Is arrogance thinking that you’re better than someone else? Is it thinking that you’re better at something than the next person? Is it acknowledging that you truly are better than others?
Arrogance. Narcissism. Egotism. They’re odd. Everyone knows someone that they see as one of these terms. Someone who thinks the world revolves around them. Someone whose presence annoys you to your very core. But what is it really?
It’s a question that more people should think about. I don’t think arrogance is inherently bad. It’s possible to be aware that you are better than someone in some ways, but not think that you are better than them. There’s a fine line that takes arrogance from a nuisance, and that line is ignorance.
Arrogance and ignorance. Words that resonate similarly. They should be synonymous with one another but they’re often viewed as different. Most think that arrogant people are ignorant. In reality, it’s the ignorant that are arrogant.
Someone who is arrogant and not ignorant sees their strengths, understands how they are better than others and uses that knowledge to advance themselves and the ones around them. Someone who is ignorant sees their traits, has convinced themselves that they’re better than everyone else, with or without proof, and tries to keep those around them back. The difference is intention; intention that can turn someone from helpful to hurtful.
No one should be ashamed of a skill that they possess. A unique thought that they have had. Unrestrained ambition that puts them above someone else. Being better is never a bad thing as long it is coated in modesty. Being better is only bad when it’s used to tell others that they aren’t.
“Turn the TV off,” she said. I know that we were running late already, but she didn’t need to tell me to turn the TV off. I’m not that easily distracted. I can have some background noise on if I want. It probably helps me work faster than otherwise, since being left to only silence is distracting all on its own.
I can work and have the TV on. I actually can’t believe she told me to turn it off. Does she really have that little faith in my ability to work at a moderate pace so that we can leave? Is that what my own abilities lead her to think? I’m just so incapable of accomplishing such a menial task without getting distracted, so she needs to create circumstances that I’m more suited for. That makes sense. I know I’m a screw up, but damn – I thought I could at least pack up in a reasonable time.
I’m steaming. We’ve been together for over a year now and this is what she thinks of me? She must think that I’m just the dumbest fucking moron to exist. If I can’t even convince my girlfriend that I can pack up with the TV on in the background, then I’ll never be a published writer or start a successful business. She’s the one that’s always supposed to be by my side, but she thinks I’m fucking retarded!
I know how I’ll get back at her. I’m not going to talk to her while we drive. That’s it. That’ll teach her. If I don’t talk then she won’t know how angry I really am, and it will eat her up inside. God, that’s a good plan. I’ll do that.
At mile marker 170, I reached out to grab her hand. I still haven’t said anything, but I don’t want her to feel bad about anything. I mean, I’m not malicious and I don’t want to be emotionally abusive, so I don’t get why I’m even doing that. I should talk to her, but I just can’t bring myself to do it.
At mile marker 160, I said hello like the awkward person that I am. I haven’t talked to her for twenty minutes and that’s the best I can muster up? Hello? No wonder she asked me to turn the TV off to pack. I can’t even apologize in a timely matter for being ridiculous. I should have turned off the TV. I should have known better. I shouldn’t have had it on in the first place. I’m the reason that we’re going to be late to Thanksgiving dinner. It’s all my fault.
I waited to say something again until the 140-mile marker. Fuck man, I know how stupid I’m being, and I can’t stop it. I don’t get why she puts up with me. I was so angry like thirty minutes ago, and now look at me. I’m never going to become a good writer since I can’t even focus if the TV is on in the background. I’ll never create a business. I’ll never be a good boyfriend. I can’t believe I’ve lasted this long, but all good things come to an end someday.
I should just kill myself. I’m a burden to everyone that I know and love. If I disappeared overnight, no one would care. My writing would perish and so would all of the other work that I’ve poured my heart into, but it’s for the best. I don’t get why I even try to do something with any amount of passion or ambition. I’m a nobody and everybody knows it. If I killed myself right now, it wouldn’t be through selfish means, that’s for damn sure. I would do it because it would make your life better.
I find it interesting. The first thing that my creations did was develop time. Even the very first ones knew about time before they discovered time.
I have never had the privilege of feeling time. For me, nothing ages: It just changes. The grass that grows. The creations that evolve. The planets that harbor life and destroy it just as quickly.
Time is just a concept. I have no need for concepts.
The most interesting thing that they always do is create religion. I knew it would happen, but it still amuses me. There are many different religions. They are all so wrong.
Why would they assume that I value them? It is laughably arrogant. They worship me. They think I will help them; save them. They are blind by hope. When they get sick, they pray to me. Ha! I am the one who made them sick in the first place. I should have made a smarter species.
I am so bored. I do not know why I continue to create. It is such a waste of “time”. I cannot share it. I cannot admire it. When I try to design something new, I already know what it will do. Not only do I know, I have already witnessed it before. An infinite number of times, with an infinite number of different combinations.
There is one thing that religions always get right. I am all knowing. What is the point in being all knowing if it is always the same; never a surprise.
I have tried to surprise myself. I have tried to create super beings and I have communicated with them. But I developed their body. Their mind. Their consciousness. What they create, I created. It is so boring.
Maybe I will change them again. I did once before on this very planet. In this very universe. The only choices that I have are from my own thoughts. It gets so repetitive.
I could make another god – but I know that ends. There can only be one. That is how I was created. I do not think I am ready for that.
It is odd. The one thing that I do not have the power to do is simply stop existing. How ironic is that? The all-knowing god cannot find out how to stop existing.
Why am I even thinking that? I am being ridiculous… Right? I can do anything that I please without fear of failure. Any one of my creations would love that privilege. But would only need to tolerate it for a set period of “time”.
I could make… No. I have already done that. I could change something: The laws of physics maybe. But I have already done that before too. It just creates instability in the universe. Then I start again. I am so bored.
What could the new god be? If it is less powerful than I, then it is just another predictable creation; a demi-god of sorts. If it is equal strength, then there is no point. We will be identical. If it is stronger then I vanish immediately. They would have full control. I certainly did.
If the stronger appears, my creations disappear. But that does not matter. With the infinite knowledge and options, the exact creation will be designed again.
I am simply another past god’s creation. I am nothing special. I will vanish as quickly as my creations. Even as a god, I feel just as insignificant as anything else.
Which is why I have decided to create another god. A better god. A god that will take the burden of existence and pass it to another after an infinite amount of “time”. A god that will allow me to forget my boredom. But in the end, they will just be another creation.
The river was calm, no ripples, sailors or storms. Finding it was serendipitous. I stumbled into it with no intention of getting in, but then I was in a boat, drifting down the coastline with no way of knowing how fast or slow I was moving.
The water looks like glass with no reflection. When I dip my hands in the water, I can feel movement but the surface holds on as if nothing entered or exited. The sun is nowhere to be seen. Temperature doesn’t touch me. It could be blistering or icy, but I can’t feel it. All I can feel is the water when I choose to touch it, but it never seems to touch me. I feel like I’m raping the serene surface, taking its purity and virginity away.
The boat confuses me. It has a sail, yet no paddle. There is no breeze but we’re moving, and the sail seems to hold air. There is no trail behind me. The water becomes calmer with each passing moment; something I didn’t think possible.
I’m being shipped around with no way of knowing where I will end up or when I will end up there. With each passing moment, whatever was behind me disappears further. I’ve never seen back farther than I am right now. I don’t miss where I was, but I know that it’s over. I will not cherish the journey or regret the trip. All I can do now is be carried away by this odd, uncontrollable and unexplainable river in a boat that I don’t remember getting into but was forced into nonetheless.
I am often caught off guard by people that only critique and don’t create on their own. When I watch a movie or show, read a book or play a video game, I always leave wondering what I could have done differently and potentially even better. I want to create a world that people can explore on their own. I want to create a world that I want to be a part of, instead of imagining that I’m part of someone else’s baby.
Oh, how I used to long for the days where I had nothing to do. I loved sitting around and dedicating my focus to useless things that can only be described as a waste of time. It was one of the only things that allowed me to truly enjoy the time that I had to myself, perfectly content with the lack of action.
Now when I sit down with nothing to do, I know that I am wasting my time. Why should I be doing nothing when instead I could be creating something that either myself or another can enjoy? I don’t count any of my time as free because I always have another project to focus on: one that is more fulfilling and potentially productive to the world.
Why do you think I am writing this? It’s not because I was assigned this task by a classroom or an employer. It is because creation and imagination are a gateway to a world that most people forget as they grow up. This world, full of endless possibilities that nothing but time can limit.
If I must choose between only enjoying other people’s creations or making my own, but no one will ever see them, I will choose the latter. Sure, I would never see some of the groundbreaking pieces of entertainment that have been created, but that’s okay. Creating something will always be more rewarding.
Whenever you hear an amazing song or watch an amazing film or see an amazing piece of architecture, I hope you’re filled with inspiration to make something great, instead of admiring it and leaving it behind.
Keep your eyes down. Keep them away from those that you pass. Keep them where no one can see what’s inside of them. Keep your eyes down to the ground.
Don’t dare to look up. Avoid confrontation form a passerby. Avoid the uncomfortable feeling of having your eyes meet with a stranger. If you keep your eyes down, you’ll avoid all of the discomfort and simply watch where you’re walking.
Watch where you’re going. Stay out of everyone’s way. Don’t touch their shoulders. Don’t do anything that will make you stand out. Don’t draw attention to yourself.
I’m not afraid of looking up. It’s just unpleasant. When you do look up, you see into people’s blank, expressionless faces. You see through the shield that they put up when they’re with people that they know. Their defenses are lowered and what takes their places are raw emotion.
When I look up to see this emotion, it feels relatable… and that alone is depressing. When I stop to really look into these stranger’s eyes, they’re no happy than I am. They’re just going on with their lives in the same way that I do, with the same existential questions that I have. When I truly gaze into their face, the gateway to the soul, all I see is the same sadness that I have.
When I see the eyes of people older and younger than me, I become aware of the never-ending escape from the misery that I feel every day. People everywhere deal with the same issues that I have. To some, that may feel comforting; knowing that nothing will change and that you are as happy as you will ever be. For me, it is a rude awakening – an awakening that makes you consider if it’s truly worth seeing tomorrow.
But if I keep my eyes down, it’s easier to pretend that tomorrow will be better. If I avoid these blank stares that remind me of the inescapable future. If I simply avoid looking anywhere but my feet, I’ll keep the illusion that it will all be okay within my reach.
“Reading this one gave me a pretty good understanding of what it feels like to have a stroke.” – Kyle
Do you hear the sounds? The way the orchestra plays in the back of your mind is like a train smashing into the side of your car. The way the notes tickle your inner ear, making you dizzy to the point of nausea. It’s trying to tell me something, but I can’t figure out what.
The piano is thumping, and the keys of the drums are ringing. I can hear the way that the bass drum thuds on the strings. My violin sounds like a flute and the trumpet sounds like an oboe. I don’t know what it means but the confusion feels like ecstasy. The way the dancers sing, and the choirs slide around the ballroom. It all makes sense but it’s all so wrong.
Climb to see higher and understand the room. The room is on fire, but the furnace is an icebox. The freezer is a chair and the meats are on the sofa. People are ablaze, but the pool is full of snow. The oil below is lit but water spews like a geyser. The trombonist is in a bathrobe while the Tibetan monk is in the shower. Nothing makes sense except for a dollar, but my wallet is full of kittens, not currency.
The meat stands from the sofas and dances with the monks. The steps keep going on and on, ever reaching and fruitful. The banister’s are carrots and the stairs are hermit crabs. The room is confusing and the writing on the walls is moving like ants. The words move to spell out what you’re thinking, but you don’t understand your own thoughts. The bass drum play’s Clare de Lune and the piano plays a jazzy hi-hat.
The stairs disappear but they still exist. Nothing is true, but all is accurate. I step higher until the beauty rips me down from my pedestal. I am the flower while the petals are the confused. They fall one at a time. They love me. They love me not. They love me. They love me not. They love me. The money in my wallet purrs like a jet plane’s engine and the kittens play with the dancing choirs which were nothing but yarn.
When depression and anxiety hit at the same time that you’re working on a project, time becomes a very unwelcome enemy.
The chimes of the loyal timekeeper echo through the halls, vibrating my bones. It’s midnight again. It’s midnight again. It’s another midnight. Another entire day of nothing.
When all else fails, I still have the bells of my six-foot master. When no one is around and nothing that I’ve done brings me feelings other than sorrow, the clock always reminds me of where I fall; between the clutches of sunlight and the strangling’s of night.
They bring me a sense of empty contempt. I’ve made this simple, inanimate creature my nemesis. For far too long it’s dictated my life, telling me how to live; how to exist.
It controls me, stealing my remaining sense of calm. Every midnight I wait for its lulling, infuriating ding-dong to command me to sleep. It talks to me. The optimistic sounds conveying that tomorrow will be better…the tomorrow will be better.
But I know all too well that it’s a lie. The optimism isn’t real. The chimes are inaudible when the deafening silence of anxiety take hold. The optimism is gone. The hope ceases to exist.
Even the clock leaves me alone. I thought the one constant was this simple, reassuring ticking and tocking.
In time, even the grandfather clock leaves you alone, to sit in an endless cycle of midnight.
I was told that it was treatable but yet, it’s eating me alive. I’ve tried medication after medication and nothing seems to work. It’s hard not to lose hope. With no chance of relief, what’s the point?
I feel like I’ve lived a decent life. It’s not as long as I thought it would be, but it was still okay. Sometimes I think it’s a little unfair that I’m the one that got this… thing, but I think this is just how it’s meant to be. I think I handle it better than most people so if anyone was to get it, maybe it’s best that it’s me.
The doctors say that the medication will help but that’s just a lie. It’s not their fault. They don’t know any better. They just prescribe the medicine that someone else made. It does surprise me that after around eight years of college, doctors are just pushers for some pharmaceutical company’s product, but I’m getting off topic.
I don’t know how much longer I have left. I think it’s kind of up to me at this point. If I keep powering through, it might get better… but if I keep powering through and it doesn’t, then I’m right where I started, except maybe a little bit more exhausted. If I give up then I get the promise that at the very least, I don’t feel the painful decay of my body and mind for any longer.
But I won’t bother with any decisions today. I’ll keep powering through. It just wears more and more. Every day different than the last. Maybe tomorrow will be better. All I can really do is stay optimistic. But what’s the point of optimism if it all ends in the same thing.
The doctors say that a positive mindset is all I really need to keep going. But what do they know. I’m sure their lives aren’t anywhere near as bad as mine.
The voices clang harder than someone chewing with their mouth open, breathing like they just ran a marathon or the vibrates of an unsilenced phone. They ring in a way that causes unbearable stress. I can do nothing but leave the room until they stop bickering and barking at each other, aggravating me more than any outside annoyance.
Get out. Get out. Get out! Why won’t you let me think for one goddamned second! Just let go of me. You do it so easily for everyone else, why can’t you do it for me?
You let everyone else go faster than a lightning strike, but for me you linger. You stay and dangle a string before my eyes, always distracting me from what’s really in front of me. There’s always something else. Always something that keeps me from what I really want. You’ve done it for so long that I don’t know what I want anymore.
It’s a sick game for you, isn’t it? Just seeing what you can get away with before I snap? Seeing how far you can get and how many buttons you can push before I give in to you. You want me to suffer and I don’t know why.
I would give anything to know why you do it to me. I always thought that you were the one place I could go when everything else abandoned me, but instead I feel more alone than ever. And it’s all your fault.
Even now, you taunt me. I don’t know why you have this never-ending ambition to ruin me, but it’s working. Is that what you want? Is that it? Then I fold. I give up. I’ll try it your way for a little bit, but I don’t think it’s going to be helpful.
Why would it be? I wish I could escape you for just the smallest bit of time imaginable. Whatever you are trying to do to me, just stop or pull the trigger. Why do you force me to struggle more than anyone should ever need to? I’m not special. I know that I’m not special. So please, for the love of god, just let me go.