As many people do when faced with their mortality (I hit the big 22 a couple weeks ago folks, Im not gettting any younger), I have been doing some thinking. What do I think, what do I know, and what do I think I know?
Everyone steps into the social sphere with different expectations. Every time you walk out the door, you have hopes, dreams, fears, and ideals of what will happen. You will be the most popular kid on your block. You will not get shut in a locker during gym. You will be able to find a better date to the prom than your cousin. You have more page numbers after your name in the yearbook than any other senior. Your freshman year roommate will be your best friend for life. You will hook up tonight. When you fall in love this time, it will be forever.
Things proceed, expectations are met and violated. Maybe your roommate spends 6-8 hours on the phone every day. Maybe you go to prom single. Maybe you will get ass tonight, but you will regret it tomorrow.
Woody Allen says (I’m paraphrasing because I don’t remember his exact words) that you shouldn’t expect too much out of life. If you aim for a 10 and you get a 6, you will always be disappointed. If you aim for a 4, then you’re pleasantly surprised. However, you might argue that low expectations are always met. Does that mean if you aim for a 4, what would have been a 6 becomes a 4? Is this how to live life?
People always say, think positive. Ellen Degeneres said (paraphrasing again) that she believes in daily affirmations -we make them all the time. “I will get out of bed today” you say in the morning. “I will pass the BAR exam” you mutter on your way to the testing center. “No copper is ever gonna catch me” you hiss as you pull on your ski mask. You’re pumping yourself up and telling yourself you can succeed.
Well, my motto is think realistic. My idea of true love is that one day, I will turn to him and say: “I hate the way you make spaghetti. Your eyebrows are crooked. You never remember to return your library books, you like Yanni (gag), and you couldn’t find your ass with a map and a flashlight. Given all of these things, I’d still rather be with you than not. I would spend my life eating crappy spaghetti, listening to that godawful noise, and hopelessly lost if it meant I would be with you.” It may not be the most traditionally romantic idea, but if you can accept all of the person’s faults and still like them, you’re in a better situation than most.
In the end, you’re the one who has to live with your dreams, hopes, triumphs and losses. Maybe you’ll aim for a 10 and get at a 10 (you and your roommate remain best friends for 50 years), maybe you’ll pump yourself up for a 3 and get a 9 (you are sure no one will come to your play and the whole gang shows up), maybe you’ll try for an 8 and get a 7 (you marry a great guy just as he begins to bald). How you want to take them is up to you – I just hope that you can enjoy the ride. Life is too short not to laugh at the absurdity.