I’ve been thinking a lot lately (thanks, acting class!) about the human tendency to be dissatisfied.
Obviously it’s adaptive. We’re continually striving toward something new and better, and that drive for progress has done amazing things. Who thought that mold might be able to cure bacterial infections? Some guy who wasn’t satisfied with the current state of medicine. Who thought, Hey, Earth is cool, but what if we walked on another planet? A bunch of twelve-year-olds throughout time and at least one person who grew up to work at NASA in the Apollo Program. Oh, and Tom Hanks.
I’ve noticed in the last couple of weeks that my friends and I have different areas we focus on when it comes to that sense of something lacking. We’ve all got that one thing that we’re secretly convinced would make our lives perfect. For some people, it’s money. My brother wants to dive into a room full of gold coins, and more power to him. Many of my friends feel inadequate when it comes to their careers as actors, and are sure that a gig with Steppenwolf would solve everything. I can’t help feeling that if I *cough hack cough* that I will finally be content.
(Sorry, it’s a little too delicate for me to want to broadcast to the entire network of internet tubes.)
I’m amazed when I hear that so-and-so is preoccupied with her family life, because I’ve got a wonderful family and that’s still not always enough for me. I laugh when I hear about the guy who spends all his money on suits because it seems so obvious that buying things doesn’t make you happy. And then I complain about the same thing to my friends again and again, to my friend who have xyz, and I wonder why they don’t see that if this went right everything would be okay.
It’s not going to go away. I know it’s not going to go away. I know that human happiness is a series of peaks and valleys and stagnant plateaus, that getting the thing you want won’t necessarily fulfill you for the rest of your life. And I’m a little bit scared, because the odds are that at some point I’ll get the thing I’ve always wanted, and I’m afraid of the disillusionment that will come when I realize that there’s still something that feels missing in my life at times. I’m scared of feeling lost.
But the good news? Just knowing that this is how it works will help out some. Knowing that it’s okay to want more, and knowing that it’s not your fault or the fault of the people around you. Finding a new dream.
And hey, if that new dream happens to be to rule an underground kingdom filled with prescient cephalopods, you dream that dream, honey. You may never get it, but if you do–maybe that’s the thing the human race has been seeking this whole time.