I suppose that quote describes me perfectly nowadays. I realized yesterday that I’ve become a very cynical person over the past two years. At least a lot more cynical than I used to be. I’m cynical about romance and dating, I’m cynical about politics, I’m cynical about my generation and the ones that came after it–I’m cynical about other people in general.
Not that cynicism doesn’t have its purpose. Learning from mistakes is fine. Being skeptical about things and people is also fine. But lately that cynicism has checkered my entire worldview. And for what? So that I can live a grumpy, unhappy life and die an angry, lonely death? What’s the point of that?
I’ve always believed that to a certain extent, happiness is a choice. And right now I’m simply choosing to be unhappy. So what if I never change the world? So what if things never get better? So what if people are selfish, obnoxious jerks? Why does any of that have to ruin my life? Objectively, it doesn’t have to. If given the choice of going through life shrouded by a desolate cloud of cynicism and pessimism or with a glimmer of hope and some optimism, I’ll choose the latter.
Because ultimately, what does going through life with a giant chip on your shoulder get you? It gets you fucking nothing is what it gets you. I realize that it may not be possible to solve all of the world’s problems or even your own problems, but why not try? What’s the harm in trying? So you fail. You’ll be right back where you were before. You haven’t lost anything. But what if you succeed? You gain something!
Looking at myself now, I know where I went wrong. I let a failed marriage and a string of bad relationships and dating get to me. I let the news media and its 24 hour cycle of doom and gloom get to me. I let a lot of stuff get to me. But the key is that I let it get to me. I made the conscious choice to give up and go the other direction after a lifetime of optimism and believing. Well, no more. I’m done being part of the problem. The world doesn’t need one more cynical douche bag asshole. I used to love problem solving, meeting new people, going new places, sharing ideas, the creative process, trying new things. I want to be that person again.
I only get one go at life and I intend to make the most of it. I don’t care if that’s on the micro scale or the macro scale. There’s no reason not to be happy. There’s no reason not to be hopeful. There’s no reason to reject love and connection, to stop trying to improve ourselves and the world around us. As soon as we lose all of those things, we’re giving up everything that makes us human. Those are the things that make life worth living. And I, for one, am choosing to rejoin the land of the living.