Hi, I’m Melanie, and I’m a Realist.

Among doors opened slightly ajar, and the phrase “same difference,” one of my biggest pet peeves is when people tell me or preach to me things I already know. That’s not meant in a smart-ass or cocky way. I’m well aware of my ignorance and naiveness in numerous pockets of life. If we measured the vast amount of information I haven’t even come close to comprehending, it would wrap around the universe an infinite amount of times.

But when people do harp on me about aspects of life that I’m fully mindful of, I slowly start to grind my teeth. Especially when I’m being preached to by someone who uses empty, lazy mumbo jumbo that I can probably just read verbatim inside the closest elementary school library, on a stock-imaged-rainbow motivational poster.

Like today, someone told me I only live once so I shouldn’t stress out.

Wow. How do I respond to such constructive advice? I guess I should’ve said, “Oh god, thank you. Because that totally alleviates and solves all of my problems and does all of my work for me. I shouldn’t stress or vent or feel any anxiety at all because you’ve finalized the idea that I could die tomorrow and I was completely unaware of that fact until now.”

I know that life is short, that I could stop breathing suddenly or croak in a freak accident, surrendering to the idea that I’d be inevitably forgotten generations from now.

I know that you should technically “live in the moment” because that’s all we really own right? Live and appreciate this exact moment because this is the only time it will ever, ever exist?

I know I shouldn’t stress out. It’s bad for your head, your heart, and your overall interactions with other people. But slapping a fake smile on has the same aftereffects.

I know I must sound like the biggest bitch of the west right now, but that’s reality—in this moment.

When I laugh or poke fun at people who spit these meaningless phrases at me, it’s not because i’m a pessimist and I disagree with it. It’s because I’m a realist, and the steps to reaching this supposed “nirvana” is, for an ironic lack of an original phrase, easier said than done.