For every positively fabulous thing that humans have ever done on this earth throughout history, there has always been – and will most certainly always be – an equally disastrous counterpart.
Cure the common cold. Atom bomb.
Invent the plane. Crash it into a building.
Build up intricate, complex methods of communication. Tlk lyk dis.
Hamlet. The Secret.
Friends. Jersey Shore.
You get the idea.
However, one thing that never ceases to amaze me, is this long standing, natural human proclivity to procrastinate.
The story of “someday.”
Growing up, my parents had a philosophy that they themselves lived by puritanically. It’s not one, I don’t think, that they intentionally desired to imbue me with; but nevertheless, it was a way of thought that rubbed off on me. Kinda like a mosquito bug infects an unsuspecting traveller with malaria.
They taught me, through their actions that the day tomorrow will eventually come. And they taught me how to keep that day at arm’s length, at all times.
Some day, ma an’ pa each spoke, I’ll quit smoking.
Some day, we’ll renovate the downstairs.
Some day, we’ll travel the world.
Some day, I will read that book everyone’s been raving on about.
Someday, you, my son, will be a successful, rich, handsome, tall, man, who will change the world for the better.
Some. Fucking. Day.
First things first. Mum, dad, if either of you are reading this . . . hi! Please note that this is not really about you, per se, I’m just using you both as an example that a lot of people will probably be able to relate to. I could have used countless other objects of identification, but here we are.
Back to business.
Let me fill you in on a little secret, folks. Are you ready. Listen up.
Someday does not exist.
Someday is merely another way to say, “I like to comfort myself for my (self-perceived) shortcomings, and so, I contrive stories where the character I play will eventually fulfil all of my – ‘my’ meaning my very own – wildest dreams.”
It’s bullshit, folks.
There’s a funny story that my fifth grade teacher told me that, for whatever the reason, stuck to me closer than paint does to a wall.
It was this:
A man drove past a bar. Outside the bar this man saw a sign, reading, “FREE BEERS TOMORROW.” So the man made a mental note, and decided that tomorrow, he would drive back to that same bar to claim his free beers. The next day then, the man, jolly as a pedophile at a Wiggles concert (bad taste is my forte) jumped in his car, a smile beaming on his cheeks, and drove hastily to that bar (despite it being a Wednesday afternoon and his having successfully battled alcoholism for the past three years, five months, three days and twenty minutes).
Once he arrived at the bar, he walked inside, slammed his fist against the bar’s bench, and said, “barkeep? I’d like my free beers, please. Thank you, sir.”
The barkeep, who was drying off a tall beer glass with a ragged white towel, turned to the man, with a serious glint in ‘is eye, and said, in a matter of fact tone, “Sir, didn’t you read the sign out the front. Free beers are tomorrow. Come back then, ay?”
The man, confused, replied, “But I drove past yesterday. The sign was up yesterday. Tomorrow is the day after yesterday. Free beers are then today.”
The barkeep, not batting an eye lid, still wiping down the dewy glass, repeated his previous statement, and turned around to serve another patron dealing with foreboding alcoholism; an Irishmen downing shots of tequila, to be precise.
The man then, scratching at his bald head, picked up his sunken spirits from the dirty floor, and decided that he would again try his luck tomorrow. And so he did. And so the same happened again.
He kept going to that same bar for three years.
And he never got a single free beer.
Point of the story:
Write that book. Kiss that loved one. Ask that person you’ve been stalking for five months out on a date. Tell Jenny that you love her. Tell Fred that he’s an ass-bag and you’ve hired a lawyer to take him for all his worth. Book that round the world trip. Climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Lick a “poisonous” toad. Try something different, like an orgy. Have sex with an orangutan, just to satisfy your curiosity. Hell, bang a warm apple pie, just like the movie American Pie said you should.
And do it right now! Yes! Now! Because you can! Damn it! Screw someday. Make that day, today.
Or, don’t. Whatever.
It’s not like I give a shit.
Probably a much better idea to simply stop beating yourself up and relax, just for once?
Humans-are-dreamers. All dreams will eventually come to an end. And frankly, most aren’t worth the scurf off an ant’s back anyhow.
In light of the newly fashioned popularity this post has elicited, I’ve written a short – rather harrowing, rather morbid – story on this topic. Check it out, if you can be assed: Where Sanity and Madness Meet - don’t delay, read today!