12/31/2008
Things I didn't want to know (but did nevertheless)

One, I appreciate topical humor more than anything else. Only now did I realize the impact of my interests as a child. I've been reading newspapers for as long as I can remember, and my interest in anything that blasts out of the radio's speakers or on the monochromatic television screen meant I was following the news on both media. I took up Communication Arts with the intention of becoming a writer, but my past easily caught up with me, and I come out more confused than ever before.

But, if anything pretty notable has come out of it, it's my interest in current events. I'm still not the news geek people presume me to be, but make me watch the news and expect me to argue with the anchor in ten minutes. Don't expect me to go to the streets and protest - some people argue it's the only way to make democracy work, which is either them being stupid, or me being ignorant - but expect me to discuss and argue with someone who'll probably agree with me, or at the very least, not shout back at me in dismissal. And, expect me to be the only one among the people you know - now that's a seriously tall order, so refute me - to understand what Jon Stewart was referring to when he finally gave kudos to George W. Bush.

I don't really know why, but my interest in satire is rooted in two things: I'm probably the only one in the house who gets it, and it makes me look smart. And, the popularly irreverent people do these things well, and I secret aspire to become like them, if only to get the attention I still think I deserve. Then again, it's better to laugh at Tina Fey becoming Sarah Palin than at yourself becoming a slave to your unattainable dreams. And, even if things do change, nothing will come out of it anyway, and quite simply so.

Two, I am more cynical than I thought. Sure, I already admitted to that, but who would've known that it's a bigger thing than I thought? My official explanation remains the same: I was well-loved in elementary, but the moment I moved to high school the situation completely reversed, and seven years later, I still attribute my (seeming) mistrust of people without any terrible drama to that experience. Still, that attitude - I don't think that's what you mean, I'll take everything you say with a grain of salt, I'll have a back-up plan so I get to save myself, you really want me down, don't you? - is getting me into more trouble. Sadly, people think that borders more on anti-social than anti-risk, and they just hate that. Collaboration, they say, but that doesn't always work.

I don't really want to get into fights, but lately I've waged war with more people than I have my entire life. You can't keep quiet for so long, after all. Silence just makes things more complicated - your feelings grow to eat you - so you might as well let yourself known. No, you can't do this to me. You're not doing the right thing. You're being unfair. As much as my mind's rooted on objectivity, I am only getting to grips with what really constitutes an attack. So, sure, my cynicism has its points, and they turn out right most of the time. There is, of course, the remaining fifty percent.

Three, my pride often gets in the way. I hate myself for being fickle. I've always said I'll never get married, but now I'm actually hankering on getting started, despite all my doubts about the entire thing. I made fun of indecisive people, but I'm still the most indecisive person I know. Angry today, angry tomorrow, but quickly hoping for an apology, and see things as they were before the big explosion - impossible, of course. I don't like confrontation, and I don't like the feeling of actually being angry at people. Part of me still thinks they don't deserve it, and that it's all in my head.

But that's the problem. Everybody has said that other people can't do bad things to me; they always say it's all in my head. So if someone decides to stab my back for a reason I still can't grapple with, it's probably in my head, right? Even if people show me actual proof that they're laughing at me, calling me names and making sure it reaches to everyone so they can turn their backs against me? I mistrust people, but I try hard to do so. Sure, that's me being fickle, but sometimes you really can't help it, especially if all that you're expected to do is act civil to other people and hide whatever you're feeling, all for the sake of etiquette.

For once, I want to feel that I did the right decision. Everybody's told me that I'm doing everything wrong. I'm a sucker for certainty - everything has to go perfectly before I take a dive - so when I'm in it, I'll be in it forever, even if things are going terribly. I'll just pretend that me claiming to be insulted is true, even if they'll later suggest they weren't. I'll just stay - ugh, shudder, who invented this crap? - civil, if only for the sake of damned etiquette. We're all phony people. Don't say you aren't.

Four, people don't really care, much more if you don't try. Call it an offshoot of my cynicism. When you see someone stumble, don't do anything about it, because they won't do the same to you when you stumble. Don't scare your secrets with anybody else, because they won't trust you with their secrets. All these ideas of altruism are just psychological fodder, or a feel-good hook on a television show. Yet, I'm weak enough to except some degree of reciprocity from the people who I expect it the most - haven't you figured out why  I'm throwing many middle fingers at a 36-year-old hypocrite?

And yet you aim to attract someone's attention, and as much as you think - or, well, feel - that doing so is the right thing to do, and you see yourself spending the rest of your life in unsolicited bliss, and maybe having some unusually good times in the car, or in church, or in some foreign country, or in bed, you can't. Things will really get in the way, more so your beliefs that the favor won't be returned, and your fear that things will go wrong, as it always has. It sucks wanting something you aren't supposed to want. It sucks that you can't do anything about it.

Five, I'm not made for these lists. I certainly am not, or at least refuse to be, the cheesy kind, one who spends the last week of the year looking back at the things I've done, and vow to change the supposedly undesirable aspects. But, most importantly, there's no use to looking back and trying to change things, especially in the new year. It's become a cliché, and a horrible one, considering that any time now, we're all going to die, and everything that we've done will amount to a marker in your grave, which will be forgotten sooner than we thought. Oh, I want to get there soon.

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