I knew the day would come. Well, I imagined that the day would come but was a bit surprised when it actually came. I mean, I knew that I was doing something wrong and I knew that I probably shouldn't do that thing anymore but sometimes you just really like doing a thing and it's not really hurting anyone so you do the thing until it kinda becomes your thing and then when you try to stop doing it you realize that the thing has become a part of you and not doing the thing would be like losing one of your senses, you know? You have no idea what I'm talking about. Let's say you bite your fingernails and you know it's an awful habit but it helps you relax so you do it and tell yourself that it's not hurting anyone. Of course, there is no way of knowing for sure that your harmless habit is actually harmless. You could wake up one day and discover that every time you bite your nails a rabid raccoon crawls out of a sewer and eats a child. That would sure surprise you, wouldn't it? Why, yes it would. Actually, I kinda freaked myself out with that because I bite my fingers a lot so now I am wondering if I have unleashed a rabid raccoon army that is feasting on little kids. Well, let's not dwell. Back to our example. For the purposes of this post, we will assume that no one is harmed by your nail biting. Still, you try to stop but you realize that you can't because you have become a Nail Biter. It's become part of your identity. Now, people who love you might try to talk you into quitting. They might tell you that putting your fingers in your mouth all the time will lead to infections and death. At first, you find their concern endearing but it wears on you so you get an attitude and then you're like, "Infections and death? Bring it on!" and then you laugh maniacally and leave a trail of chewed nails in your wake. Then, one day you go to work and find out that they are firing people for biting their nails. You like to eat (real food, not just fingernails) and you like to have a roof over your head and you like to have money to buy Prescious Moments figurines and you are shaken to your core. So, what do you do? I'm guessing you stop biting. You probably chew a lot of gum. You probably drown your sorrows in Precious Moments figurines. But, you definitely stop biting.
You still have no idea what I'm talking about. I had a feeling that the rambling example wouldn't illuminate anything but it was sure fun. So, here's the deal - I had to quit surfing the net while at work. Those that know me (or follow me on Twitter) know that this is huge. This is like telling me that I have to hold my breath for 8 hours a day. I am no chimp. Every morning, I clicky click on that little warning box that says "Do not use your e-mail or the internet for personal use or we will come to your cube with a couple of burly guys and copy paper boxes and we will pack your shit up, drag you out of here and change the codes." Whatever. I agree to those terms, log in and then...ahhhhh...the internet. But last week, I found out that people have been terminated for internet abuse. I nearly started packing those boxes myself as I imagined a wanted poster with my face on it plastered all over the place. So, I did what most of us would do. I quit cold turkey and, yes, I chewed a lot of gum (seriously - my jaw hurts) and I drowned my sorrows in toys like this. Go check it out because there is a whole photo series based on that little guy. What can I say? I don't like Precious Moments figurines. That first day was horrible. There were about a million times that I had something really important that I needed to look up on the internet, important things like "Where can I buy a stuffed lobster?" I resisted. I was strong. I was miserable. I still am. It's like the end of Camelot...well, a virtual Camelot where the answers to all of my questions are at my fingertips and I am up on all pop culture news and I can chit chat with people online and find a stuffed lobster if I need one (and who doesn't need one from time to time) and I can look at cool shoes that I can't afford. All of this is gone now. It's like I've been stripped of my only superpower. Well, not the only one - I can still do that noodle trick.
It's the end of an era.