Finals and Fatalism

By the time this post goes up, finals will have been over and I’ll probably be getting dressed up to go watch The Shape of Water, which I have been eagerly awaiting since the very first trailer. So, why am I writing this post now, when I still have finals to go?

Because, by god, I am exhausted and I need a hopeful break. I misread Dallas as Dalai Lama a little earlier, I’m completely worn out. I don’t really think I’ve ever been so mentally, physically, and emotionally taxed all at once before. However, being this tired really helps me put into perspective what I want to do with my energy once I have it back.

I want to write. I’m dying for a cafe where I can just sit, sip tea, eat something sweet, and write. I want to visit my friends and spend time with them, scattered across the continent as they are. I want to sleep without setting an alarm, write down my dreams without forgetting. I want to feel secure about the future.

But that last one, that one’s the one that’s not coming true this year, aha. The US political situation is crazy. Still, the fact that I’m afraid about the future means that I need to take a deep breath and reorient myself. I’ve always considered myself a little bit fatalistic, and I think now is a good time to revisit that belief.

A lot of people misunderstand what fatalism entails – many people confuse it for predeterminism or defeatism, but I reject both of these interpretations… primarily because then there would be no point in it being a separate word, aha.

I’ve never been afraid of the end of the world. My mother is terrified of movies that portray the end of days or a plague, because it is something out of her control. She’d rather horror movies with ghosts or slasher films with murderers because she is confident that she could do something in that situation.  Not so much with the end of the world. However, apocalypse films have never unnerved me the way they have her.

There are things that are inevitable. The world will end someday. I will age. I might even die someday. These are elements that are so far out of my control that I am no longer afraid of them. It’s a waste of my time and energy to worry about them.

Similarly, my fear for the future, my anxiety over it, is a waste of  my personal resources as well. I usually know that so well, but in the stress of finals week, that unshakable foundation of my emotional well-being was chipped away.

All anyone in this world can do is, really, try to better themselves. Life is all one big gamble. Success is just a roll of the dice. Poverty is a spin of the wheel. You can play it smart and still gain or lose everything. Ultimately, what is important is that whoever you are, whether you’re conventionally successful or struggling to get by, you need to be someone you can take pride in.

Stripped of achievements, stripped of other people’s perception of you, are you someone you can be proud of?

My family has lofty goals for me that, on my bad days, I curl up stressed and anxious about what happens if I don’t meet them. On my worst days, I end up convinced that I’m not a good enough friend to the people I care about, and even on my best days, I worry if the people around me don’t think me competent enough.

But here, when I write this blog, and when I have a moment to myself to think and to breathe, I can remember what’s important: what I think of myself. And right now, I am content with the person that I am. I am proud of the decisions I have made thus far, the people I have chosen to deem important, and even really excited about the things I have put importance on that are upcoming – such as my new Winter Solstice celebration.

And in fact, I think that’s rarer than being successful in the eyes of other people. Right now, even if in the future I end up on the streets with nothing and no one but myself, I think I could still be happy with who I am at the heart of it. There would be regrets, of course, regarding lost dreams and lost potential, but none regarding the person that I am. And honestly, now that finals are winding down, I’m glad to take the time to remember that.

Growing up is inevitable. Me having to support myself financially is inevitable. Worrying about both those things will only hinder my personal growth.

But also, I’ve spent a good hour on this post now and I do need to still study for my final, no matter how fatalistic I’m being about this, so I guess this is an abrupt sign-off, bye.



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