You know you’re an optimist when every time the going gets rough you find yourself absent-mindedly dreaming about “the future,” even when you have no particular idea what it will look like and no particular reason to be optimistic about it.
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In the fall and winter I was looking forward to spring and summer. Now we’ve been through spring and are approaching the height of summer and all I can do is look forward to fall and winter.
© Aron Hsiao / 2002
I think that it’s a distinct part of my personality that I just want to know what happens, good or bad. I’m impatient about “finding out.”
The minor problem here is that it’s a way of casting myself in a passive role, if I think about it for a minute. I’m not looking forward to executing on plans or raring to go; I’m just looking forward to time happening.
That’s a bit of a change for me, possibly not a good one. I’ve never exactly been a “Type A” personality, but I’ve always had goals. Now? Right now it is safe to say that I have absolutely no goals. Zero. There is nothing that I want; there is nothing that feels worth wanting.
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I take that back. There are one or two things. But they can’t be had because I won’t let myself have them as a matter of ethics (which is at times difficult to separate from mere cowardice, but I do think there is a difference).
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My ex-wife used to accuse me of being “antisocial” all the time. I wasn’t; I just wasn’t as extroverted as her. I was friendly, conversational, outgoing when it was socially appropriate to be so. I just wasn’t in need of chat every hour of the day, and did want some time to myself, to reflect and to be productive and so on.
Now I’m antisocial. This spring and summer have shown that to me. I just have no patience for it now. Talk to someone? Conversation? Time spent “together?”
I’ll do that stuff with my kids.
For everyone else—humf. Just fucking humf.
Middle age and divorce have a way of changing you, and this is one of those ways. If I was “antisocial” before, now I’m downright salty at times, particularly at “idle chat” time.
I don’t want to talk about:
- Funny things
Basically, if it’s a topic that is typically raised in mixed company, it irritates me. I want to talk about bigger things and littler things. The meaning of life and the circumferences of ball bearings. And I want to do it in serious, non-smiling, focused ways.
But mostly I want to drive my car alone and take a lot of pictures of nothing in particular and dream about the future, just because.