Heather Havrilesky: “Why Am I So Lazy?”


Photo-Illustration: Stevie Remsberg; Photos: Getty Images

In light of the new year, I’ve reflected a lot on the stories I tell myself. It’s amazing how a seemingly simple narrative can shape your perceptions of yourself and others.

Since these narratives were at the forefront of my mind, this advice column hit particularly hard. The reader writes in to ask what she can do about her chronic procrastination. While she’s spent most of her life feeling comfortable in her slothful ways, she’s now married to a Type-A extrovert who tackles things head-on. Forced to confront her habits, the reader asks: why am I so lazy?

Havrilesky’s response is both compassionate and radically candid. From her perspective, the more important question is: why is there a disconnect between your identification as a “lazy” person and your choices? The root, she explains, lie in the stories we’re told and the stories we tell ourselves. She writes:

…All humans get told inaccurate stories about themselves by everyone everywhere. Even on the off chance that our parents’ stories are accurate, our culture’s stories are dead wrong and deeply fucked nine times out of ten. So you have to peel back layer after layer to figure out the truth. Why? Because otherwise you just keep slogging along, (1) doing the same things over and over and (2) pretending that you have no choice in the matter, while (3) beating yourself up for all of it.

This paragraph felt particularly golden, but the full piece is worth an in-depth read. Here’s to losing outdated stories and crafting a new narrative.

Read: “Why Am I So Lazy?” The Cut

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