Mediocrity in Absentia

“In Absentia” – While not present at the event being referred to

“Mediocrity” – The quality or state of being mediocre (not very good, i.e. shitty)



We live life in a daze sometimes. Many of us aren’t present for more than a few precious minutes in any given day. Somehow our daydreams are more real than whatever bullshit we find ourselves doing. We learn to accept mediocrity in absentia, because it’s more pleasant to be absent than to be aware of exactly how mediocre we’ve allowed ourselves to become.

Human beings are programmed to avoid pain. There is so much pain in the world, those of us who can escape from it are lucky. If you’re reading this, you’re one of the lucky ones.

You have the ability to escape from any pain you might have. You can live a life free from pain, free from worry, free from all the mortal concerns of this world.  But when we make that choice to live in comfort, to avoid anything that makes us uncomfortable, we inflict a different kind of pain on ourselves.

We become absent. Our minds leave our bodies behind. We live up in the clouds somewhere, in a land without pain, yet somehow also without pleasure. We learn to exist in Limbo between pain and pleasure, which somehow is a worse hell than the worst pain you’ve ever felt. Pain, true pain, will come and go in a matter of moments. However, the pain of a life slowly wasted will eat you alive from within, a dull ache growing in your guts until it makes you want to scream.

It’s a pain we can ignore, however.

We can continue living our lives, pretending everything is OK. We don’t mind mediocrity. We’re too busy working and trying to do one thousand different things that we can somehow forget that we aren’t doing the one thing we actually want to do. We can forget about our true goals. It’s so much easier to be absent. Go with the flow.


Every day we continue this way. Every day we grow more and more absent. We distance ourselves from our lives and the world inside our heads becomes more and more real. The lies we tell ourselves become our reality. We will do that thing we always wanted to do, but we will do it another day. Today we are too busy.

Tomorrow never comes. There is only Absentia. There is only the bittersweet bliss of nonexistence within our skulls. We do nothing and somehow believe we have tried everything.

We avoid pain so desperately that we forget that pain is the answer.

Pain snaps the mind back to the present, just for a moment. Pain can teach you to be here, to be now, to be who you know you are supposed to be. Truth lies on the other side of pain. And as with all of the human animal’s natural inclinations, the avoidance of pain is itself best avoided.

You’re on a downhill slope. It’s so easy to simply roll over and let gravity take you.
Fuck that. Fuck the fucking slope. Look up and see the pain and stress above you, and say, “fuck yes. fuck this pain, I don’t fucking care, I’m going to fucking do this”.

And then pain will serve you. Pain will teach you. Pain will strengthen you. Pain will give you a power over your own mind that you could only imagine before. Every pain you have ever felt in your life has been a gift from the God who wants you to be who you truly are. The worst pains of the flesh and of the heart have a way of teaching us more about ourselves than any pleasure could hope to teach.

Because pain is truth. And the truth hurts.

Avert your eyes, return to the waking dream you call a life. Or gaze up towards your mountain of pain and challenge it to destroy you.

“Do your worst! I am not afraid.”
For fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the demon that sucks the life from those of us who give it a chance. We fear pain, so we instead settle for mediocrity. We fear failure, so we only try for what we know we can achieve. We live a piece of shit life because we know that a piece of shit life is possible for us. We can succeed at being a piece of shit.

We succeed at our modest ambitions, and we look back and say, “why?”

Why did I choose this path? How did I even get here?
And then pain is there. All the pain you’ve been ignoring, building up inside you, it’s all there, and suddenly you realize that the lies you’ve built up within your mind are not so real after all.

Sacrifices must be made. Sacrifice leads to pain, yet pain somehow leads to pleasure. Pain leads to truth, truth leads to happiness.

In Absentia, our only emotion is mediocrity. Our only ambition is to live another day without pain. And so we kill ourselves, ever so slowly.

And in the moment just before you die, you will finally wake up and realize you never lived at all.

4 thoughts on “Mediocrity in Absentia”

    1. Good job Bella. You are officially an American college student, now that you believe that mediocrity is somehow a social construct. Next you need to pick a new gender and/or species to identify as. (/s)

      Some things are objectively worse than others. Accepting shittiness is worse than trying not to be shitty. That’s a fact.


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