I'm rarely optimistic. Carved from a lifetime of superficial gratification but emotional disquiet--never really finding the right group of friends throughout adolescence, coming out at a time when others were declaring love for their prom dates with charm bracelets and away messages, leaving sexual encounters sadder than I entered them--I long ago decided to take the classically pessimist view of life, that if you expect the worse then you can only be pleasantly surprised.
Of course, my mind runs away from me sometimes, and I build things up; from the simplest party to a first date, my imagination paints landscapes I'll never know, scenes and scenarios in which I'm everything I want to be. There's almost always a significant other who never pushes me to fuck him when I'm not in the mood and, absent or with me, tempts my future with sickeningly sweet kisses and platitudes, whispering in my ear from a satin bed sheet in some modern city. And the other things I imagine go perfectly, like sitcom montages, my friends' laughter timed to whatever quirky indie track is stuck in my mind at the moment.
But this is all anticipation and fantasy; when I really begin to think about my future, I never grasp fulfillment. I see myself struggling and going through the motions. I'll sit in a room with my closest friends and depress myself: 'I will know these people for the rest of my life.' And I couldn't have picked better people to know, but this inevitably, this single social thread, my English major that will surely prove absolutely useless in whatever occupational endeavor I attempt, this blog, my inability to lower my standards for the multitude of perfectly acceptable men out there--all these things keep me up at night, as I stare at the ceiling and pretend I'm comfortable. What I mean is: I rarely get excited by my future. I am never eager to dip into the next phase of my life, and excuses come to me more easily than any sort of plan. I'm not suicidal in the slightest, but I've always wondered, when I die, if I would miss anything especially--not people, I'd miss so many people, but other, intangible things, the sort of things that make one wake up in the morning and go to bed early for. So many people my age have already found these x-factors. I'm not passionless, am I?
No. Because, try as I might to suppress the feeling, I cannot help but feel good about this upcoming semester. I worry that I've jinxed myself right there, but it cannot be ignored. I'm eager to start my classes, two of my best friends in the world are back from studying abroad (though many other good friends are leaving, and I tepidly comfort myself with a "less is more" philosophy), I'm going to be in a workshop with a renowned writer who might be able to teach me how to- ha!- break into the business, I'm going to have to get a new job and will not settle for something unappealing, I got a new camera for Hanukkah that is so incredible awesome and I'm going to piss off all my friends by taking pictures of them every three seconds, I will turn 21 in February, I am probably going to start therapy...
...Slow down. There's so much to do. But for once, I'm ready to take on these challenges, to not try to do everything at once but also not just hide in my bed until my life somehow falls into place on its own. Consider this my self-motivation. By the end of this semester, I will be happier than I've ever been before.
This will not stop me from being cynical or unnecessarily snarky and I will still get high and laugh at dumb things, don't worry. But huzzah! Onto the new year, and a new hope. To all my gentile readers, Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah to us Jews! I will not be unrealistic and expect a TOTAL LIFE SHIFT in the course of a few months, but I know I have it in me to improve myself at a little bit, ensuring all the while that this next semester is anything but typical.