My horrible no good, very bad week

Katie Smith, Editor- in- Chief

Every time I catch a glimpse of my reflection I’m surprised to see I don’t have more wrinkles.

Self-invented anxieties have deteriorated my body’s vitality far beyond its years – at least I feel they have. I expect to see liver spots, worry lines, battle scars – anything.

But I’m the same baby-faced individual that held back tears as a child every time I read Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. I always grew particularly emotional when his favorite marble is washed down the bath drain.

It was all he had, poor Alexander. Every day this week has felt to me like the shower drain swallowed my favorite marble.

When I was younger I felt bad for Alexander. I wanted to let him ride my scooter or lend him my favorite book; but as I got older, I’ve replaced my sympathy for him with a kind of resonance, and I’m not proud of it.

There is something about adulthood that makes everyone’s voice sound like a butter knife dragging across a porcelain plate. There are days I walk through campus and feel like I’m in a penitentiary where all my peers are rival gangs, and we’re engaged in an intimidation standoff.

Other days the accomplished looks of all my peers – with their homework stacked high under their neatly folded hands – make me want to stand up in the classroom and flip the table over in one magnificent, terrifying display of rage or catharsis. And I mean that. I estimate I fantasize about table-flipping at least once a week.

The remainder of the days I feel fine, and I’d like to think I’m even almost pleasant to be around. I’m just not sure when I stopped feeling sorry for Alexander and started feeling sorry for myself.

Our culture is one openly concerned with “The American Dream.” We are taught that our economy and politics have been designed in a way to make success attainable for anyone willing to put forth the effort, and when I think about that my marble goes down the drain.

I am realizing how competitive the world is; I see how many people abide by an “every man for himself” mentality, and I’m worried that I am becoming one of them.

I work in a room where a police scanner blares sad news in my ear all day and it absolutely affects me. If I’m not feeling bad about it, I’m becoming desensitized to it.

The truth is I have every reason to be happy with my life. For as many things that agitated me this week, I could make a list twice as long of the aspects of my life that are wonderful and promising. I make a subconscious decision, however, to dwell so much on minor inconveniences because I feel they hinder the level of success I am expected to strive for.

For our benefit, and the benefit of those around us, we need to make a conscious decision to check in with ourselves and genuinely feel thankful for our achievements and sources of cheerfulness.

Katie Smith is a senior journalism major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].