The Pity Party

You have decided to throw a party. Instead of music, you’ve got regrets pounding inside your head. Embarrassing accidents, wistful should’ves, and clever comebacks that are too little too late. Memories ranging from third-grade bullies to job rejections fight for your attention, but you are afraid of lingering on any one of them for too long as if you’ll relive those dull gray moments in technicolor. You skip from one thought to the next and then back around again like a broken record player on repeat, running on the emotional energy of negativity.

Well, at least you are alone. But not the good kind of alone. Not the alone you feel on those late evenings when the traffic has dwindled and you are driving by yourself through the suburbs, nestled in the safety of your car while the lights blur past you in warm hues of reds and yellows. Not the alone you feel between the bookshelves of the library as your eyes flicker through the rows of hardcovers until your finger softly settles on one slightly worn spine. No, this alone is pure, fearful loneliness – lost in the deep, dark, fairytale woods loneliness. Aching for a human presence outside of your imagination loneliness.

You feel as if the world has turned against you. You know that life isn’t fair, but hard works ultimately pays off, right? Injustice will be met with wrath? Karma will be accounted for? What did you do to deserve any of this woeful sorrow that countless dead poets have lamented about? Surely even the greatest writers in history couldn’t have put into words the emotional turmoil you are experiencing now. No, these emotions have only ever belonged to you, and no one could possibly understand how you feel.

This small and modest party has gotten out of control and now you wonder why you decided to hold it in the first place. Who thought this was a good idea? It’s not anyone’s birthday or graduation or baby shower. No appreciation or admiration or congratulations worth announcing.The guilt hits you like whiplash. This is just one selfish blowout focused on YOU. YOU were the one who sent out the invitation and YOU were the one to RSVP. YOU got yourself here.

But you never even wanted any of this in the first place, did you?

Maybe you should leave early. You’re exhausted and vulnerable by now, but, as the host and only guest of this party, you have the authority to call it quits at any time. You’ll have to clean up the mess, but it’ll be worth it. Sort through the jetsam and flotsam and salvage the valuable wreckage, leaving everything else to be eroded away by time. The process might take longer than you think and you might accidentally slice your knuckle on a shard of broken glass you didn’t even know was there, but you know that it too will eventually heal.

Besides, you’ve got bigger and better celebrations to throw out there.

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