should auld acquaintance be forgot
So I’ve decided to make some changes in 2018. Changes in the way I see the world. I fear I have spent the better part of my life seeing the world as I want it to be. I realized recently that it was a conscious choice I was making.
For example, one of dozens I could provide but feel is the most appropriate for examination, there was this girl I was seeing.
So damn beautiful.
Ok, I’m going to stop right there. If I’m going to take this seriously then I can’t start off with a statement like that.
She was cute at best. On her best day she was cute. On her worst she was painfully plainfully plain. Riddled with imperfections.
For years I was under the self-induced delusion that she was kind and giving, and occasionally she was, but she was also self-absorbed and callous. I wish I could say she was oblivious when she was being cruel but she wasn’t. She understood completely the implications of her actions and just didn’t care.
I kept thinking that I didn’t want to live in a world where she wasn’t smart and funny and beautiful. I held on to this world and even created other worlds to support it. Entire realities invented just to allow this girl to be who I wanted her to be. Who I felt I needed her to be. A world where she had limitless potential. Another where she could do anything she put her mind to.
At great psychological cost to myself.
I somehow felt I would be diminished if she wasn’t the girl I’d invented in my head so I suffered through her endless parade of cruelty. The metaphorical sequins and feathers blinding me to the fact that underneath was just an ordinary girl with ordinary shortcomings. Not an evil person by any means but just so plainfully ordinary that perhaps a little evilness might have actually helped. While I invented entire universes for her to rule I was just one of many guys vying to be in her life. I knew that I could be discarded without a second thought.
So the decision was to enter the new year fighting for this epic romance or admit it was neither epic nor romantic.
An invention in my own head to somehow make my own life a little richer.
Perhaps that’s all that wisdom is; stripping away how we want things to be and accepting them for what they really are.
Perhaps that’s what the Greeks meant by “Ignorance is bliss.”
“There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?” inquired Robert Kennedy and was then promptly shot and killed. That’s why not.
Perhaps 2018 is the year that I stop asking why altogether and just start accepting things at face value. I can’t even make that a ‘resolution’ because it’s something I should have been doing all along. You can’t exactly make “I’m going to keep breathing in and out” a New Year’s resolution. Talk about some low aspirations. I believe seeing things as they are falls into that category.
Although it won’t be easy and might end up creating some heavy sighs along the way, which would seemingly violate both resolutions.
“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one” offered up Einstein.
“Reality is that which when you stop believing in it, it doesn’t go away” countered Philip K. Dick.
But wait, “Is it not possible to think that all human beings are living in their assumptions?” asks Itachi Uchiha. “The unreal is more powerful than the real” implores Chuck Palahniuk. I hear Douglas Adam’s voice chiding “Reality is frequently inaccurate.”
Robert Pirsig adds “We take a handful of sand from the endless landscape of awareness around us and call that handful of sand the world” which seems to indicate some choice as to where we grab our sand but then Philip Roth interjects “There’s no remaking reality … just take it as it comes.”
Inevitably Richard Bach will be forced to conclude “Reality is divinely indifferent.”
She is not special which makes me less special. If she was, which I fought for and longed for up until New Year’s Eve 2017, it would make my life have meaning beyond desires and money and fleeting images of purpose. It would elevate me.
But she isn’t.
She never was.
She never will be.
That’s my New Year’s resolution.
“Isn’t reality an insatiable AIDS-riddled whore?”
-Roberto Bolano, 2666