Anyone who’s watched “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” knows about the “Mean Reds”. Audrey Hepburn’s character Holly describes them in the best way possible and says they’re different from the usual ‘blues’- “The blues are because you're getting fat and maybe it's been raining too long, you're just sad that's all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid and you don't know what you're afraid of.” As a millennial, I’m astonished they could read our minds way back in 1961, because forget blues, I get them mean reds all the time!
Just a while ago, I had one of the suckiest days of my life and the waterworks wouldn’t stop. Sitting alone, watching the season 3 finale episode for ‘Younger’; I tried to figure out what went wrong through the day. Except for maybe the Subway guy putting one slice of cucumber extra and too much barbeque sauce in my sandwich- I couldn’t think of anything else that could have possibly annoyed me. Why couldn’t I get myself to stop crying then? Why couldn’t I just be my normal, happy self? Why couldn’t I stop thinking about my miserably failed past relationships? Why couldn’t I stop wondering about all the what-ifs?
Sure I could blame it all on PMS and move on in life (which btw, is a genius idea to convince your own self). But was it just that? Or was it just another day experiencing the ‘mean reds’? Every single day of my life these days, is a mystery. Will I have my job tomorrow? Will my best friend Kabir still speak to me tomorrow? Will the Limited Edition mac lipstick still be in stock at the stores tomorrow? Will things work out between me and the mysterious guy? Will I ever really be truly happy?
I could finally understand what caused my ‘mean reds’- the fear of what would happen tomorrow. They say we should take life as it comes- one day at a time. But we still save up for our future, get higher education to perform better at our professions, plan vacations months in advance and invest in the future of our children too. And the constant worries of our future don’t let us live in the present and we lose our minds, and thus the ‘mean reds’!
And what could I do to avoid them? Should I just stop thinking about it all? Should I be like ‘Liza’ and live in the moment? But is it really possible to elude our pasts and stop bothering about what the future may hold? It isn’t. Life is tough as is; and worrying doesn’t help, but we can’t stop our brains from working overtime, especially on the nights we can’t sleep and on the days that we encounter PMS. So what’s the best thing to do in such a scenario- I asked myself?
The answer became clearer as the finale episode drew to a close. The truth is, we can’t avoid planning and contemplating about our futures, but we can stop being afraid of it. As cynical as we may be, we must not forget that life has its own way of throwing surprises at us. Hate your job? Who knows when you’ll find a new, better one- keep looking. Heartbroken? Don’t think you could ever fall in love again? You’ll be surprised when you do; and it’ll be more magical than a fairytale. Financial Troubles? You’ll have it all figured in no time! Relationship issues? It’ll all work out perfectly well. The key is positive attitude. Look at your future as all bright and shiny and that’s how it’ll be. Don’t lose hope sweetie, just not yet- your bright future is just round the corner.