Look, I like to complain. I’m 20, privileged and have absolutely no reason to ever complain, but I do it all the time. I moved back to school this past week and the AC was out in our room. To put it nicely, my roommates and I festered in the heat. Y’all it was gross. But, here I was. A fridge full of food, a roof over my head, an expensive tuition paid for by loving parents-and I was complaining. Constantly. All I did for days was say how sweaty I was and how I couldn’t cook all my food in my fridge because it would get too hot. It’s not that I wasn’t aware of how I sounded or of the other privileges I had to be grateful for, especially in this tumultuous time. Every time I complained, I would think, “stop! Be grateful!”. Yet, I continued to mope about in our sauna of a dorm room (look! still complaining!).
Complaining is a part of our culture. It is something that connects all of us. When there is a lull in conversation with a work friend or classmate, what do you do? You bring up the latest drama and complain about whoever’s in charge of you. Complaining is exhausting. There’s nothing to get out of it. As humans, we look for the easy high. We procrastinate constantly because we are in constant search for a quick dopamine rush such as looking at our phones for a couple of minutes. Complaining is easy, it’s the simple thing to think about in conversation. It is right on the edge of our mind, it fills the silence and you feel accomplished for a short period of time. But in the long-term? A growing sense of yuck fills the psyche.
Here’s what I propose: fill the silences with what you are grateful for. Next time the AC is out, I am going to talk about the wonderful food I just bought from the store. Next time my homework assignment takes 10 hours to finish, I am going to talk about how crazy it is that I am afforded so much time simply to better my mind through education. Those who know me might think I am being satirical, but I’m not. I am going to try to complain less. Then, when shiz really does hit the fan, I will be able to complain free of guilt. And yes, this article was one big complaint about complaining. The challenge begins after I finish editing this article. God that’s going to take-nope! Only grateful.