I’ll be honest: I feel a tiny bit better after writing that last post. I’ve probably gotten overly concerned on what Other People Think™. Looking at site stats is only going to end in heartache. I should probably deactivate the plugin, but it does occasionally provide me with interesting info. And after all, if this blog helps me even if no one reads it, then isn’t that still a net win?

Anyway, that’s not quite what I wanted to talk about today. I’d instead like to talk about what I think one of my triggers for this current Funk may have been. No, not lack of sleep. Not even growing discontent with my retail grunt employment. Both of those may be contributing factors, but I feel the big one is, paradoxically, hope.

But isn’t hope a good thing?” I hear the imagined voice of Constant Reader ask in my head. “Doesn’t it drive you to great things? Doesn’t it get you through hard times?” Yes and yes, it can do both. But one must not forget that hope is a feeling, and if one is having issues with those (like say, hypothetically, depression has left you feeling nothing at all like some sort of superpower), it can be quite a shock to your system.

You know how when you sit in one position for too long you get all sore when you stand up? Well, the same thing seems to happen to my mind with emotions. I’ve gotten used to just “getting by,” keeping my head down and trudging through my job as a retail grunt. It may not be getting me anywhere, but at least I’m paying the bills. Hope is like when Doc Brown shows up with his flying DeLorean at the end of Back to the Future and whisks Marty McFly away into a future that, while amazing, is also more than a little overwhelming.

You have seen Back to the Future, right? Otherwise that analogy won’t make much sense. Anyway, I’m just going to assume you have so we can move on.

Where was I? Ah yes, hope. Lately, I’ve been given more cause to hope than usual. I’ve had a few friends approach me about job opportunities, and it’s reminded me that my time in retail hell doesn’t need to be endless. But I’d kinda gotten used to the drudgery, and the aforementioned reminder has been a little shocking to my system. It’s also thrown into sharp relief how unfulfilling my job is at the moment.

And I’m not sure what to do with that.

As unintuitive as it sounds, hope and other strong emotions can be a curse. True, they can drive you forward, striving for change and accomplishment, but not without growing pains. And while it sounds really bad, I feel like I don’t have much experience dealing with things like hope. When I’m in the dark clutches of a Funk, it seems like there are far too many big decisions (grad school, dual majors in college, working retail, etc.) that haven’t panned out. This is definitely not the life I expected for myself as a 17-year-old high school graduate and overachiever. The real world has not been kind to my dreams.

That’s not to say my life completely sucks, of course. I’m lucky enough to have a loving girlfriend, time to indulge my hobbies and passions, an awesome circle of friends and family, and a job that pays most of the bills. But it’s been hard to hold on to hope against the crushing weight of reality.

I’m over-qualifying my arguments. That’s probably a sign it’s time to stop.