I do weird stuff. I do things that I know I shouldn’t do, in no small part because I know I shouldn’t do them. I spend a lot of time working on my mental health, yet sometimes I find myself poking and prodding at it the way that sometimes when I was a kid I’d dig my retainer into my gums just to have a say in how much it hurt. I motivate myself in weird, potentially slightly unhealthy ways because those ways appeal to my primal sense of competition and my lizard brain’s longings for dominance, sexual selection, and eating the flesh of my enemies (figuratively).
Perhaps to make you feel more normal, here is a list of some of the weird things that I do.
- Reading Yelp and Google Reviews of Strip Clubs
This one is purely a source of entertainment. It’s actually the best source of entertainment in the world. I have nothing but the utmost respect for dancers and adult entertainers and their clients. Nonetheless, reading these reviews will keep my sheltered, Midwestern, Catholic-school-graduate-self laughing until the wee hours. If you’re the type to giggle at naughty words and graphic language, then this is a raucous rabbit hole you should explore. See a world so often hidden from us vanilla folk without ever leaving the comfort of your home.
- Theoretical Lifestyle-Ing
I know you readers of certain self help books might look at this next tip and say “why spend time browsing (I call it ‘hypothetically shopping’) for clothing/gold-plated adult toys/premium grocery delivery services you can’t yet afford when you could be out working for them?” Fair point, but every second of the day can’t be active, and when you’re taking a break from being a boss bitch, why not just do a little planning for when you finally make it? I like to research the items that come up in my Facebook newsfeed because I know that Facebook monitors everything I do and therefore knows me better than I know myself, and better than anyone buying me gifts ever could. Establishing a theoretical, glamorous lifestyle allows me to reconcile what I want with what I have, making me feel like I have more choices in my life than I actually do, an important addition when you live within modest means.
- Researching Cosmetic Procedures but Then Never Actually Having Them
A punch cushioned by what I once considered to be the excessive amount of soft cartilage on my nose in a martial arts class ended my lifelong wish for rhinoplasty, but I’ll still cruise the internet for before and after pictures of any procedure relevant to what I perceive to be my body’s flaws. It’s a bit like the theoretical lifestyle thing, it just gets to fall under the banner of “research,” because of its medical connotations.
- Looking at Upsetting People’s Social Media Profiles
Now, this one is important. Don’t pick someone from way far off in your memory in whom you aren’t really invested, or someone who actually did something felonious to you. Pick someone you generally dislike, whose behavior towards you ranges from “mildly insulting,” to “inappropriate and offensive yet non-actionable.” I find that it’s even better if my dislike for this person feels like something akin to worry or unease. This way, I can often claim to do this just to “keep an eye on,” this person, but really this is a kind of emotional procrastination that allows me to pick something to be upset about rather than being upset about real, pertinent things that are in any way important in my life. Make sure to clear your search history afterward so you can lie to yourself about how “over it,” and mentally healthy you are. Bonus: if this person recently started a positive habit, like reading more, it can be great competitive motivation to do good things for yourself, as long as you do them more and better than whoever your upsetting muse may be.
- Interpretive Dance
Okay, only kind of. This is mostly just me, pretending I’m on the ice (retired figure skater here, no bless oblige), tube-socking it around my living room to whatever tear-jerker is currently on the radio.
- Frequent Self-Reflection
I’m a very big advocate of the benefits of becoming better acquainted with your physical body. I’ve been getting to know myself since I was sixteen and Ace Hood released the song “Body 2 Body,” and I will never stop. If you don’t know what I’m getting at here, the best hints that I can give you are that I am frequently late to things and that I often receive compliments on the luminescence of my skin. Guess what I do right before I go anywhere.
- Candidly Writing All My Feelings in My Diary
I used to keep a diary in which I tried to be euphemistic. I pictured my future great-great-grandchildren reading it in the twilight of this century, and, not wanting them to be scandalized by tatara abuela’s real thoughts and feelings, I would be consummately diplomatic and thereby miss out on a majority of the benefits of journaling. Your diary is your place to let loose and tell the world what you really think of each and everyone of its inhabitants before you slam the cover shut, hide the book in a new place in your apartment each time, and never tell anyone what you wrote down ever ever ever.
Well, there you have it. Seven strange habits of an off-kilter person. The truth is, sometimes I think even the most self-destructive habits are an effort to make our lives better, however misguided that effort may be. We’re all living for the day we finally shape up and stop getting in our own respective ways, but, maybe we can just sit back, scroll through Facebook, and enjoy the habits, good and bad, that make us ourselves.