Monday, October 22, 2007

About Me, Cryptically

One thing about me is that I am hopelessly pessimistic. I am always certain that the worst will happen, even in circumstances where the worst is no big deal. Every single time I follow directions (I mean it: every single time), I'm sure they are wrong. I know the cake won't work. I won't get the job. Nobody will come to the party.

In my 43 years on the planet, this negativity has been disproved many more times than not, infinitely more times, in fact. So I have taken to keeping a constant IV of cognitive behavioral therapy dripping into my veins. I think I know things will not work out, I tell myself, but the high likelihood, given past performance, is that they will work out, so I must remember, I tell myself, that this is not what I KNOW but what I FEEL, so I proceed as if things will work out, even though I know that I feel they will not, and that my feeling feels like knowledge, and then they usually work out, and I am on to the next potential failure.

It works, most of the time, but it would be so much easier to see the world through the lens of sunny optimism.

Another thing about me is that I am certain that I Know Better. Than who? Than everyone.

Remember that scene in Broadcast News? Actually, it's two scenes.

The first scene is the one where Holly Hunter tells the cabdriver where to go. I used to always tell the cabdriver where to go--ON THAT EXACT SAME ROUTE. And then I thought, this is ridiculous, you are way too controlling, just let the damn cabdriver go, and he went hopelessly wrong and got us in terrible traffic on some convoluted route that cost way more than mine would have cost and took longer too.

The other scene is the one where William Hurt tells her, sarcastically, that it must be terrible to always know better than everyone, and she weeps and says, yes, yes, it is terrible. And I wept too (OK, maybe not, I'm not so much of a cryer [crier?] at movies, but I felt her pain, truly I did). Because it is terrible: you always know better, and people are always doing things wrong, and if you tell them how they could do it better, you are an ass, and if you don't tell them, you go crazy over how badly things are being done, and it's just terrible all around.

Now this is another one where I basically know the difference between what I KNOW and what I FEEL, but I won't explicate it, so I don't get twisted up in some other insane sentence, and I've learned, or rather, I'm learning, or at least, I'm trying, not to constantly proclaim to the world my Greater Knowledge of Everything. These days I am in fairly regular contact with someone who is certain they Know Better, and truly, it is excruciating to be around this person, and I hate to think that it could be excruciating to be around me, though I KNOW and FEEL that often it is.

At any rate, just as I am trying not to succumb to or articulate my general perspective of doom, I am trying not to force my Better Ways of Doing Just About Everything onto those around me, but can I just say that it is very, very difficult. Truly, it is.

Now, go cry for me, Argentina.


Dawn said...

See, I totally buy into your hype. I think most of the time you know better, too. That's why I keep listening to you. Maybe I should stop. (I told you that you remind me of my mom and it's because she's like this, too. And I do believe that I have not escaped being like this myself but only where poor Brett is concerned. Oh and everyone we've ever discussed but that goes without saying.)

Phantom Scribbler said...

The non-parenthetical part of what Dawn said. Yeah.

But why on earth haven't you blogged the Red Sox yet???

Jenny Davidson said...

Very funny post--I hear you! (And like Dawn, I was going to write, in only slightly deadpan vein--but Becca, you DO know better, of course you are quite right about all this!)