Chill the F*ck Out

You can’t breathe these days without offending someone. Even if you’re not gobbling down a garlic-onion bagel slathered with three-day-old, clove-laden lox.

Our tech-centric lives have transformed us into sponges, absorbing absolutely everything that spills out of the television screen, off the sidewalks, through conversation – even from eavesdropping. There’s very little that we don’t soak in on a daily basis, about which we subsequently have a complete, utter meltdown that’d rival a one-month-old screaming about diaper rash. For instance, I’m sure anyone with kids probably just blew a gasket because I clearly don’t have kids, so how dare I even joke about such things. But there’s a fairly reasonable way of counteracting this overwhelming, omnipresent rage.

Take a hearty, deep gulp of chill-the-f*ck-out cocoa topped with a dollop of perspective.

Whether you’re getting ready to hit “Enter” on yet another reply to a thread from your high school chum who recently posted some racist, homophobic, classist, transphobic, misogynistic crap on Facebook, or your gaping maw is about to tell that hipster that their skinny jeans are too tight, just don’t – it’s not worth it.

I say this as a pretty high-strung person who, for most of the last decade, defaulted to anger and angst rather than letting the gross, trashy parts of life stay in the can where they belong. That junk can’t bother you if you leave it be. So don’t revert to being some silly dumpster-diving raccoon reaching for a deliciously old morsel to quench your momentary appetite for drama.

I don’t know about y’all, but my spongey self is saturated. Rather than continuing to bloat from all the stuff pouring into my consciousness, I’m starting to French-press the bejesus out of my life – letting only the good, strong, sustaining bits stay in; everything else can pass through my mental sieve and get poured into the garbage disposal.

This slurry of negativity has been swirling around in my mind long enough, completely inundating the things that I felt proud were parts of me. My artistic side has been eclipsed, my writerly bent completely blocked; but instead of doing something proactive about any of it, I’ve just channeled more negativity – attributing my gradual loss of grip on those things to the inevitability of aging.

I’m not ready to throw in the towel yet, though. I’m not 100. I have plenty of life left to resuscitate the right things – choose to clutter my mind with beauty and inspiration, not depressive minutiae, the flotsam and jetsam from my workdays.

Because life is a lot more enjoyable when you chill the f*ck out, and let the good in. Or so I’ve found.

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