At the peak of my Daria life-outlook (following a down-in-flames relache), I had a motto:
“Expect nothing from anyone and never be disappointed.”
At the time, I was trying to passively convey the morose message of “I’ve obviously been hurt but I want to look like a badass so I’ll show all of you by never trusting anyone again and pretending I’m Beatrice Kiddo, exacting revenge on random men like a praying mantis lover”. And that’s funny because a decade later, I’m learning that this thing’s just a fact that can make you pretty happy when you don’t latch on some woe-is-me emotional bow tie component about your past to it.
It’s not just people, either. I realized – don’t expect anything – out of life.
Now, that may sound defeatist, but hear me out. I’m not saying give up and eat T.V. dinners alone in curmudgeonly solitude the rest of your life while wanking to the baking channel. What I mean is – still expect. Expect everything. Just expect out of yourself and not a person, place, or thing more. Whether we’re sick or sad or convinced a black cloud that rains diarrhea is following us, none of it changes till we boot-camp our own asses to handle the life course without lamenting each of the hurdles. It’s like that time I was the green goblin, flying through the sky. Did I have time to get upset about all the debris coming at me? No! I was riding that pure adrenaline wave! I had a mission! Had to capture Peter Parker! And sodomize him! (That is how Spiderman ends, right?)
Anyway, I suppose I felt inspired to write this because A. There was a sciencey article trending on the concept, and B. I’m hearing a shiz ton of friends hating on the bad luck fairy (begotten of the tooth fairy, begotten of the Easter bunny, begotten of…
Ain’t mad atchya, though.
In fact, whenever I get a dose of someone else’s melancholia make-believe world, it’s like some Wonderland-esque unbirthday gift that I’m grateful for in a backward way. Why? Because it’s ever a reflection of what I’m doing wrong in my own life when I start to get a case of the moody blues or mean reds. And then I want to rewind the world for an immediate do-over. Pause! Erase it from reality! But I can’t do that – so I just change it now, instead. You know how when you see someone with James Dean posture and it automatically makes you sit up straight? Yeah. It’s like that.
(My work in P.T. ruined me. I just wanna revive this poor dead man and pull his shoulders down and back, while ordering him to squeeze his lower traps.)
So when I hear, “I just have bad luck” (made worse when it comes from people who would feel physical pain if they said “Today was good!”), I can’t help but remind them of the time when I was them – when I was that exact person. Some people don’t like that – especially if they knew me during a darker era of my life – because if I could dredge myself out of fecal quicksand, then shit. I guess that means they don’t have an excuse, do they? This is usually when that un-birthday tea party experiences a 180 degree GPS recalculation.
But I’ve heard you can’t deny someone their wit’s end epiphany moment – the one that makes them wanna change and never go back. So all I’ll say is, “Yeah, I used to have ‘bad luck’ too” (usually I skip the finger-air quotes). When asked what changed, all I can say is: “Me. Not ‘changed’ but ‘changing’. Every damned day.” When we get that settle-mentality, we’re expecting to sit back as life gives us a forever-blowie. You figure out how to accomplish that, and you tell me how. Till then, all’s I’m saying is I’ve yet to meet a congenitally miserable person who “just needs to find the right man or woman or gender-transitioning-companion” and to not watch the most salient climax of that relationship be the imminent drama bomb explosion. Just like all of mine (before I realized I’d been ass dialing the detonator button with my diva ego over and over and…)
In sum: expect nada, and your life will look like less of a relentless dark joke.