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i haven’t allowed my brain to indulge in neurosis the last few weeks. in fact, whenever an unwanted thought or emotion has entered my mind, i’ve extinguished it immediately. oh yes, i’m putting out brain fires all over the place. because we all know what a troublemaker my brain can be. and well, i’ve decided it's about time my brain knew who’s boss. that’s me, in case you were wondering. me, in charge of my brain, in charge of me. the ultimate m.c. escher.
brain: i’m starting to feel crummy.
me: no, you’re not.
brain: why aren’t you making excuses for me? i’m fragile.
me: because you’re trying to ruin my day. i just had a lovely moment of feeling alive and energetic two seconds ago. now you’re trying to bring me down.
brain: i’m not trying to bring you down. you are down. c’mon, you know it. can’t we go home and watch daytime tv together?
me: no, i’m not down. i’ve been feeling surprisingly well. and you’re not getting out of working today.
brain: (whining) but i don’t want to work. i don’t like it here. i should be doing something more meaningful.
me: what more can you ask for than being paid to write? this is your life right now, pal, whether you like it or not. so just buck up and face it. we could be doing a lot worse, you know.
brain: yeah (snorts) and we could be doing a lot better.
me: so make it better. isn’t it all up to you how you live your life? stop saying you’re too tired or too sad or “don’t feel like it” and you’ll be amazed at what we can accomplish.
brain: you’re starting to sound like a broken self-help record. (mockingly) “just adjust your way of thinking” “i’m good enough, i’m smart enough, and goshdarnit—“
me: you’re really asking for it, buddy.
me: don’t you want to feel better?
brain: yes. i guess so. but it’s so hard when the world thinks we’re not good enough. like that woman in your department that just passed us in the hall. didn’t you see the way she was looking at us? she thinks she's better than us. she’ll probably live a fabulous, successful life and hire you to write her biography or something while we’re still trying to figure ourselves out—
me: please. stop.
me: fine what?
brain: fine. she’s not better than us. she’s probably insecure a lot of the time, too. after all, you did just give her a funny look just then. so life is ok. we’re ok. we’re going to be great.
me: thank you.