If you're not already familiar with theoatmeal.com, first of all: shame on you, you're reading this crap and ignoring Internet GOLD? Secondly, allow me to enlighten you: The Oatmeal is a site that is home to a blogger, cartoonist, liberal-thinker, distance running enthusiast, and personal hero of mine. My uncle introduced me a few months back and I was quickly smitten (as is often the case with me, as I'm a total blog whore).
Anyway, in one of his most popular cartoons, The Oatmeal introduces us to the Blerch. He's a pudgy fairy-esque creature with beady eyes, a hairy back, jagged black twigs for appendages and embodies "all forms of gluttony, apathy, and indifference." He is relentless, constantly craving snacks, and always parking himself in the way of success. Sound familiar? I bet he does. I think we probably all have a Blerch. He resonates so well with people that you can buy a T-shirt with his face on it.
I have a Blerch. I'm not very clever, so I call him my Asshole. That's because he usually provides me with my excuses. And excuses are like assholes. You know, everyone has them, and they all stink.
So recently, my Asshole has been pretty persistent. He's been following me around carrying a jar of peanut butter and pelting some really convincing excuses my way.
He's like, Hey you, yeah you. You, with the obesity genes and the baby weight and the 13 jobs and the inability to sleep long enough to achieve the REM phase. If you think you're gonna make it to the gym today, you're even stupider than I thought (do you see what I'm dealing with here?)
He's there. All. The. Time. When I wake up, he's like: Listen lady, that combined 3.5 hours of sleep you got between feedings for that insatiable little monster is just not gonna cut it. Let's say you skip your workout, call in sick to work, send the kids to the sitter and just flipping *sleep* for 10 hours.
When I'm wrestling a crabby, half-asleep toddler into his clothes on a workday morning, he snickers at me and is all: Seriously, just quit your job(s) already. Then you and the kids can just lounge in your PJs and binge watch the Bravo network til your brain explodes. You can glue your ass to the sofa and OD on Real Housewives and it will be glorious.
As I drive to work, he pesters me the whole way: Egg McMuffin, Egg McMuffin, Egg McMuffin.
At work, he is generally ignored because I just don't have time for that shit. Unless someone brings in a tray of brownies. Go ahead fatty! Smash your face in the pan and start chewing! You deserve it!!
Every time I start assembling my pumping paraphernalia, there he is. Fuck it. Find a baseball bat and some gangster rap, smash this godforsaken contraption Office Space-style, and go buy some goddamned formula.
By the time I get home, he's laughing at me. You're a damn fool if you think you have the energy to do anything but zone out in front of the TV. Have you noticed? Even the *sun* has packed it in for the night.
...and so on and so forth.
Your Asshole/Blerch is probably just as terrible. He (I use the male pronoun simply to satisfy my inner feminist) may be either more or less vocal and either more or less successful in his endeavors.
I think that successful people find a way to silence the Asshole. Miserable people (you know them, they're the ones screaming at their kids in checkout lines, bringing bad juju to the office, and clogging your Facebook feed with complaints and negativity) live their lives as resentful captives of their Blerches; giving in to his whims and ridicules and left feeling abused and defeated. I wouldn't consider myself a 'successful person' per se, but I haven't quit my job(s), given myself type II diabetes by way of drive-thru and/or baked goods, OR beaten my Medela Pump In Style into smithereens (just yet), so I guess 'success' is all relative.
Here are a few tips I have found to be helpful in my efforts to mute that meddling little bastard:
1. Acknowledge his existence: if you know he's there and recognize his agenda (tear you down to his pudgy, pathetic, self-loathing level) he is easier to defeat. If you actually don't have an Asshole/Blerch, stop reading and consider us no longer friends because you're either A) in denial or B) too thin and wealthy and accomplished for us to ever get along (maybe your Christmas card video went viral last year?).
2. Give him an unbecoming name and appearance. I beg you to be more clever than me in this department...maybe consider applying the name and/or face of a particularly unappealing Ex?
3. Label him as public enemy #1 and vow that you won't rest until he is destroyed.
4. Recognize that he can never actually be destroyed --- the world is too vast and we are way too complicated --- but he can be silenced. And if not silenced, he can at least be ignored. And boy does it feel good to rise above the vicious taunts and ugly remarks of your own personal Asshole. Let his mean-spirited negativity fuel your fire for success.
So yes, my Asshole has been especially persistent recently. But guess who's been getting the last laugh? Since resolving to kick my dangerously appealing baked-good habit and rejoin the world of 'clean living' and non-elastic waistbands almost 4 weeks ago, I am down 8.3 lbs.
So keep talking Asshole.
I'm not listening.