At the beginning of last semester, I adopted a motto: "Suck it up and DEAL!" Vincent and I seem to like this a lot. But it's true: get over the drama and the hate and the negativity. Just live, roll with the punches, accept life as it is. Funny how this motto has actually followed me throughout this school year. Beginning of second semester and it still fits.
This morning in English, we had a substitute who was left with an activity to do with the class. First we had to list ten people who have influenced us in some way (getting to ten was tough
— but of course, once I wrote down the tenth name I thought of five more), and then a few people who might have listed ourselves as influential to them. Then we looked at some random overheads, read some quotes, and now have an assignment to write out three short term goals and three long term goals. Basic inspirational/motivational stuff. I dunno about you, but I personally hate writing my goals out. Goals are good to have, but I don't like it when they become absolute, and that's sort of what writing them out does. I like flexible goals, because it leaves room for growth. Plus, if I don't achieve it, then it doesn't bother me quite as much. (The goal to see Spring Awakening in November? Totally failed! Totally shut me down!) Absolute goals aren't really
bad, no, but sometimes you shouldn't have to push yourself to achieve something.
But that's not what I was going to get at, goals and all. No, actually, I was going to get at one of the quotes. One that I've heard a million times, yes, but this morning it struck
me more so than it ever has before.
You see things; and you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?" - George Bernard Shaw
You see, after I hit "publish" on yesterday's blog and turned off my lights, put my head on my pillow and tried to drift off to sleep, my mind kept turning over so many things that I could have said or still want to say. Not necessarily political, but still related to what I wrote about.
It all ties back into wanting to be in a world in which I am safe
. In a country that compromises instead of fights. I'm kind of an idealist, see? I believe in a better world, a good life, happiness. I mean, how am I supposed to be happy when I grow up if I don't try to see the happy in every situation? And, okay, not every situation has happy, but many do. See, that's what I want to be when I grow up: happy. Happy with whatever life throws at me. Happy in the long run, the short run, the sprint and the jog. Even the power walk. (Okay, stopping now.)
Sure, I used to be this crazy pessimistic kid, cynical and "blah blah the world is out to get me and you and us blah blah." I didn't want to understand optimism and idealism. But that negativity gets so old
. Boring and dull! One day, I realized, "You know what? I kind of like smiling. And another thing? I have faith in the human race." Because I do -— I like to believe that people are inherently good. It's not how they are born, but how they are raised. You have to show them that goodness and kindness exist, that corruption can be fought, that it has to be fought (but not with its own weapons). One day, I got tired of walking around wearing a frown acting like life sucks. I may be negative at times today, but I try my hardest to "turn that frown upside down" (I couldn't pass that one up). Because guess what, folks? Life doesn't suck. Life is beautiful — if you make it so. Yes, it takes work. But everything in life takes work. Everything worth doing, having, living for — it all takes work. And I'm willing to work for my happiness. It's worth it.
A lot of people will call me naïve. But it's not naïveté. I understand that horrible things happen, cruel people exist, wars are fought and people suffer. That doesn't mean there can't be peace, can't be joy. Perhaps not every moment can be filled with love, but not every moment has to be filled with hate, either. I don't want to look at somebody and fear them. I want to look at them and smile, maybe even have them smile back. World Peace may never be reached, nobody may ever find a cure for cancer, and poverty may never be erased. But we can still smile and laugh through hard times. Smiles and laughter — they make the hard times a little more bearable. Who wants to be cynical and depressed all the time? It just makes life suck
, for lack of a better word.
So maybe it's because of all this dwelling that I did last night and today on my idealism, on happiness, on life in general. Maybe it's simply because I had more to say that I didn't cover in yesterday's post. But something about that quote caught a chord in me and made my mind perk up, made the jumbling thoughts in my head start to gather. Something about it made me smile. I'd be lying if I told you that everything is coming together. But right now, it certainly feels like everything in my life is connecting — and it's a good feeling. A really good feeling.
So here's my advice to if silly high school drama is getting you down, if the world is depressing you, if you just can't seem to make that guy like you, whatever: suck it up and deal!
It sounds harsh, yes. But once you say it out loud (it works best to yell it in a deep, action movie voice), you'll crack up laughing. Because it makes sense. You don't have to dwell on the negatives all the time. Just suck it up and deal, and look over your shoulder. There's a bright side somewhere. Near or far, just keep looking. It'll be there, I promise.