Command + R by Caelan

Illustration by Livy
Illustration by Livy

Have you ever felt that you need to refresh the web browser that is your life? Have you’ve ever felt that the monotony and bleh-ness makes your life feel like a youtube video that just wont buffer past 1%? Then you my friend may seriously need to hit command + r.

But how do you do it? How do you start fresh when you can’t just pick up your things, grab a handgun, and your best friend Thelma and drive into the sunset? Well my friend, you begin by changing little things within your control. You highlight your hair, you buy a few new clothes, maybe get a piercing or two, baby steps.

But wait, this feel good, lets move onto bigger things! Maybe you purchase some Loubitons for the hell of it, or break-up with someone, or hook up with someone else! Maybe you join a zumba class, or eat some Pringles, and make other uncharacteristic moves, all in an attempt to shed this proverbial outer skin.

You update your profile. You upload photos of your new look, purchases and hobbies to instagram with captions like “my life is great,” to prove to everyone just how great and fresh your life is. But wait… insecurity strikes! You wanna look like that girl, or have that guy be your boothang, and now you need to keep renovating yourself because you’re still not good enough yet.

Don’t worry, we’ll keep trying to control + r the situation. You join tinder because you don’t wanna be lonely and you just broke up with your boyfriend. Then you join weightwatchers because you don’t wanna be fat and you join spotify premium and purchase anti-aging cream to be relevant with the youngins,’ and you get a new credit card to support these new tribes, hobbies and obsessions.

But wait, you’re intellectual too! You have to pick up the 10 latest best-sellers, sign up for classes at a community college, join a slam poetry club and bam! You’re deep now! But what about all those clothes you previously bought? Those are not the clothes of an intellectual; you must toss them for berets and turtlenecks. And gosh those highlights are all wrong; jet black is the hair color for intellectuals. And, you don’t have any tattoos? What’s wrong with you? The cycle repeats, with you reinventing yourself faster and more frequently than a chameleon Lady Gaga, adapting and thriving with each new environment you are in.

This might explain why you have three closets full of clothing, four different facial piercings that have healed and been repierced, about 12 different hair colors in the past three years, a dust-covered thigh master, an entire black-book full of former loves and, of course, and $8000 in debt. Not to mention having profiles on pretty much every social media website out there from your attempt to say, “Hi world I’m relevant! Look at the salad I just ate! Pay attention to me please!”

Wait…you just sank sullenly in your chair, you are unhappy. Wait no, stop that! Let’s just keep buying things. Your life can change! Everything will be sunshine and rainbows, and not the swirly cursor rainbows that never stop spinning, but beautiful arched vibrant double rainbows in the sky!

…But it’s too late. You’ve finally realized your messed up thought process works about as well as any product you can buy off the television; the cycle that revolves around the idea that if you look physically different and act different, then you will feel different, and then your life will be different, is completely flawed.

Command + r-ing is not as simple as hitting buttons, or spending your money. You will not simply emerge from the ashes like a Phoenix—or like Britney Spears after her head-shaving incident of 2007—overnight. Shedding your proverbial outer skin can’t simply be solved by buying new snakeskin boots. To command + r your life is an internal process, and until you accept that that change happens organically over time, and that there is no esc or del button, you will finally stop buffering.


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