And yet, I’m still here. And I’m still fighting. As defeatist as I may sound, I’m not actually a quitter.
Not to be a total bummer or anything—but to be a total bummer, there seems to be a lot of days where it feels like nothing will ever get any better. Do you ever feel that? Or is that just me? I hope not. I mean, not that I want anyone else to feel that pain. Actually, that’s not true. There’s definitely a dirty laundry list of people that I wish could feel my pain. Y’all know who y’all are. Misery does indeed love company.
When you have a series of tragically unfortunate events happening to you on a seemingly consistent basis, it can be hard, if not nearly impossible, to ever see the positive in anything. Believe me, I don’t want to feel this way. I take no pleasure from being a downer. It just feels like I’ve been stuck in this emotional rut for a real long time. Sometimes it feels like I’ll never be able to climb out, when all I’m just trying to do is keep my head above water.
And yet, I’m still here. And I’m still fighting. As defeatist as I may sound, I’m not actually a quitter. I make jokes when I’m uncomfortable. One could say I have a particular predilection toward the profane. The darker the joke, the darker my state of mind. It’s all a mask. All a façade. All a fugazi. For someone who often laments and lambasts themselves for being nihilistic, I sure do keep trying.
Why is that? I think I know. Two years of weekly therapy has helped delve deeply and deeper into the caverns that are my mind. Buried subterraneously low between the world-weary cynicism that’s perpetually cloaked in seven layers of irony, is in point of fact, a heart. Contrary to popular belief, I do have one. If The Grinch, he himself, can have a heart that grows three-sizes one day, then mine can too. There is a hope that grows. A flame that flickers and fights for oxygen. A flame that flickers and fights for life.
It doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down. It matters how many times you get back up. Maybe I’m a fool for getting back up. But I wouldn’t get up as many times as I do, if on some level, conscious or not, that things will one day actually truly genuinely get better. That one day, this pain, grief, anxiety, and anguish will all have amounted to something worthwhile.
I often think back to the film version of A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004). I love the books, and the flawless Netflix series as prime pieces of artistic real estate that live rent free in my mind. I will also go to bat for the film any and every single day. Not only does it have a criminally underrated, Jim Carrey performance, but one of my favourite film endings of all time.
After all they’ve been through, the three Baudelaire Orphans, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny return to what was once their home but has since been destroyed by a terrible fire. Which particularly still hits very close to home. My favourite film composer, Thomas Newman’s pitch-perfect score elevates the key moments. Involving a very heavy envelope. The contents therein? A VFD-certified spyglass, and The Letter That Never Came. Violet reads the heavily post-marked letter out loud from their dearly, deceased parents.
It makes me cry. Every single time. Here's my favourite part:
“At times the world can seem an unfriendly and sinister place-- but believe us when we say that there’s much more good in it-- than bad. All you have to do-- is look hard enough.”
Also, that’s definitely gonna be my next tattoo. Bet.