Every day I feel like I’m fighting with myself on how to not become (more) cynical.
2019 is almost over, and while it kind of feels like it flew by, it also kind of feels like it was the longest roller coaster that I straight-up never agreed to ride. Like, yes, I love me a roller coaster, but I def would not have signed up for THIS 365-day ride! I don’t need the season pass, so I definitely don’t need the year-long pass. Alas, we’re almost through it, and if you’ve had a tumultuous experience and have almost made it to the finish line too, I commend you.
I feel like this year more people were blaming things on “mercury being in retrograde” even more so than normal. When like, yes, while I do sort of believe that the cosmos and energy can be quite effective on us, we can’t blame mercury for EVERYTHING. Leave her alone, y’all. At some point we need to take responsibility for our own actions, whether it comes to situations we’ve got ourselves in, ways we’ve responded to things, or sometimes, it’s just bad fucking luck.
It’s that last part that kills my heart a little bit more and more sometimes. I’m constantly ranting on here about things that I realize are “part of adulting”. One of them is accepting that not everyone is dealt a great hand, and that really bad things can happen to really good people.
At the same time, cynicism and bitterness is a demon that can turn even the very best, sour. I’ve witnessed it first hand since I can remember. As someone who was always a people watcher, and always pretty intuitive to people’s feelings, I was constantly observing how both strangers and those close to me, would respond to things. Sometimes they were valid, sometimes they were fucked up, and sometimes they were this unsettling middle ground that made me think, “This person is simply, over it.” I made conscious decisions to always fight aggressively to never be that person. I am a firm believer in verbally speaking to yourself, specifically in a mirror. I’ve done it more times than I care to admit, but it’s OK to give yourself a talking to, and sometimes you NEED to hear it out loud. I’ve literally said “never become that person” so many times to myself in a mirror. Getting older you learn that that fight is indeed going to be harder than you thought it was.
What am I cynical about? Why is this such a battle? (You may ask. Hell, I’d ask. Hell, writing this I just genuinely asked myself… Yes, out loud. Just not into a mirror this time.)
I’m cynical because I’ve realized that I haven’t remotely met the potential that I was intended for, and that others (my mother most specifically) worked TIRELESSLY, to give me an opportunity for. I worry that I may never meet that potential, and that quite frankly, I somehow have developed into being a lost cause. I’m a good person and I’m doing pretty good things, but it still truly feels like it and I amount to nothing, time and time again.
I’m cynical because I wake up so many days with this knowledge of Routine, and so many days my brain genuinely asks: “so this is it? This is life?” I guess I just always thought it would be more exciting, or that it wouldn’t feel so mundane at times. Wake up. Shower. Work. Decompress. Work. Sleep. The rinse and repeat cycle, while constantly adding Spin cycles, of art, love, events, just to keep things busy. I mean, honestly, old people must just be SO tired. Cause y’all, I am already EXHAUSTED!
I’m cynical because I have been so immensely honored and lucky to have been raised by, and then choosing to surround myself with, the most beautiful beings to grace this earth. They are angels among humans, and they are kind, and glorious, yet flawed, and I’m constantly seeing just how much they have to offer. And it makes me angry to see them not be given the absolute fucking world. How is the most giving and compassionate being that I’ve ever met, not given the cards to just be able to rest easy, without a multitude of health problems, or just to finally after a life of hardships, relax? It makes me angry, and makes me question the point of it all.
I know, I know. Everything I’m saying is literally, just what life is. I get that. But I’m also allowed to be angry about it, and this is simply me answering my own questions to myself. Will I ever be able to handle the fact that life isn’t fair? Will I ever be able to handle the fact that some beautiful babies are born into a world that automatically hates them for things they have absolutely no control or choice over? I don’t think I will. And that makes me angry also. Ugh. All. This. Anger. See what I mean? Lol
Anger is a very gross emotion, when not then turned into productivity or progress. We all feel it, and we’re all valid. If you have any of these feelings that I have, I encourage you that you turn them into positive action. Or this world will eat you alive and turn you into something that you should never be:
Be kind to strangers.
Be kind to everyone.
Be kind to yourself.
Speak honestly about the things that make you angry, and then speak to yourself about how to turn that into change. Speak to each other. I promise that you are almost NEVER alone in a way that you feel. Speak to me if you like. I’m around, and if you can’t tell, I fucking love to talk.
Don’t be hesitant to remind yourself of all the things that make you so, so, extremely and exceedingly lucky. Say it out loud. Feel the words, and let those emotions run through your entire body, as those words enter and leave it.
I am extremely and exceedingly lucky, because I simply wake up with a roof above my head, with a job, with the ability to feed myself, bathe myself and also treat myself from time to time. While I financially feel like my life is continuously challenged and that I am chasing money day-to-day, it could always be worse.
I am so so extremely and exceedingly lucky because I am loved. I have encountered people who have decided I am worth dealing with my flaws, that they can see the hard work that I’m putting in to better myself, and that I am, a good person.
I am lucky because I have had foundations set for me and opportunities to test what I will and won’t allow, what I want and do not want, and what makes me happy and what doesn’t. Each day I am learning just a little bit more about myself.
I am lucky because I get to be surrounded by art and artists almost every day that reminds me that there are things larger than me, universal mediums that make this world go round, and can also distract me when I feel lonely, beaten or down. Art is everywhere, and it is beautiful. Open those eyes, absorb it and be moved. Great art can feel like the world’s biggest hug, and you deserve that.
I am lucky because, for now, I’m alright. That is more than a lot can say, and it is important to realize that.
I am lucky and I am immensely grateful. Despite my cynical ways and despite the fact that my dreams may not always feel reachable anymore at times, I am immensely grateful. And hopeful. And my little light is still somehow burning.
And you should be too.
I hope everyone has a beautiful holiday, and I thank you for allowing me a place to rant, rave and word vomit. Whether you’re surrounded by blood family or chosen family, whether you’re stuck working or able to treat yourself to a meal of your choice, I hope that you smile and I hope that you have a wonderful day.
And when something pisses you off or makes you angry, just know that it’d probably piss me off too, and you’re not alone. 🙂
All my love,
Your Cynical Dreamer
PS: Cynicism is bearable. Hope is always the better choice.
Peter William Dunn is a born and raised New Yorkers, who is currently a freelance writer, producer, director and sometimes actor in the city.
His professional passions include: film, music, literature, helping other artists thrive and all around storytelling
His personal passions include: puppies, babies, black and white milkshakes, and attractive men with accents (he has an extra strong track record for attracting emotionally unavailable men, but don’t tell him we told you that, and don’t yell at him for speaking in third person right now).
His current loves are his dog, Domino, a whiskey neat, and in case you didn’t know, his mother is the greatest human being on earth ❤