Things I Have Said to My Reflection, in an Attempt to Hype Myself Up

These are not what you would call “classic affirmations” for the most part. But sometimes whatever works, works.

Scott Muska
6 min readJan 29, 2024

Whatever hell you might face today, make sure you do your best to look at it as a fresh hell — maybe with a dry heat. Reframe it until you make it, bud.

Look: A little bump in the road sure beats a bump on a testicle. What I’m saying is things could usually be worse. So today, choose to not stress all that much, if you can. I know that sounds like a tall order.

Sometimes the best way to win is to quit. Occasionally, the best offense is just giving up. And keep in mind that although you are, at least occasionally, a loser, not every loss is really all that much of a loss. You know: Clear eyes. Full hearts. Still lose all the time. Now get out there and seize the day, with a strong WiFi connection and a little dream in your heart.

Rest assured that you’ll eventually recover from whatever it is you’re liable to fuck up today. Probably.

If you burn some bridges, at least you’ll have an opportunity to work on your breast stroke and/or cannonball. Both of which need some practice. Remember to try as hard as you can to keep your head mostly above water, and to use floaties or a life vest if you have to. Whatever works.

You’re going to get some feedback today. Not all of it is likely to be positive. But try to roll with it. It’s probably not going to come from a personal place, and art is subjective, if you want to be so bold as to call what you’re doing with most of your life “art,” which is, of course, your prerogative. Just don’t lose track of the unimpeachable fact that you can’t worry too much about what other people say or think about you. Because that can become poisonous to the point it cracks and then ultimately breaks who you are — interferes with who you might become.

Hey, at least you’re not digging ditches. Or working in the salt mines. Nothing against anyone who does, of course. It’s just that you don’t have the spine (both literally and metaphorically) or the constitution for that sort of thing.

If you’re going to have any faith at all, make sure you allocate some for having faith in yourself.

You’re doing your best, though sometimes your “best” is kind of pitiful. But what’re you gonna do? Just try and have some fun out there, come what may.

Whoa. Alright. Having a good hair day today, mate. Someone somewhere must have ordered up a real snack.

You made your bed, went for a somewhat brisk walk and finished a tube of lip balm in its entirety without having lost it. And all before 9 a.m.? Today’s bound to be a good one, my friend. Anything is possible, and I’m rooting for you. Way to set the tone.

I know it’s four in the morning but it’s nice to see your face anyway. You actually look kind of good for this ungodly hour. Sure, there are bags under your eyes, but wear those as a badge of honor. And that piss you took just a moment ago was pretty epic. Did you remember to brush your teeth before bed? If not, you should do that now before you try and eek out another couple hours of slumber.

Of course, I could stand here and whisper sweet nothings to you all day long. But there’s stuff to get done.

If you think about it, today is unlikely to be as rough as that time you found out you almost didn’t get a job mostly because you sweat profusely all the way through one of the interviews.

When this is all over I tell you what: We’re gonna unwind with some Magic: The Gathering, Bushmills and mindless television. As a treat. We deserve it. There’s a light at the end of this goddamn tunnel and, my guy, it will never go out.

Have you lost weight? I know we’ve talked about how the anxiety diet isn’t the best, but it’s possible to find something of a silver lining in pretty much anything, if you try hard enough and just let yourself believe.

You don’t fly high enough to be for the birds. Though, admittedly, sometimes the hardest part about flying is thinking enough happy thoughts. But at least you’re not getting too close to the sun.

It’s gonna be a salad tonight, right? Not Taco Bell? And don’t go trying to skirt the system by getting a taco salad from Taco Bell. That doesn’t count.

I don’t even know what to say to you today, to be honest. Let’s just smile at each other for a bit. I’ve heard good things about that.

I’d fuck me. In some circles and for certain tastes, I am at least marginally attractive. And gosh darn-it, people sometimes like me. Some of them even love me. Which is wild.

You’re no longer too young for most things. I know that can be hard to square with. But you’re not even close to too old to start over.

You are not your feelings. So you should do what you can to not let them fully control you. I don’t know if I agree with this necessarily, or believe that it’s even inherently possible given your psyche, tendencies and schemas, but I’m going to put it out there anyway in hopes it might help in some small way.

It’s quite frankly surprising, and you might even say amazing, that you’ve made it this far so far. You might even be exceeding your own expectations. Sometimes it’s good to sit back, reflect on that and even rest on your laurels for a moment. Though I know you get plenty antsy. If you think about it, you’ve already accomplished a lot of what you thought you never would, and you’ve had a lot of good times along the way. Not saying everything from here on out is a bonus. What I’m saying is you’ll never be a complete failure. You’ve succeeded in ways people can never really take from you. You’ve bought the ticket and are taking the ride, and if you ever feel like getting off it for a while, there’s no shame in that.

Never forget that lifting up a heavy heart is good exercise.

No matter what, there’s always going to be a part of your life that is a narrative you can at lest partially control.

What you do today will most likely not echo in eternity, or even matter much at all, especially in the undefinable “grand scheme of things.” And if it did, would that, in and of itself, even really matter all that much? Always keep in mind that we’re all gonna die and that it’s part of your belief system that when that does happen, your accomplishments won’t cease to exist, necessarily, but you won’t be around to monitor how they all net out, if they do at all. Though, of course, this is not to say that what you do isn’t important — even if, and maybe especially if, it only really means so much to you. Apathy and complacency are permitted in your life, sometimes, but don’t let them make you lose track of the plot, the show, that is your time on earth.

Worrying too much isn’t going to get you very far. Remember that the worst is unlikely to happen, and remains so, even though sometimes you have been unfortunately right about the things you so desperately wish you hadn’t contrived in your mind. You’re not clairvoyant. Not able to predict what will come. You just have to take what does come, and try to do it with some modicum of grace and understanding. Otherwise you’ll never make peace with a goddamn thing that didn’t go the way you wanted.

Remember that you can do it any way you want for whatever people think they might need. You’re a method actor for a living. And that’s also how you choose to live.

It’s okay. Nobody really cares all that much. How absolutely freeing is that to think about? Reframe it until you make it, bud.

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Scott Muska

I write books, ads and some other stuff. (You can find the books on Amazon.)