self-improvement -> self-destruction

by elizaligon

If your experience has been anything like mine, people have probably put a lot of pressure on you to find something grand to do with your time in isolation, whether that be as simple as self-improvement or as complicated as writing the next King Lear. People have been posting to social media, discussing their schedules and diets and exercise. It all makes me want to vomit. Who do you think you are? Trying to make your “self,” or your “life,” “better?” It’s utterly  I N F U R I A T I N G. Join me in rejecting self-improvement. why should this break from reality be any reason to improve yourself? Join me in self-destruction!!!

I began this quarantine with a schedule. Just like many of you fools, I told myself I would be up by 9:30 and finished with school by 2:00 or 3:00 every day– living the dream. But that’s the thing about dreams– they NEVER come true. By the end of the first week, any semblance of a “schedule” to which I had once adhered was thrown out of the window. My sleep schedule now consists of naps throughout the day and night, returning to the circadian rhythms of my body. There are no rules right now because our whole construct of time can be set aside. We are no longer held to the labor-leisure dialectic established by capitalism, wherein “clocks” and “time” determine our commitment to our work. To quote a comment that I saw on a Florida weatherman’s Facebook post: “If no one had invented ‘clocks’ there would never be daylight savings time. Adam and Eve got along just fine!” 

I see a lot of people posting about their workout routines. I was like you once, telling myself that I would do yoga or take a run every day. My new viewpoint on this is that I hate working out, and I didn’t really do it before, and I sure as shit am NOT spending My Apocalypse doing fucking pushups. In many ways, I am happier now that I have accepted the fact that a stroll to the kitchen or run to the bathroom is the closest I will come to working out. It’s amazing, the peace I have found is worth the muscle atrophy. The further I melt into my couch or bed, the more I feel like a calm and patient Buddhist monk. Fuck it, maybe I am God himself.

I am not an apathetic being. I am not without goals or passions. My true goal for this quarantine is to cook (and eat) anything and everything that even slightly appeals to me. My cooking skills, my palette, and my stomach are all growing. I’ve never been happier. You might be wondering what’s on the menu. Tonight: a half-pint of Chubby Hubby (moderation) and a bag of Cape Cod potato chips. Tomorrow: homemade sweet potato gnocchi with a sage and brown butter sauce. It’s all about balance. 

I implore you to join me. Abandon the concept of a “better self” and accept the piece of shit that you know you are, deep down inside. Being a “better” “person” is for after quarantine. There will never be another time when you can save grandma by literally just J chillin by yourself– make the most of being alone! Plus, if this is The End of Times, nobody’s getting into Heaven at this point. If this is NOT The End of Times, you can make sure that your future opportunities for self-improvement are left wide open. Wear your sweatpants for napping, not working out. Put down the books and turn on the TV. It’s your apocalypse. You have control. 

Categories: eliza ligon, reflections

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