfectly scripted phrase that I have been giving since May: “No. Not teaching. I’ve been looking into [insert broad, nondescript job title that will get the interviewer off my back].” I use this response because it’s easy.
That response, albeit subtle, is also a complaint. When you factor in tone and body language, you can tell that i’m not in the mood to answer the question. I’d sooner be anywhere else. The real response, the response that has been floating around in my brain for years is simple: “I want to be a writer. I want to write for movies or write for television or write a book or write a recipe to the world’s best snickerdoodle. In short, I want to write.” For years I have fought myself on when I would be able to call myself a writer. I have racked my brain to determine the amount of pieces written or the “successes” I would have to earn to garner such a title. To my surprise, the title of “Writer” is the easiest one to earn; you write something. Easy, right? Right.
My ability to write and to call myself a writer goes hand in hand with my ability to complain. Instead of needing to find a poor, unsuspecting individual to inundate with my tawdry problems, I can just write an article, post it online and share it with the world in under five seconds. The life of a complaining writer is easy. Well, it’s easy when you have no job, all the time in the world, and a whole library of quick-witted analogies and hyperboles to keep you company. Like I said, there is no intention to complain so much or to sound annoying; it’s just all I know.
I am twenty-three and I feel like I am thirty-seven with all of my “issues” that I write about. I don’t have many issues. I have written upwards of ten articles on my lack of a job, five articles on my failed relationships, and about a handful of rants that end with no message from which a reader could take away. I am twenty-three, I am young and I don’t have issues. That is what I often forget. Youth is supposed to be freeing and joyful and magical, yet all I do is write and complain and share it with the world. Why? Because it’s easy.
Easy is comfortable, comfortable is stagnant, stagnant is monotonous. Perhaps the reason I complain so much is to give off the illusion of a struggle. Perhaps the reason I complain so much is because I feel it puts me in the ranks of these people I admire so much. Perhaps I should stop complaining altogether; at least until I have actual problems to complain about, like a mortgage or loan payments. Oh wait, I already have that last one.
The future is terrifying and choosing what’s difficult is terrifying; these are the true terror that send shivers down my spine and make me pee my pants. It’s always hard to face these things when you don’t acknowledge them outright. Before then, they’re just obscure silhouettes of anxiety, ready to kill you. But they’re really there to make you grow up. They’re really there to push you forward and make you uneasy. Easy is comfortable, comfortable is stagnant, stagnant is monotonous. When all is said and done, I don’t want to choose what’s easy. Put as bluntly as possible, I’m going to pee my pants and as a writer, I am obligated to take you with me, every pee-soaked step of the way.