ChapStick

I capped a three-month personal journey in my life with a milestone today – something I’ve never done in my life.  

 

So simple, yet always overlooked. So trivial, this post borders on satire.

 

Even into my 30s, I’ve learned new things about myself that have stayed boxed up and packed away through the emotional fire and brimstone that was my 20s.

 

My worst habits have been inconvenient to myself, my checkbook, and quite often my partner. Things like a refrigerator door not closed, overspending on groceries that spoil or leaving things in my pockets as I toss pants into the wash have burdened my existence. Most are bred of pure laziness. Not laziness in a “the light switch is too far away” sense, but laziness in my ability to change or even mitigate my little bad habits that piled to form mountains.

 

“Look… I’m a guy” has been my blanket excuse for everything that irritates my partners until recently. How disgusting is that? Culture has driven me to think that sloppy, thoughtless, and often misogynistic behavior is allowed because I carry a Y chromosome. Sloppy, I’ve been able to defend to a degree. After all, Einstein’s desk was a fucking shit show. Thoughtlessness, however, has no fun anecdotes to justify it. It’s a dark cloud that grew more ominous as I got older.

 

Survival tactics from growing up in a single working parent household with an alcoholic and seasonal father fostered selfish and socially caustic trends, often too concerned with my immediate circumstance to care about anyone else. Thoughtlessness bred a lack of personal responsibility and that lack of personal responsibility manifested itself in poor hygiene, terrible eating habits, and a self-centered attitude toward relationships (expecting others to take care of me).

 

I brushed my teeth lazily and far less often than I should. I let dishes pile in the sink until flies started colonies. I very rarely folded clothes. This was a decade of my life. Not so coincidentally, it was the decade of my life riddled with let down and self-loathing.

 

A slow and sometimes painful evolution has been born of my renewed self-awareness. I’ve found that less is more. By ridding myself of things that did nothing but clutter up my life, I’ve found it easier to be responsible for the things that are essential. My closet has been cut by about 50 percent (still more to go) – but now my clothes are folded. I have four forks now, so I don’t have a choice but to keep them clean. Side note: who, outside of the Queen of England, needs more fucking forks than people under their roof?

 

It’s amazing how much tidier things can be when there are fewer things to tidy. It’s amazing the growth that can come when goals are set. I can’t believe what happened today.

 

Today, I finished a tube of chap stick.

Corey Hardy