But Im not at all comfortable with the idea that our current happiness rides on our perceptions of our potential for happiness in the future. How are we supposed to know whats happening in the future? What is it about us that cannot define “happiness” without the word “security” somewhere in prominence in our definitions? Why do we see ourselves as incomplete, imperfect, imperiled, unless we can see even to the very ends of our lives? Why doesn’t living the lie that is the belief that we can predict tomorrow bother us nearly as much as believing the lie that we cant face that tomorrow without adequate preparation? Is it hard to constantly be asked to adapt? Yes? Does our adaptability prove our vitality? Absolutely. What about predicting the future makes us feel safe? Is it the specific future that we predict, or the vagary of the notion that we can predict it, no matter what it may be. My bets go on the latter. What, then, of our current situations? What of the specificity and predictability of our lives that allows us to trick ourselves into believing that we can predict the future? If you look at it long enough, it begins to look like WHAT we can predict isn’t nearly as important as the simple belief that we CAN predict something, and that’s not okay with me.
Fortunately, it doesn’t matter whats okay and not okay with me, as my ideas (proved over and over in conversations with just about everybody) are seriously flawed when viewed through a well-adjusted lens. The problem is that I still have to convince myself, and, flawed or not, my way of thinking makes sense to me, so Im left with this issue. Boiled down to a too-simple question: do we settle for less than we deserve, take less than we can get, live less than we should, just out of fear of the unknown (or comfort with the known)?
- A bird in the hand is NOT always worth two in the bush. The bird in your hand is dead. The birds in the bush are plump and tasty (or bright and cheery, should you prefer pets that sing to a hearty stew). So the hell what if you have to get a little bit dirty trying to catch the birds in the bush? You might find that theres a whole family of birds in the bush. Maybe there are no birds there (maybe they migrated before you made your ill-timed move to find them), but no one ever said there was only one bush.
- You are never better safe than sorry – if you’re afraid to be sorry, you never learn and grow. You make a mistake, you learn from it, you grow, you move on. Growing and moving–the only way we can prove that were not dead yet. Better, in my mind, to be vital, to be alive, and to learn from mistakes than to make the only mistake that can’t instruct–to do nothing.
Whatever the situation, I find myself examining it with an eye towards predicting the future. Am I trying it? Am I hanging my hopes on it? Is that okay with me? Maybe Im ranting about this because Im so notoriously bad at predicting the future. Maybe Im freaking out because my entire future is tapped into the crumbling wall of the film industry and I hang up here in space, climbing into fog and knowing only how far I have to fall. Maybe Im trying to be happy despite my ignorance and am targetting people who know that theyve got what they want and arent interested in looking for alternatives because theyve got certainty. Who knows? If Ive demonstrated anything with this rant, its that I certainly dont.