Don’t you hate people who have everything together?
The ones who wake up every morning at 4 a.m., leave their perfectly tidy house, go for a ten mile run, come back and eat egg whites and a grasswheat smoothie. But no coffee. They don’t do coffee. They wouldn’t dare pollute their body like that. No, they derive their energy from fresh air, the sun’s rays and Upworthy articles. Or quotes from Mitch Albom books. Either will do.
Then they go to work, or class, and actually try to talk to you. About happy things. As if there’s anything good to talk about at 9 a.m. Certainly not on a day when you woke up late and your car wouldn’t start and your stomach is still churning from that gas station breakfast sandwich you picked up.
The nerve of some people.
But it’s a new year. It’s the season of feeling bad about yourself because you’re not more like those people. Maybe you’d be happier if you switched to a diet of exclusively quinoa and soybeans. Maybe you should take up jazzercise. That’s fun, right? Maybe if you start making better choices, people will love you more. Maybe you’ll learn to love yourself.
Maybe. But I don’t totally buy it.
The secret about health nuts and chronic overachievers is that they’re really a mess inside. Their buoyant personalities are propped up on a pretty fragile edifice. They’re obsessive, and luckily their obsessions are all things society rewards. But they’re still obsessive. They’ve discovered a truth we all know deep down: that the world is chaotic and unpredictable, and they’ve tasked themselves with the fool’s errand of keeping it all together.
Well, I don’t trust people who can’t let things fall apart a little. Sometimes, everything’s a mess and you can’t do anything about it. The universe spins from order to disorder and we can’t stop it — Newton, Einstein, Hawking and everyone else says so, and they’re a lot smarter than the rest of us.
Of course, if you want to, feel free to start doing the little things. Choose the stairs, eat an apple, go to bed early tonight and get started on that assignment that’s due late next week. Those will all benefit you. But don’t let a pursuit of perfection consume who you are. You don’t want to be like those people. They’re exhausting.
But still, try to take it easy on them. Not everyone can be like you.
William T. Perkins is a senior studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. How often do you exercise? Let William know by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.