A friend asked me about yesterday’s scatterthought, questioning the apparent lack of excitement or hope I express in saying that I don’t care whether I get into the play or not.
“You must want to get into the show on some level if you auditioned.”
It’s one of those things. If I get into something then I’ll do it and enjoy it, but I generally don’t get excited about something until it happens.
As I’ve written before on Scatterthought, I’ve been burned a few times in the long distant past. Twice in high school, my friends convinced me that I was going to receive awards at school, and when I didn’t then it sucked. The people who did receive the awards were totally deserving, so I’ve no ill will. But the disappointment is something I still feel, more than a decade later.
And that’s the thing–it’s not logical to get excited and hopeful when the odds are always greater that you won’t be awarded something. If I hadn’t gotten my hopes up, then I wouldn’t have felt a sense of loss.
In this case, let’s assume that approximately 20 guys auditioned for four roles. If so, I’ve no reason to believe that I’ll get in. Just makes more sense.
Or there are the people who get all excited about a big lottery and start planning what they’ll do with the winnings. They’re setting themselves up for disappointment, which is why many have taken to calling lotteries the “idiot tax”. Whereas I’ll buy a ticket, but I expect nothing to come of it.
I guess I get excited about things I can control, and not about things that are beyond my influence.
I know, I know. This sounds defeatist or pessimistic or whatever. It sounds like I’m limiting my emotional experience. But I disagree. You’re only limiting yourself if you don’t ever allow yourself to experience something. Whereas I’ve experienced the joy of hope and the pain of disappointment. And as great as one is, I don’t think it’s worth the negativity of the other.
I’m not limiting my emotional experience…I’m just not letting my emotions control me.
Besides, I’m only capable of doing this in situations I can recognize. And even then, sometimes I’ll still get swept up in the moment.
I’m not a robot, and I’m not suggesting that my way of seeing this topic is better than anyone else’s. We’ve all got to do what works for ourselves. Some people will take the hope and use that to drive them forward in life. They’ll accept the potential for disappointment so that they can take on greater risks and move the earth.
Others will feel the full weight of disappointment on numerous occasions, and they’ll use that as motivation to push themselves harder and become great successes.
I’ll split the difference.
What will you do?