You're not the only one curled up on the couch

You're not the only one curled up on the couch

Bean to Space, Mike Gagnon, 2020, Digital Mixed Media. Copyright Mike Gagnon 2024.

Bean to Space, Mike Gagnon, 2020, Digital Mixed Media. Copyright Mike Gagnon 2024.


Oh, the fetal position on the couch — a universal posture of existential dread mixed with a dash of "I've watched too much Netflix and now what?" It's like a rite of passage in the grand circus of adulthood, where we're all clowns on our own, trying to juggle work, life, and that ever-elusive concept of "self-care" that seems to be more about buying scented candles than actual mental health.

First off, let's get one thing straight: If you've ever found yourself curled up in a ball on your couch, staring into the void (or the paused screen of your fourth consecutive episode of a show you're not even sure you like), know that you're not alone. This is a shared experience, a communal nod to the universal anxiety of "What am I doing with my life?" "Does anything I do matter in this crazy word?" and "Is this what they meant by adulting?" Congratulations, you're part of a global club. Membership: involuntary. Perks: questionable.

Now, why is this position our go-to? Perhaps it's the physical manifestation of trying to return to the womb, a place where our biggest concern was "Will I get the thumb or the pacifier this time?" In the fetal position, we're seeking comfort, safety, and maybe a break from the barrage of responsibilities and existential questions like, "What's my purpose?" or "Did I remember to cancel that free trial subscription?"

Let's not forget the role of our trusty couch. That piece of furniture has seen more breakdowns and breakthroughs than a therapist's armchair. It's our makeshift sanctuary where we retreat after a long day of pretending to have it all together. And in that moment of surrender, as we curl up and let the weight of the world rest for a while, we're all silently saying, "Yep, this is fine. Everything is just fine."

The beauty of this shared experience is that it doesn't discriminate. It doesn't matter if you're a CEO or a struggling artist; this prone position is a great equalizer. In that moment, we're all just human beings trying to figure out life, one anxiety-ridden curl at a time.

And let's add a bit of semi-sarcastic optimism here: At least we're consistent. In an ever-changing world full of uncertainty, one thing remains certain — the comfort of knowing that someone, somewhere, is also assuming the same fetal position on their couch, pondering the mysteries of the universe or just trying to decide what to order for dinner. It's a small comfort, but hey, we'll take what we can get.

So, what's the takeaway from our collective embrace of the fetal position? Maybe it's a reminder that it's okay not to have all the answers, that it's normal to feel overwhelmed, and that taking a moment to just be is not only necessary but essential. It's a silent acknowledgment of our shared humanity, a nod to the fact that we're all doing our best in a world that often feels a bit too much.

The next time you find yourself curled up on the couch, remember: This is a universal sign of being human in the 21st century. So, take a deep breath, give yourself a pat on the back for making it this far, and maybe, just maybe, try to uncurl and stretch a bit. After all, tomorrow is another day, and who knows? Maybe it'll be the day we all figure it out. Or not. Probably not. But that's okay too.

Thanks for reading,

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