Tomorrow Is A New Day

Tomorrow Is A New Day

A Story by R. Tanqueray

Today wasn’t your best day. You made your lunch and set your clothes out the night before, and woke up ready to take on the world. You were showered and ready to go before your second alarm went off, and even had enough time to stop for coffee on your way to work. You had everything lined up for a successful day.

Then you encountered a stranger in the office. He offered a polite greeting and small talk, and you froze. Unable to say anything other than a nervous “yeah”, the conversation died in the elevator, where you stood in silence for the duration of the ten floor ride. It’s alright, you told yourself. After you have this coffee you will be able to think straight.

The coffee didn’t help. It never does. Your coworkers stopped by throughout the day to chat, mostly about work, and every interaction leaves you unsure of why they keep coming back. How many awkward jokes and inappropriately honest answers will it take for them to decide its not worth trying to be courteous anymore? Will you ever learn to read social cues, or will you continue to other yourself with your desperate inability to “be cool”? It’s alright, you told yourself. They are your coworkers, they don’t need to be anything more than just that. You had plans with your friends after work, and they get you, so its fine.

You sat quietly at your desk for the rest of the day, not really accomplishing anything, but making small headway on the projects that have been piling up for the past six months. It’s just a busy month, you told yourself. Next month, the workload will lighten, and you’ll catch up. 

When you finally clocked out for the day, you walked out fifteen feet behind your peers, talking and laughing as they made their way to their cars. It’s alright, you told yourself. They probably didn’t see you, or they surely would have included you in the conversation. Or do they only talk to you during the day because they need you to answer questions for them? It doesn’t matter. You reminded yourself that they are only coworkers, and you have a life outside of this place.

When you got home, you showered again, because your anxious sweating throughout the day has left you feeling unclean and self conscious. You put on comfortable clothes and, for once, didn’t hate what you saw in the mirror. It was going to be a good night. You texted your friend about the happy hour plan. No response. It’s alright, you told yourself. He’s probably still at work. All of your friends are young professionals, building careers. They stay late all the time to show dedication, you’d hear from them soon.

You didn’t. You did, however, see the snapchat of them at the bar in their work clothes, timestamped shortly after you had sent that text. Did he miss my message? How did they forget about me? It’s alright, you told yourself. This has happened before. He’s very social, he gets a lot of messages, its easy to miss one. Plus, in a group that big, after a long day in the office, he’s not taking roll call. You could have just met up with them, knowing they were where they said they would be.

You didn’t. The idea that your message was not missed, but ignored, floated through your mind. Whether or not that was the case was irrelevant. Your comfortable clothes suddenly felt baggy and unflattering. You noticed that your hair wasn’t as well put together as you’d thought. You couldn’t possibly have thought going out like this, with all of these handsome twenty-somethings in their corporate casual attire, was a good idea. It’s alright, you told yourself. You shouldn’t be drinking on a weeknight anyway. You’ll make plans with them another day. Plus. a quiet night at home would be good for you. You could have done the laundry thats been piling up, or cleaned the dishes that you told yourself had to deep soak a week ago and never touched.

You didn’t. You sat on your bed a scrolled through your digital timeline for hours. You made comments on strangers posts hoping to elicit a response. Virtual interaction is better than no interaction, after all. The response didn’t come. You felt consumed by a crippling sensation of isolation and loneliness. By the time you forced yourself to get up and do something, it was almost time for bed. It’s alright, you told yourself. At least you would be well rested the next day. Considering you didn’t do anything today, how could you not be?

You won’t be. At this point it’s two o’clock in the morning. It doesn’t make sense for you to still be awake, but here you are once again. You will go through the regular motions. TV on. TV off. TV back on. Toss and turn, unable to get comfortable. Staring at the ceiling, your mind is finally at ease. Today may not have been the best, but, its alright, you tell yourself. Tomorrow is a new day. Your lunch is packed, your clothes are laid out, and when you get up, you will be ready to take on the world.

© 2019 R. Tanqueray

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Added on January 14, 2019
Last Updated on January 14, 2019
Tags: anxiety, depression, isolation, hindsight, solitude, social anxiety