Cynical Certainty

The repetitious death of childhood dreams.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

I want to take a moment to thank anyone who may stumble upon this blog and give it a read. I’m not focusing on promoting myself as a blogger, I don’t format my site, and I rarely offer up a simple image. I keep reading these cranked out articles by people desperately trying to build a following and profit from their writing. Comparatively, this is not a competition for me. I am genuinely enjoying the cathartic release of jotting my thoughts down onto a screen and sending them off somewhere into the ether. I’m saying this because, if you do happen to find this and read it, you should know what my intentions are.

-Thank You

I watched the ending of the 1992 film rendition of “Of Mice and Men” five times today. I thought that It would be more excruciating than it was. I was taking notes on some of the differences between the film and the book, and I crafted the idea that the entire novella is some convoluted metaphor for the inevitable death of childish dreams. Perhaps this thought belongs in some pretentious book club, but I genuinely believe that this was the cynical takeaway that Steinbeck had constructed. If you’re willing to treat Lennie as a personification of simple childlike aspirations, you will see that George embodies the harsh inescapable reality of responsibility and the limitations of an individual with cumbrous responsibilities, who dares to dream.

I’m convinced that this was written as some cautionary tale. A coming-of-age milestone for young adults who learn that not all stories have happy endings. I am looking forward to putting this reading unit behind me because the central theme is a total bummer. Not only do I frequently see Steinbeck’s cynical outlook manifest, I believe that it serves no other purpose than to put people in their places. I fundamentally disagree with the notion that high aspirations are childish. Maybe my inner child is so defensive of these dreams that it is refusing to let go and it is clinging on desperately. Either way, Steinbeck’s cautionary tale reverberates through every 9th-grade hall, breaking the spirit of enthusiastic youth and reminding exhausted teachers of why it’s dangerous to dream.

Reflecting on these thoughts makes me sound defeated, but I genuinely believe that it is better to stumble and fall, than it is to wait for an opportune moment to advance. Finding success in your adult life comes from a series of mistakes and corrections. Modifying your behavior and expectations until you can achieve something beyond them. I am lucky enough not to have endured many significant setbacks during my personal development. There were undoubtedly some hindrances that restrained my growth, but I never had to take on the monumental task of parenting or being married. I respect anyone who has had to change their life for the betterment of someone else’s. I recognize the luxury of my independence and freedom.

Is it wrong that I don’t necessarily want to do these things?

Without those restraints in my life, I am free to make mistakes frequently, with few severe repercussions. I’d like to think that this will lead to some wisdom that I may acquire through trial and error. It’s not necessarily the best way to learn things, but it will suffice. I am also in a position where I can take much more significant risks. After all, failing will only hurt me, not destroy a family. I can’t begin to explain how terrifying the thought of someone else, depending on me is. Not depending on me for some minor obligation but relying on me to play an essential role in their life. Maybe those fears will prevent me from ever experiencing the joy of fulfilling those roles, but they will also prevent me from ever having to bear the burden of shooting my childish dreams, execution-style with a Luger, five times a day.