Sunday, February 16, 2014

Day XIV: Taxes Redux

I was a little loony yesterday. A little all over the map. There were normal, calm moments in the morning and afternoon, but by three: I was a goner.

Saturday started as almost all my Saturdays do. Wake the mind, brush the teeth, wash the face, wet the hair, beat the mug, dress the body. And off to Bull Run for a cap and some reading. After a few chapters, back in bed and playing video games until lunch decides to rear its lovely head.

I think this is where I started to unravel.

Kyle and I were having a difficult time deciding what we were feeling for lunch. We do this thing where we present thousands of different options to one another and never choose a single one. Instead, we ask questions back and forth, back and forth about what the other wants to do because indecision is our way of life. Eventually, we narrowed our options to three and somehow opted for sandwiches and beer at Republic.

Maybe it was the beer! Maybe that's when my mind decided that it had had enough sanity for the day. A little alcohol can do a lot of damage when you're already a tad frenetic.

Basically: I spent that afternoon in haze of different cartoonish voices and varying levels of volume uncertainty. Yelling, spinning, accusing, dancing, laughing, fake crying, posing--always posing--inquiring, moving, staring, running. I guess you could say I was "'-ing-ing" all over the place.

Luckily, the mail had arrived by the time we returned from Republic and the all-too-necessary visit to Magers and Quinn. The mailbox was full. And though my cellphone case was still conspicuously absent from delivery, at least the last part of my tax return puzzle had finally arrived!

Hooray! I thought. It's finally here! I can finally get all that money back that big brother has been so graciously holding for me since the start of 2013! Yes, what a glorious day it would be to see that fat dollar amount on my laptop screen and then inside the barren dungeon of endless fear that is my bank account!

Can you guess where this heading? I certainly didn't!

Preparing your tax return is easy. Handling the devastation afterward is hardly a blast. Turns out, when you just nudge yourself into the next tax bracket--the one right above the first level which I assume is titled "how the hell are you even alive?"--you set yourself up for hour-long phone calls complaining to your dad and a hole in your soul that was once filled by the promise of a few financially stable months.
Would a headless Josh get a better tax return? 

I came this close to only filing one of my jobs. But then that damn moral compass kicked in.


In these moments of temporary mind loss, I've come to the conclusion that being an adult is not for everyone. Much like firefighting or eating exotic foods or S&M, growing up isn't a suit that everyone can wear. I too often find myself wondering if maybe it's all just too much. That shirt and tie of responsibility and uncertainty just doesn't come in my size.

Of course, no one really gets a say in the matter. That's part of the ordeal. You're tested and spun through the ringer no matter what. If you come out standing on the other side, maybe you've done something right.

And then you die and, well, that's that.

I worry that this post might paint me as a money-hungry hobgoblin like so many of the terrible villains in our childhood stories. I'm not. But right now, it's getting me down. I'm human; sue me.

In too many ways, I am not ready to continue growing up. And this blog--a consistent countdown to the inescapable truth that you just have to--is helping me work through some of that anxiety. Inexorably, life keeps creeping on. Often, that's tough to cope with.

Somehow, you just do. Stubbornness? Drive? Fear? Whatever keeps the wheels of motivation in motion: I am thankful.

In. Out.

In. Out.

In. Out.

There. That's better.

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