Why you need to calm right the fuck down.

Your job is a never-ending mess of responsibilities and deadlines. Bills are stacking up. The dishes are a towering monstrosity threatening to topple your entire kitchen. You haven’t slept in a week. The dog is sick. Your family is coming to visit. The significant other is mad at you for something. That piece of shit Honda you’ve been driving just had its engine explode. You’re fat. The unhealthy burrito you were shoveling into your face was NOT structurally sound and just shat beans and cheese onto your last clean shirt. And to top it all off… you’re out of wine.

After you come to from your rage black out you’ve burned down your apartment building, eaten the dog and are naked in a gutter in Queens.

Seen it once, seen it a thousand times.

Queens: The Land of Naked Dog Butchers & Arsonists

Queens: The Land of Naked Dog Butchers & Arsonists

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Escape

My roommates revealed to me one day that they talk about the day that they will have to retrieve me from the woods.

I was confused. Why was I going to the woods?

My roommates told me that they had a theory that one day I was going to disappear in to the woods for seven years and that one day they were going to have to come find me and bring me back to civilization. They had even discussed my disheveled appearance and ragged but immense beardly creation extruding from my face. It comes up nearly once a week as “The Day We Lose Dylan To The Woods”.

The fact that my personality gives shape to the idea of a man who thrusts off the cloak of society and spends quality time working on his facial hair prowess in the wooded north is, perhaps, less concerning to me than it should be. I do, to be honest, fantasize about escape. But don’t we all? Of the very roommates who prognosticated my Thoreauish departure, two I have had to talk down from escaping their lives. One comes to me regularly with determinations to quit her job and get lost in Europe for a while or “just drive” through the U.S. and see what happens. Another I had to convince less than a year ago not to move back to Texas. Texas. No one wants to move to Texas. That’s like leaving the Bahama’s to summer in Satan’s asshole, it’s just poor planning.

I'm from Arizona, which is more like Satan's Droopy Scrotum of Sadness

I’m from Arizona, which is more like Satan’s Droopy Scrotum of Sadness

We, humans, almost habitually long to escape. But why? The old cliche of the grass always being greener on the other side encapsulates but doesn’t explain this urge. The urge the that you very may take hold when you’re driving alone late at night and see your exit rapidly approaching; that urge to not flip on your signal, not merge right, not drive the same road to the same home and the same life that you have. The urge to… escape.

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Tricking The Future

Humans are selfish. We think about ourselves a lot. When we judge by our evolutionary track record, this is awesome. Being selfish is the way to go. And honestly? Fuck everyone else. They can deal with their own problems. Right? Maybe. But sometimes that other person you’re telling to fuck off is you.

Huh? To put it another way, your brain treats Future You as a completely different person. I say all the time “That seems like a problem for future Dylan”, but I was always pretty sure I was joking. But I wasn’t joking. Our brains, according to Kelly McGonigal of Stanford University, have a disconnect between how we think of ourselves now and how we think of ourselves in the future. Scans of the brain have shown that different areas of the brain light up depending whether we are thinking about ourselves or someone else. Those of us with low “future self continuity” light up all the other people brain areas when they think about themselves in the future.

Present Dylan vs Future Dylan

Present Dylan vs Future Dylan

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