Every Monday I check out Facebook and see all the cool things that my “friends” have spent the past 60 hours doing (Friends in quotes because even after razing and rebuilding my facebook account, I’m still connected to people I have no intention of talking to). Everyone looks so thrilled – drinks in hand, big smiles, and nice clothes. People are going out putting forth the best possible versions of themselves – generally in hopes of getting some. It’s nice to blow off some steam and get in to a little trouble, but if you’re out at 2:30 you’re probably trying to bang. It wouldn’t be worth the hangover otherwise.
There is the wonder of the weekend. Two days and two nights of pure potential. We can get into all kinds of interesting situations. I’ve removed myself from the taxi game and always take late night public transit now to see if I’ll meet someone cool or see something exciting. I often don’t, but there’s always that sense of anticipation, and anticipation is what keeps us coming back.
The work week begins and everyone has descended. Somber and morose. The people that were grinning broadly into the camera 36 hours ago are now looking down at their feet, avoiding any contact with others. We stuff ourselves into work clothes, then buses, then train cars, and then offices. We do it five times in a row until we feel we’re allowed to live again.
Why do we do this? Why do I do this? What does it say about our collective mentality that we look forward to getting totally plastered as a reasonable (and sometimes, the only) reward for a week’s work? The answer is anticipation.
I should really be making an effort to connect with people all the time. I should be making an effort to fulfill myself all the time. There are the lucky ones – the ones who adore their work and colleagues and embrace the thought of arriving at the office. Most people don’t find this, though we all deserve it. For most of us, it becomes repetitive. We don’t take risks. Things don’t excite us. We get stuck in a rut because we predict that the coming days will just perpetuate today’s monotony. We lose our sense of anticipation. Friday comes, and with it the unfettered promise that something new might happen. Then, we do the same shit we do every weekend but there’s that element of unpredictability that keeps us coming back. We could meet someone who turns us on. We could see something outrageous. We could go somewhere totally new. We don’t feel like we can completely predict it so it stays fresh even as it becomes repetitive.
I propose that we all add some chaos to our weekly routine to keep this sense of anticipation going every single day. We should talk to anyone and everyone. If they don’t want to talk, stop. Most people will. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in a public place and wished that the girl in the shirtdress would come and talk to me. It’s completely self-defeating to think that way. I should, 100 times out of 100, walk up to her and just talk about something. Anything. If I overhear a conversation at the bus stop that I can contribute to, I should enter it. If I’m not wanted, I’ll leave. True, this makes us vulnerable to rejection. Who cares? Casual rejection feels awkward and real rejection is heartbreaking but either is better than monotony. Think of all the great human creativity rejection has catalyzed. Feeling rejected makes us remember that we’re alive.
And maybe the cute girl in the shirtdress wants to talk and who knows where it goes from there? We’ve reintroduced that sense of anticipation that makes the weekend so magical. Everything is more interesting when we don’t know what will happen. I wouldn’t watch a movie or read a book backwards. Why would I live my life that way? Why should I settle with the comfortable but ultimately defeatist mentality that every day will be like the last. I shouldn’t just wait for things to happen.
I want to feel giddy and confused and a bit overwhelmed as often as possible. I want to know that every day is going to provide me with something fascinating, be it Saturday or Tuesday. I want to internalize the idea that I can make my life more interesting by doing things that have unpredictable outcomes. All the weekend does is provide the sense that something cool might happen. We can try to make cool things happen every day of our lives.
I need to think that everything I want is there for my taking all the time. I am the king of my own world. It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not, as long as I think it.