I’ll be honest, I have been a miserable bastard lately. 2019 hasn’t been a great year; we started on the wrong footing and have never quite been able to get right. The hits have just kept on coming. Every time I think things are about to turn around, something else comes and pulls the rug out from underneath. It has taken a toll on my mental health.

Part of it is my fault. I don’t like to see the people I care about hurting. So, if I do see it, I try to help them out. No one will ever mistake me for a bleeding heart, but things do weigh on me when I see someone struggling.

I am also willing to give the shirt off my back for those that I care about, and I am probably one of the most loyal people that you’ll ever meet. It takes a lot for me to cut someone off — I really hate confrontations — but once I am at that point where I am finished with someone, I am done 100%.

Much like The Hulk, you don’t want to see me when I am angry.

My current list (which can fluctuate day-to-day) of the biggest pet peeves:

  1. People who stop and/or block walkway. I hope there is a special place in hell for people who are so thoughtless and block other people from being able to walk or even getting around them to do whatever it is we need to do. And I’m not even talking the asinine walking trend started by “Sex and the City.” That’s a pet peeve for another day.
  2. Dumb people. I’m not talking about run of the mill dimwitted people, or even those that I like to refer to as “not the brightest crayon in the box.” I’m talking about those people who continually ask stupid questions (yes, I’m sorry to say, there ARE stupid questions) when they should already know the answers to their own questions.
  3. Douchebros. I don’t know if this was a word already; if not, I am trademarking it. These are those bros who take their bro-y ness to levels that make you feel like you are losing brain cells listening to them, and you can just feel the STDs and toxic masculinity oozing off of them.

Never fear friends, I’m not just here to rant at you today. Oh no, I know better than that.

No, because quite frankly, I’m too tired. This situation has become untenable. I can’t maintain it. I spend way too much time tensed up or annoyed, even downright miserable. It’s not healthy for me or any relationships in my life. I have come to realize that maybe the problem is just that I expect and care too much. So, I’m trying a new approach this summer.

Last summer, I was determined to have a fun summer, so I instituted the #summerofjake (the name most of my friends call me) hashtag. I made sure that there were fun things planned throughout the summer to make it one of my most fun summers ever. It warranted its own hashtag, because once it is a hashtag, you know it’s a thing. Sorry, that’s just the rules of social media.

This year, I’m taking a different approach. I’m having the #summerofme. You see, while 2018 was about creating memories and trying to revitalize my soul; summer 2019 is about nourishing it. For almost a year, every turn has been emotionally and mentally exhausting. It’s like living in an emo remake of “The Lost Boys”, with emotional vampires just trying to drain me dry. Whether I try to do something nice or just am trying to have a nice outing, it ends up turning into a car crash – and I can use that metaphor because a car definitely hit me this past weekend. Check that one off the bucket list!

I have been worrying about others and just haven’t had the time for self-love — get your mind out of the gutter, pervs!

So, I’m setting the following rules:

  1. I’ll participate in outings when I feel up to it, and I won’t feel an ounce of guilt about not being out for everything.
  2. I’m unplugging. Look, usually, if I don’t respond within 15 minutes, I’m either sleeping or dead. Most of the texts aren’t vital to respond immediately. So, I will respond when I get around to it. Same goes with social media. More time away is good for the soul.
  3. As someone who will remain nameless, tried to insinuate last week before I threatened to smack the crap out of them, we are getting old. I’m over petty, needless drama. Have you ever noticed how adults are actually worse than kids when it comes to this stuff? Except 90% of the adults refuse to admit that they partake in that type of social activity.
  4. I don’t need others to do stuff with me. I am writing my first draft of this post while attending a baseball game alone because the seats were great, I was going to get free prizes, and had a coupon towards any food at the ballpark. I don’t need to beg people to do things, I can do things alone. It should be noted, though, that I did check with a co-worker beforehand that it wouldn’t be weird — you know, like a grown man going to see a Pixar movie alone. That’s how you get a knock on your door from Mariska’s SVU team
  5. Lastly, I am cutting back on drinking. If having a blood clot last year taught me anything, it’s that you don’t have to drink just to be social. I didn’t drink for nearly 4 months. I’m not becoming a born-again straight edge, but after a health concern earlier this year, I decided I was drinking too much for my own liking. It had been something I had been considering for a bit, since many social events tend to center around alcohol.

Also, my go to drink is Vodka and Sprite… do you know how hard it is to get right? 40% of the time I am given a Vodka with Soda. That leaves me with two options: Go back up and ever so politely tell them that they gave me the wrong drink and ask them to correct it…. Or choke it down.

Bartenders have one job (ok, not really, but in this situation go with it), to get drinks correct. How is mixing vodka and sprite that difficult? Please let me know if there is something I am missing in the comments.

Not drinking as much ensures that I don’t waste valuable time feeling sluggish or hungover after a night out, and quite frankly the financial savings aren’t too bad either. It also makes for the nights when I do choose to let loose, that more special.

So that’s my plan for summer.

P.S. Taylor Swift and her catchy bop, also titled “Me,” have not endorsed this summer plan and I reserve all rights to this hashtag if it becomes a movement. Suck it, Tay-Tay!

Padraic Maroney hails from upstate New York, suffering from middle child syndrome.  His writing career began after moving to the Philadelphia suburbs while in high school. He wrote for The Bucks County Courier Times’ Reality section, written by local teenagers, and has the distinction of writing a weekly gossip column for a college newspaper at a school he didn’t even attend! His love of pop culture led him to intern at Teen People, where he met Janis Gaudelli, and realized he could turn being a millennial into a career. Since then he’s alternated between writing and marketing, but always focused on Millennials and everything they bring to the table. Padraic is a lover of shenanigans, 80s music, and the movie “Scream.”

You can follow his additional adventures on Instagram: @padraicjacob

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