Since 8 o’ clock this morning, I’ve been fretting over college applications. And personal statements and scholarship essays. Pile these life-changing applications atop mountains of schoolwork: essays and research projects and benumbing busy work. Atop poetry submissions to various magazines and the need to work on the design for a chapbook and the need to further edit my novel and the need to send more queries and hope that this time, there will be one agent who won’t be “sorry to inform” me of anything.
So, instead of working on any of those things, I play Mario Kart.
I pick the largest racer (Bowser, usually, or Donkey Kong) and I pick the largest vehicle possible. I will play online as a visitor and spend the time knocking opponents off the edge. It doesn’t matter if I topple off with them, because winning the race isn’t the point. The point is to fee better. And by being a jerk to people on Mario Kart, I feel better.
Some people punch holes in walls or sob heavily or immerse themselves in work. I play Mario Kart. Think of this as the geek’s version of going to bars and getting in fights. Sometimes, I even pick out just one person to terrorize. After they fall off the edge of a rainbow path, I pause to wait for them so I can knock them off again. This may seem rather aggressive, but it helps.
That’s not the only way I de-stress.
Some people find that yoga helps. I like to cook pasta for myself and others, only eat it all of it myself. I’ll write mocking poetry. I’ll buy things I clearly don’t need and that are incredibly overprice: Fruit Gushers, for example. Because what says “happy” better than a bag of fruit snacks filled with delicious?
Sometimes life gets stressful, so yes, sometimes you have to be a jerk on Mario Kart Wii.