Illustration of angry face

Untethered Hate

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Even the most callous version of me is not entirely comfortable with using the word “hate” in a mundane setting. As much as I want to say that I hate spiders, I probably fear them more than I hate them. Do I hate my neighbor’s voice? No, I probably am annoyed that he had to laugh that loud at 3 am. 

Hate is too strong a word. And yet, I probably do use it more than I realize. Even then, in my mind, hate looks like a noose I tie around my neck with the other end tied to the neck of someone or something that doesn’t care about my existence. 

As I doom-scrolled away on a sunny afternoon, I stumbled across the news that a YouTuber — I probably found annoying but proclaimed to hate — had died. He was in his late twenties and made handheld selfie-cam videos ranting about his favorite football (I refuse to call it soccer) team losing matches. 

However hilarious it sometimes was that he was so passionately pissed off that his team lost against a rookie team, I found him loud and annoying and mentally made a note that I “hated” him and didn’t want to watch his stuff. 

Cut to today, and I did not know what to feel. I was not sad but confused that my immature hatred did not have a destination anymore. I quietly thought, “Rest in peace,” and continued scrolling.

On a later moment of quiet reflection, I thought back to the pretentious classmate whom I disliked, that judgmental old neighbor whom I thought had an unnecessarily angry face, that breakfast cereal that I dreaded waking up to as a kid, and sundry other objects and people with traits that I had misplaced feelings of aversion towards. 

Most of them do not exist today. Ironically, as much as I needed people I liked around me not to feel lonely, I also needed the presence of people and objects I did not care about to feel less alone. Without them around somewhere in the world, I felt like a moron with a rope around my neck with its other end hanging limply by my side. 

This is my convoluted way of saying that hate is overrated. With nothing to tether it to, hate seems to be nothing but a silly rope around my head that serves me no purpose. 

One day, I want to be this evolved person above hate and all those pesky little negative feelings. But today, I must settle for someone who continues to curse and “hate” Grammarly for micromanaging my writing.