Ok, so I understand the pointlessness of existance. So I understand that dreams don't come true. So I see how things work out in the end. I know what you're thinking: big freakin' deal, right? Those of you smarter and more evoloved than I am (which is probably the bulk of you) already saw that, understood it, accepted it and moved on years before I even began to devlop the notion that maybe most of what I formed my worldview on was B.S. "I was jaded when you were in diapers!" or some such.
You have a right to have whatever reaction you had to my last post. It was hopeless. Appologetically so, but still- hopeless in a way that I have not earned. Afterall, if I judge life on less than the "big picture" I've got a pretty sweet deal going on. Maybe not what I wanted, but as I already figured out: what I wanted was a fairytale, or possibly the matrix (in that I was taught to beleive in it and didn't know I was dreaming. Except I don't know kung fu.)
A friend of mine who, in my opinion, at least, has more than earned the right to be a hell of a lot more hopeless and jaded than I am has made the choice, and i'm sure has to continue to make it on a daily basis, not to be. Instead of waking up and going "I'm going to be a miserable bastard today!" like i've been doing, he wakes up every morning and says "I'm going to make someone laugh today!" or "I'm going to surprise someone with something awesome!" or even "I'm going to write something great today!" Whatever it happens to be, he doesn't say "I'm going to be a miserable bastard!" even though he totally has that right.
Strangely enough, I thought that having that right made you less likely to be a miserable bastard. Afterall, if you have to struggle to get out of bed or sit up at a desk aren't you going to be that much more grateful for it when you do? Won't the simple things mean more because you can't take them for granted? And since I do take them for granted, aren't I incapable of being grateful for them?
The obvious answer is no. I am not immune to enjoying the "simple positives" which my friend lives for nor should I be because, as he pointed out, that may be all I get. I may have nothing more to live for than the simple positives and if so, i'm no better or worse off than anyone else.
My problem, is that i've been looking at the big picture and losing track of right now. Right now, I may indeed have a big box in front of me with a big shiny red bow on it and the toy that i've wanted more than anything wrapped up inside. I may, if I so choose, squeel with delight upon pulling off that big red bow and seeing said toy. I may play non-stop with said toy until I either break it or get bored with it (both inevitabilities). And then, two days after Christmas when i've spent the last 48 hours playing non-stop with my awesome new toy I will leave it on the floor and my mother will put it in the salvaion army box to be donated.
That's my problem- I get stuck in the salvation army box. The two-days-after-Christmas syndrome, if you will. Instead of looking at how much joy, how much fun, how much sheer delight I get from that toy for two days I look at the time when the toy is old and boring and I need something new to be super excited about.
Like a kid who, the second after he gets bored of the toy, starts screaming about the next toy they want. I've lost track of what I have to be grateful for. I've let myself forget how many kids there are not getting a shiny new toy on Christmas. I've let myself forget how many people never get a shiny new toy cause all their moms can afford is my leftovers from the salvation army. Or, as is often the case, no toy at all.
But getting stuck there does me no good at all. In addition to making me miserable it will alienate me from people who see how incredibly ungrateful i'm being, what a spoiled brat, so to speak. After all, who the hell wants to hang out with a miserable bastard? No one I know. Everyone I know wants to hang out with the person who has the wisdom to see the world for what it is and be greatful for it. To taste the vinegar and smile, as eastern philosophy will tell us to do.
And, as my friend pointed out, there may still be a possibility for us to "do something awesome beyond happiness and pain". We are still young, after all. But even if we don't, even if hapiness derived from simple positives and pain dervied from the inevitable shitty stuff is all we get, we still should make the choice to be happy. Not just because that's all we have, but because if we're smart about living our lives that's all we need.
So, I am looking at the simple positives. This morning I got myself a big cup of coffe and a chocolate chip muffin. Financially speaking, I shouldn't have- it's all those little expenses that add up. Time-wise I shouldn't have- I was already running late for work. And i'm sure there are several other reasons why I shouldn't have. But I did. And the muffin was tasty and the coffe nice and steamy on a bitterly cold day. And I may want it to be more than that. I may focus on how getting coffee would be no big deal if I made more or how I wouldn't have been running late to work if i'd left earlier. Then I could do what so i'm skilled at: blame myself and feel bad. But again, what's the point? If I don't want to be a miserable bastard then i'm doing the wrong damned thing.
So my challenge is to see the world as I see it and to be realistic enough not to expect my dreams to come true, and to be happy anyway. Not in spite of it, but because of it. Because i'm zen enough to know that this is all we have and it's enough. Because i'm smart enough not to negatively judge my life for being less than extrodinary. Because i'm considerate enough to know that my friends deserve better than a miserable bastard to hang out with. Because "miserable bastard" dosn't go well with my pre-existing personality traits. Whatever the reason, it's enough motivation to pull myself out of the salvation army box and play.