May 20, 2014
The phrase is simple: Goma moral.
Here, where I am in Costa Rica, it translates into “moral hangover,” and you've got one if you stayed out too late, drank too much, said something you regret, or acted in any way irresponsibly the day before…and you feel guilty as sin. Forget the physical hangover; the moral one is the one that'll get you. The one that hijacks early-morning positivity and manhandles it right into the trunk of a Caddy, causing you to wonder if you'll ever (…ever?) get it together.
And so I began to think: We all get moral hangovers from time to time. They're the feeling you get when you last-minute cancel on a friend. When you lash out in an email. And when you know damn well those enchiladas you've been eating every other day for lunch are the devil disguised in ooey, gooey drippy sharp white cheddar that slides down the back of your throat and simultaneously satisfies the fuck out of you AND makes you see red, all at once, because you know you shouldn't have BUT AT LEAST IT'S NOT CRACK.
Have you ever justified something to yourself that way before? I do it all the time.
I might drink all of these funky branded wines in one sitting…but at least I don't do crack.
I occasionally splurge on this outrageously obnoxious $153 facial moisturizer…but at least I don't do crack.
I love ignoring all my emails and staying up late to watch every single episode of 2 Broke Girls because I think Max is my long lost sibling and I'd wear Caroline's stupid pearls every single day for the rest of my life if I could look even 5% like her, BUT AT LEAST I DON'T DO CRACK.
Let me tell you: There's no kind of goma moral like spending the night throwing back five bottles of wine while dipping your pinky toe in rich people moisturizer and vowing to become more like a bunch of made-up TV characters all before dawn.
But here's a thought:
What if goma moral gets worse?
What if you spend your entire life blowing off what's really important to you?
Blowing off your heart promises.
Blowing off your bucket list.
Blowing off your business.
Blowing off yourself.
What kind of goma moral will you have then?
What kind of goma moral will you have when the boarding gate closes? When you could have, but didn't? When we can no longer decide who we become because who we've become has already decided for us?
Goma moral. While the phrase itself is simple, life, unfortunately, isn't.
Because in life, the only thing that's simple?
Is the decision to live it.
At the very best, you'll end up telling goma moral to kiss your ass.
And at the very worst?
You'll end up totally sucking, doing something you hate, and crying in bed at night while your bank account dwindles to a slow burn as you claw onto your last shreds of dignity before throwing your hands in the air and resorting to a promising career in off-track horse betting.
But, hey? At least you don't do crack.
Because if there's one thing I know for sure—
—it's that crack heads definitely can't afford a jar of that moisturizer, and this might be the first time that a regular hangover?
Is the better outcome.