Tuesday, August 24, 2004

I am one of those people who sometimes has a hard time allowing myself to hope that something good, which might happen, will actually come to pass. This is a kind of a defense mechanism. I will see the possibility come to life, and slowly become more and more real, but instead of just immersing myself in the thrill of "What if this will actually come true?", I reign myself in and try to convince myself that it can't be that this good thing is going to happen (to me). That way, I will not be massively disappointed if it does not happen after all, and I will feel the incredible rush of joy and surprise if it does.

Since experiencing this phenomenon yet another time in the last few days, I have begun to question the wisdom of this defense mechanism. Maybe it's because I just read Coelho's Alchemist. Or maybe it's just that I have begun to believe that it just may be that the things that you want to happen have a better chance if you wish them to happen, rather than always thinking to yourself that they are too good to happen to you. Wishing good things well is closer to my nature anyway, since I am an unapologetic believer in the preciousness of the moment. That you should follow your heart. Never have to think 'what if?' after the opportunity has sailed by.

Life really is fleeting. And it goes by so quickly. I have probably used up more than a third of mine already. And those have been good years. Not just because I have been incredibly fortunate. But also because I have used most of them to live to the fullest. Whether that has meant reading a book that demanded that I read it, sitting and watching the sea when that meant missing a bus and having to wait till the morning after for the next one, parachuting out of a perfectly good airplane despite all the apparent dangers, reaching out and hugging someone gravely angry at me and who by all accounts should be my sworn enemy, giving up a safe and lucrative career in order to move to a new country and begin anew, taking a train across the channel to spend an afternoon with someone I needed to be with, going back to school with a bunch of kids half as old and twice as enthusiastic as myself.

So I think I'll give it a try. Allow myself to enjoy thinking that something good will come to pass. That way, even if it doesn't, I will still feel good for a few days until I know that. And if it does happen, I can tell myself that I helped it by wishing it would.