Hey second puberty, Do you ever feel like the unluckiest person on the planet? Like everything bad that can happen at the worst possible time happens to you? From the light going out when you have to run the washing machine to the computer dredging up errors when you're on a new job deadline to the parents having a fight at your lowest point. Was Murphy's Law made solely for me? Should I stop believing this? And how? How do i stop the world's constant kicks in the behind from bringing down my motivation and will to do anything at all?
To answer your very first question, yes we do.
It’s easy to feel like you are the only one struggling to survive the hellscape of existence, especially when everywhere we look, we see people fully incharge of their lives, in perfect homes, with perfect families. Even though we know social media incentivizes presenting the most exciting version of ourselves and is largely an inaccurate depiction, repeated consumption of these known lies can still trick the brain into believing that life is especially cruel to us.
Even in fiction, the hero's journey almost inevitably concludes in some sort of permanent unchanging happiness. Hell, they never face inconveniences that are not a part of their greater story arch. There is no scene when a magical creature appears and says “the light went out as you were running the washing machine because you are the chosen one!”. In real life, shit happens for no reason and it purely sucks .
Additionally, society specifically discourages sharing small and home-life struggles. No one openly talks about how our parents worry about the electricity bill going up in the summer, how we instinctively answer “fine” to “how are you”s even when we are not, or our generations best kept secret - parents not getting along. These are “ghar ki batein” and should be kept inside the house. Ultimately, these secrets leave us isolated.
We know you know Murphy’s Law doesn’t solely apply to you, but we would like to present you with an alternative concept: negative filtering. Negative filtering is a cognitive distortion or “thinking error” which makes one ignore all the positive/neutral events in one's life and hyper-focus on the bad ones. We bring this concept from psychology up only to tell you that what you may be experiencing is a real, well-researched phenomenon that many people go through.
You can’t stop the world from kicking you when you are down, but there are a variety of concrete ways you can pick yourself up faster. Meditation, spending a defined portion of your day doing something you enjoy, calling up a friend or two who you trust to relieve general stress are all activities we can recommend!
Lastly, if you are open to the idea and can afford it, we would recommend talking to a counselor. We are very pro-therapy and seeking professional help at TSP, and have done it ourselves! It doesn’t mean something is wrong with you, just that it helps to get an outside view from someone who is trained in walking people through the tough parts of their lives. We recognize that it can be an expensive option, but there are some free services (especially in major cities) and counselors who do pro-bono work.
We hope our answer gave you some comfort and want the future to bring us a “lucky-urchin”.
The Second Puberty