Those three little letters mushed together have become the bane of my existence. Thanks to the social weavings of the interwebz, I am perpetually blasted in the face with times new roman why me’s. Above all the whining and the pouting and the griping, is that little nugget of darkness. That devilish declaration of dismay. The abbreviation: FML.
Initially, I had no clue what the letters stood for. Deep within the core of my existence, I knew I was better off not finding out. But, part of me was intrigued. I sensed there might be humor in this little abbreviation. And part of me felt old. Like I didn’t want to be left out of the new, young, hip, social thing. Like the way my parents feel about email. And how they type with two fingers. So, like any person who wants an answer but is embarrassed to admit their lack of knowledge by asking the question, I googled it. What I discovered, left me slightly disturbed.
My mild irritation over the now ever present abbreviation for f* my life has snowballed into a passionate case of soapboxtion. The affliction causes such symptoms as nose flaring, temple vein pulsing and a hearty case of word vomit.
The thing is, how can life be so terrible that you choose to write fml for all to see? From your computer. That has internet access. Or, heaven forbid, you have to use the tiny keyboard on your iPhone and fight your auto correct. It’s probably safe to say you had a roof over your head this morning. Your electricity most likely is running. And, I might be totally out there on this one, but you’re alive to complain about it all.
On one hand, I see people with their laundry lists of what went wrong with the day, or what they had to do that was absolutely no fun, and then they leave it at that. Are they complaining? Sure. Is it annoying? Yeah. But they’re leaving room for something positive. It’s in there between the words. They might not see it, but I do. On the other hand, you have these same declarations of woe followed by the universal exclamation for show me how my life could get worse. A textual prayer for the other shoe to drop.
When did we become a society that instead of celebrating the things we are grateful for, complains about the things we don’t have, won’t have, or can’t have. When did we stop recognizing that waking up in the morning is a gift, not a right? And when did we decide it is perfectly okay and quite possibly entertaining to exclaim fml because we got a flat tire?
Those three letters, lined up so haughtily. So antagonizing. They make my skin crawl. Every time I see them, I instantly think of five things that the person should be thankful for. Five things that could go wrong from the beginning of that sentence they wrote to the pressing of the share button. It makes me feel dirty. Not only am I judging, which makes me feel negative, but in a way, I am subconsciously wishing to make things worse for that person. To me, writing fml is asking for things to get worse. And I cannot help but let that thought pass my mind at every status turn.
I want to be that annoying person who leaves comments like, “glad to see you’re breathing today!” or “hey, be thankful you aren’t confined to a wheelchair having a stranger change your diaper,” but I don’t. It is socially acceptable to complain. It is socially unacceptable to be a pollyanna and point out the silver lining on everyone else’s black cloud of a day. Our priorities are strangely skewed.
With age comes responsibility. With responsibility comes consequence. And we all know consequence can be a huge thorn in the rump of happiness. But the beautiful thing about today is that it leads in to tomorrow. Which, although isn’t promised to you, has the potential to be better than whatever is bringing you down now. Life is a privilege, a gift. And if you find yourself still living it when the bad stuff happens, just remember, life isn’t afraid to take things back.
You can read more from April Gollehon on her blog.