I’m writing this on a Monday. As everyone knows, Monday is the red-headed stepchild of the weekdays. It is maligned, cursed, kicked around, and when it’s over, people cheer at its departure. And I partake regularly of this abuse.Some Mondays feel like any other day of the week. Some Mondays feel like Mondays (you know what I mean). This was one such Monday.
It’s this kind of Monday that affects your perception of everything that happens during its 24-hour lifespan, and of life in general. It could either be with a weekend-leftover stupor or a back-to-reality clarity.
On an average day, with an average amount of work and average problems, you kind of move through your day (or, in my case, incarceration) with a certain confidence and ease based on familiarity. You know how to balance that average work and deal with those average problems. It becomes rote after a while. You go on autopilot.
But a day that heaps more than average work on you and lobs unusual problems at your head, it makes you have to think about what you’re doing and where you are.
If you’re relatively content with your working life, then it’s a good thing to wake up now and then and shake the cobwebs out of your brain by tackling new challenges and troubleshooting problems.
If you’re unhappy with your working life, however, it’s an entirely different matter. It’s easy to become complacent at a job when you’ve become comfortable with the work and the procedures you have. Even if you hate the job itself, in that comfort zone, you can click your mind to autopilot and just make the moves you always make, hoping that the day will go by quickly and painlessly.
It’s when the unusual circumstances and particularly heavy workloads come around that you become reawakened to your surroundings and circumstances. When that happens on a Monday, it’s a brutal slap in the face. Anger, resentment, bitterness, depression, and angst all plot against you to turn you inside out and gut you like a fish.
It’s those kinds of days, those Mondays most of all, when I’m grateful that I have a creative outlet to pour out all of my frustrations. Every stupid person, every fucked-up betrayal, every soul-crushing task I’m forced to do ends up in the primordial ooze of my brain from which emerges something shiny and new. My writing contains the angst, frustration, and anger of my everyday life—maybe not the exact circumstances, but the emotions that result from them. My writing also reflects my hopes and dreams for the future and my fantasies of what I wish my life was like. That’s probably true of most writers, at least to some extent.I came to the conclusion a while back that I have no control over anything in life. No one does, really, no matter how much you plan. The one and only thing I have any control over is my writing. In fact, I have 100% control over it. It’s wholly my creation.So, when I want to scream about my ill-suited job, insulting salary, demeaning bosses, and exhausting commute, I turn on my computer and scream silently with, and into, my words. Words are really all I have, and I wield them the best way I can. Sometimes I use them improperly, or too strongly, and that comes back to me to punish me. But when I use them well, they’re my salve.I sometimes wonder what would happen if I lost my ability to write, for any number of reasons. I imagine I would have to get a punching bag, because life without an outlet would be bad. Very, very bad. For now, though, I’m writing, and the stupidness around me is all fodder.