Okay so I’m sure at some point in your life, you’ve typed a url into a web browser, the little circle has started turning, and then the screen stops and an error message pops up. No amount of refreshing the page or checking for typos can make it go away. Whether it’s for a job application or directions to Panera, we all get those pesky messages. And if not, then believe you me, it happens to the best of us.
Embarrassingly enough, I didn’t know until a little bit ago (we’re talking months, people), that there’s a whole lexicon of http status codes, and that each hundred is indicative of what the browser is going through. Even cooler (okay, fine, it’s not cool), is the fact that just because you don’t get an error message doesn’t mean a status wasn’t sent—yet only get your stereotypical error message if something is so wrong that the browser can’t resolve itself. Like, all 2xx codes mean that the browser did what it was supposed to do. And and and, servers aren’t even allowed to send 1xx codes to end users!
Why do I think this is so amazing.
(I totally know why; it’s my ESTJ self being very very happy that order exists and systems prevail…I digress).
Okay, so what does a 5xx error mean. It’s a problem with the server: the user request was totally fine and great and something malfunctioned that was out of their control. And, for whatever reason, their request is denied. Generally, the server gets that there’s a problem, and the 5xx is its way of saying “dude I’m sorry, but I’ve got nothing for ya”. Whether it’s an issue of legality or permissions, it’s something that neither the user nor the machine can fix, and things just don’t work out.
It’s kinda the worst when life throws you a 5xx error.
When you didn’t do anything wrong (per se), and no one else did something wrong to you (again, per se), but bad things still happen. Sometimes, it’s not anyone’s fault when things go wrong. But go wrong they do, and you just kind of have to deal with it.
That’s a bit of what this week was like for me. I tried and it wasn’t enough; I worked and came up short. So what do you do.
You take outfit pictures in downtown. Sure, 1/7 pictures has to be scrapped because it’s too bright with the fog. Sure, you get a lot of strange looks from people who walk past you on their way to breakfast. Sure, your smile feels fake and sure you don’t feel as festive as the garlands around you. But you do it anyways.
You fix the things you can, and walk away from what you can’t. You help others with their own fixes, and focus on them so they can deal with their things. Someone has to wash the painter’s brushes, or hold the lug wrench. You recognize something you’d forgotten, in the brokenness of what once was. You create something out of the wreckage, or swipe it aside for a clean slate.
All this to say, don’t get to worked up when things don’t go according to plan. Have a good cry, watch a horrible feel-good movie, call a friend you know won’t mind that you’re whining. Order a London Fog when you really should use that $5 for gas. Take care of you, of the things that you can control, and let the 5xx’s go. They’ll work themselves out.
(Disclaimer: yes, there’s a lot more to http errors than this; of that I am fully aware, I promise. I’m just more aware of the fact that most of my readers don’t come to my blog in pursuit of response status codes).