You’ve Arrived!

(fiction)

Notice to Recipient: You’ve Finally Arrived

All your struggles have ended. You efforts have paid off. Finally, after long last, you have received the rewards you so long deserved.

It only gets better after this. The pleasant surprises keep coming. Just when you think delight can’t get any more delightful, it does. Hoo boy!

You want to share the good news with friends and family, but then you remember that they might not have it so good, and you don’t want them to feel envy. There are too many of them for you to intervene in each of their lives and make them better. No, they’re going to have to find their own way, the same way you did, after all these years of wrong turns and outright stagnation.

No reason to focus on the negative or even remember painful parts of your past. That’s all behind you now! Forgive and forget!

The hardest forgetting you’ll have to do is to not dwell on the past. Your past mistakes can haunt you. Forgiving yourself will be out of the question if you dare dwell on them. Yes, you’ve squandered opportunities, let people down, been dishonest, acted like an addict. Let it go. Start fresh.

There’s a word for you! “Fresh.” Air that isn’t stale is “fresh.” Nobody’s breathed it before. A natural breeze has brought it your way. It might possibly be part of the “winds of change.” An atmosphere of hope.

But you can’t enjoy that breeze if you’re still repeating the same old routine. Tired routines are enacted in a sealed chamber, in dim light, often in secrecy. Open the door to that room and stride outside. Anything’s better than what you’ve done before. Any air is fresher than what you’ll find down there.

People like to think they’re more adventurous than they really are. They loudly lament boredom, but secretely crave routine. They want the comfort of the familiar spiced randomly with the unexpected. Not too much suprise, but just enough to keep things interesting.

And so it was in this mindset that Recipient-of-Notice Sherry left her house with the vague intention of looking for a job. Any kind of job, so long as it wasn’t demanding or laborious. The word “labor” gave her the creeps. She had the distinction of having been fired from every job she had ever held. Usually, this would happen at her thirty-day review. Bosses were diplomatic about it, often saying things like “it’s apparent that your talents lie elsewhere.”

Truth be told, she had no talents, at least not obvious ones. She was more of a customer than a content-producer. If you gave her money to spend, she could manage that, but her ability to earn money was quite limited. Almost zero.

She had once been engaged to be married, but they never got around to setting a date. His lack of enthusiasm grew as time passed, mirrored by her own. “Oh well,” sighed her mother “I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.”

“Huh” said Sherry, who was watching television.

“You and Brad were not destined to be together,” said Mom.

“Who’s Brad” Sherry, asked.

Sherry was rarely fully engaged by anything, even of her own invention. She was always acutely aware of how arbitrary all choices ultimately proved, how rarely anything really important ever came about. In an earlier era, one would have calleld her “jaded.”

Her mother Marge didn’t know what to make of her. She kept hoping the girl would catch fire and take a genuine interest in something or someone. After all, the girl was approaching thirty. No longer a teen or a college student. Youth could no longer be used an an excuse for non-performance.

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