Chuck Palahniuk Quote Positively, Incidentally Reflects Mood of the COVID-19 Quarantine

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“After you find out all the things that can go wrong, your life becomes less about living and more about waiting.”

Quote by Chuck Palahniuk, author of Choke

My Interpretation


Would you rather wait for something to happen or make something happen. Not to challenge anyone, but this says a lot about your personality.


If you dwell on everything that can go wrong or have made an inventory of the possible negative conclusions- you will wait for these negative thoughts to transpire. It is a kind of a self-guided conclusion. Waiting is the lowest level of activity and perhaps extremely mentally and physically unhealthy in certain circumstances.

If I’m waiting for the conditions to be just right to make a major change in my life, frankly I’m probably never going to make that change. The terms are undefined. Is life ever perfect? There will always be some reason why the “change”, whatever it is, can’t happen now. Usually surrounding child-rearing or some other perpetual condition of modern life, long term pursuits of happiness have fallen by the wayside as much as the common roadside attraction.


Making a change requires planning. You don’t just say you’re going on vacation to Florida and then don’t plan. You would never get to Florida without planning. So, a lot of us make a concrete list of what needs to be in the car when we leave for vacation.

What are the bare bones of what you need to start making that trip to Florida? Now, that is a concrete plan.

The same should be done for the “right time”. It needs planning. What does the right time look like to make a life change. Then go over the list and eliminate what would just be comfortable. Because life changes are hardly ever made under ideal circumstances. You can’t expect it to be comfortable. You now have a long term bridge to your happiness goals that can be fulfilled with careful short term goal achievement. For me, those exact conditions need to be in tact, listed, and posted somewhere.

Bare Bones

What are the bare bones of what you need to start making that trip to Florida? That is a concrete plan. Of course, you can plan for more than one set of circumstances. Maybe you’re able to achieve more comfort during the change than expected or resources change. Your short term goals can be adjusted. But, you probably at least can determine the least of what you need. From there, the plan can expand.

I have found myself waiting on some things more now, though. And I don’t find it necessarily a healthy feeling. But, to me, education just feels like a better use of my time than spending most of a week firing off resumes. But, if I was doing some of that before- its important that I at least keep up the practice of sending resumes. There was an old commercial for the Illinois Lotto that had a slogan “You have to play to win”. And you have to participate to get a job.


The same goes in job hunting. If you let your online presence go due to negativity, you can expect that waiting will lead to depression and possibly anxieties growing from the outside pressures. Everyone is different. This is just me talking about me. But, as one’s depression thrives, self-care does not. Leading to possibly further medical problems and bad self esteem.


Now, a pro-active stance is an opposite of waiting for the inevitable nothing to happen. I’m trying to create some opportunities, at least I feel like I have taken some ownership over my destiny (not fate). I’m working at my craft. I’m hustling. I’m contacting folks. I’m making connections. I continue to produce a portfolio and self-promotional material.

I have dived into a long, deep learning path on LinkedIn Learning that will take weeks. But, I have started and make nearly daily progress. I’m not looking to be a production machine in these times of filling time- but there is something to be said for staying the course of positivity, not waiting for the inevitable lack of job activity, and surviving vs. thriving. Waiting is not thriving. It is merely surviving.

This has been a Saturday morning note to me to stay the course. It’s not getting knocked down that is the determinator, its how you get up. Frankly, you just never know what can happen even against all odds.

Let me know what you think!