I get asked this a lot, and I don’t have a specific post on it, just a letter and a cartoon, so I thought I’d flesh out a further Exegesis of Meh.
First off, it’s not an acronym, although you could come up with some pretty nifty ones. Must Exit Hell, or in Memoriam Ex-Husband, or Mother Effing Hotdish. (Please add yours in the comments!)
Meh is actually a bit of slang the cool kids use that means indifference, to not be bothered by.
I live with a 16 year old boy, a demographic who have perfected the art of meh. Studied indifference comes naturally to adolescent boys. About the only thing my son works himself up into a lather about is if someone forgot to buy frozen pizza this week, otherwise it’s an air of “Oh really?” and “Huh. Is that the best you’ve got?” Meh is indifference with a smattering of withering disdain. “You don’t impress me. Whatever.”
Meh is hard for chumps because we are so good at being all in. It takes quite awhile to extract ourselves from whatever or whomever it was we committed to. And chumps want to be liked (teenage boys, not so much). We get frustrated when people don’t reciprocate our kibbles even a little bit. Or just outright shit on them. The injustice!
Meh is what happens after you internalize “trust that they suck.” You give up the drama, you give up trying to fix them, or make them see the error of their ways. You just move on. And when that annoying, horrible somebody crosses your path? They don’t move you. At most, you might work up to exasperation. What Is the POINT?
Meh is also a very pleasant state, because it stands in stark contrast to the previous drama. Oh, the crazy ride? I lost my ticket. Huh, guess I’ll take this nice walk in the autumn woods instead.
So what is meh? It’s acceptance. It does NOT mean you don’t find what they did utterly reprehensible. Rather, it’s accepting that yes, this happened to me. And yes, this is who this person REALLY IS. You stop bargaining, you stop the what ifs, you stop fishing around in the soup for Those Nice Qualities, trying to weigh them against infidelity and abandonment. Meh is putting the focus back on yourself, and your healing. Meh is when your new (better!) life has eclipsed that painful old life.
Meh is when this person just stops having the power to hurt you.
Meh is really out there. I swear the pain is finite. But it’s really a mental battle some days to move through it. To make yourself walk the dog, or change the sheets, or finish your progress reports. To not let the injustice paralyze you. To tell yourself again and again “this person SUCKS” until you believe it. To live your life without the promise of karma. To just get on with things.
Because one day (a Tuesday), you wake up and you feel free. Oh thank GOD that is over. Whatever was I thinking to give so much of myself to so unworthy a person?
I leave you with a Siegfried Sassoon poem.
“EVERYONE suddenly burst out singing;
And I was filled with such delight
As prisoned birds must find in freedom,
Winging wildly across the white
Orchards and dark-green fields;
on—on—and out of sight.
Everyone’s voice was suddenly lifted;
And beauty came like the setting sun:
My heart was shaken with tears; and horror Drifted away … O, but Everyone
Was a bird; and the song was wordless; the singing will never be done.”