Mario Villalobos

My Fragile Life

Today I realized how fragile my current way of life really is. So many things have to just work for me to do what I need to do. What prompted it was, in hindsight, very stupid, but at the moment, felt very, very real. My key fob for my car stopped working after work. I actually started experiencing problems with it a few months ago, but I since replaced the battery and things just worked. Until today, when I couldn’t disarm the alarm on my car. I went back into my office, grabbed a Phillips head screwdriver, and unscrewed my key fob. I had a replacement battery in my bag, and I used that to replace the battery. Except, it didn’t work. I tried moving the battery around, trying to make sure all the contacts touched, and in doing so, I broke the battery holder inside the fob. I panicked. Luckily, since I’m a nerdy tech guy, I pulled out my phone and opened Dropbox because I had a PDF of my car’s manual in there. I quickly skimmed the relevant sections and learned that if I unlock my car with my key, the alarm โ€” which will go off without disarming the alarm โ€” will turn off if I turn the car on since my car recognizes my key. I didn’t know that, and I was so glad I wasn’t driving through town with my alarm going off like I was playing a game of Grand Theft Auto.

I have to get to work so I can do my job and get paid every 1st and 15th of the month. To get to work, I need my car to work, and that includes my key fob. I can no longer arm my car, but that’s totally okay. As long as my car works. I need to get paid so I can pay my bills. My bills keep me alive. I need to be alive so I can do what I need to do to be happy and content and great. I need to be great because I have this abnormal fear of being ordinary. I don’t know why I have that fear. I don’t really like showing off to others, and I guess I could be arrogant sometimes about certain things and at certain times. Maybe I am just plain arrogant. I’m not sure, to be honest. Only other people can tell me that. And no one’s really told me anything like that, so maybe I’m not. But this arrogance breeds confidence, and I need confidence to live the life I want. And I want to live the life I want because I only have one shot at living, and I want to make the most of it. And to make the most of it, I have to try to be great or else I’ll feel like I wasted it. Wasted life and that precious time given to me.

I have to stop being so high-strung. I have to learn to adapt and be flexible. To be like water. One small problem can’t bring my whole day down. For whatever reason, if I couldn’t get home on time, I shouldn’t let that ruin my day. I still got time to do what I need to do, and if it means not working out or not reading or not doing whatever else, then that’s okay. I should be extra vigilant the next day and learn from what happened and adapt. That’s the only way to survive this, quite frankly, hard life.

I have to find the motivation every day to wake up at 5 AM to write my novel, to come home from an 8 hour work day and find the energy to work out for an hour, to desire to read as voraciously as I can, and finally, the willpower to finish my day writing a deeply personal journal entry on a blog that friends actually read. This is all fun and I’m grateful that I’ve been doing this consistently for 99 days, but it’s hard. And today I realized how much I don’t want this all to stop because I couldn’t get home on time.

Wow, I guess I’m not sure how to adapt. I hope I don’t crash and burn. It feels like I’m just getting started.1

  1. It’s also been 100 days since I’ve last spoken to her. I think I’m done with her finally. ↩︎