Tuesday, January 16, 2007

A cynical new year

I'm a devout cynic, or so I'm told. If you are of a similar nature then you might notice that no-one ever tells you you're a great cynic, or one of the best cynics they've ever heard - they just call you a cynic, plain and simple. As a cynic you come to relish the negative, pouncing on the slightest encroachment of doom and gloom into your life, until you find joy only in those aspects of it. Human beings have not come this far technologically or socially (if I'm being cynical I would say that we haven't come so very far at all) by being this way. Cynicism is tolerated, not fully accepted as part of human nature, and it is only the fact that here in the UK it is a national past-time does it proliferate so much - but we do not praise it in others, except from fellow cynics.

It would be pretentious of me to suggest that I have deliberately waited so long into the year before posting here on Join The Road, but the vague compunction I felt in NOT writing some sort of 'new year' piece drove me even more to not do one. I just hate those endless feature columns in the newspapers that retread the same tired copy about how hard it is to keep one's resolutions and how the 'post-Christmas blues' are so common. Most of them usually start with some sort of discussion of how the newspapers always talk about such things. What a surprise - yet again the media has nothing interesting to say.
So now here we are, right in the middle of January, hopefully with all the cliches packed away in the attic ready for next year. The unrealistic resolutions have by now already been broken, along with most of the attainable ones too, and we are all now looking to a new year that will most likely resemble the one we have just seen. For my sins, I cleaned my house and bought some new energy-efficient lightbulbs. Rock n roll, or what? 'Practical cynicism' I like to call it.

But, as human beings, we are drawn to the romance of what a new year could bring. Perhaps it is only vaguely defined, but hidden amongst all of the media blather and pub talk surrounding the new year is the tangible thought that things could be different - our lives could be better. - and the blank-canvas of a new year allows us to express it verbally and communally. Most of us, if we admit it, spend the MAJORITY of our time dreaming of goals to be attained, and the new year period is the annual celebration of that. Being cynical, you might therefore describe the new year as being a celebration of pre-determined failure, but only if that is how you choose to look at it.

Personally, I feel conflicted this year. I'm old enough to recognise my own failings, I know that my routine is not without satisfaction and plenty of happiness, but have an underlying sense that I could achieve more - whilst not fully understanding exactly WHY I should feel the need to achieve more, or for that matter know what defines 'more'. If I ever get there, will I know, or is there some part of me, as a human, that always wants something else?
One thing I do know is that a large part of my routine will be irrevocably altered this year, and decisions will have to be made to combat this change. And that is exciting for me. Like many people, I don't so much need a push as a bloody hard shove to get me moving, and it excites me. Nervous for sure, but exciting nonetheless.

The cynicism is still there, like a tiny brake on my progress. Always ready with a constant excuse, blaming the speed at which the world and culture moves for my own limitations, offsetting my positive attributes with a not-so-witty, downbeat riposte. If I could learn to break free of that... attitude, the new year would be TRULY exciting.


Iva said...

this is surely one of your very best posts Charlie.

i love how you think and even more love the conclusions you make. keep going. don't give up. and you'll have your happy ending :)


Ester said...

I can't do anything but second that what Iva says, Charlie.

I like reading your entries, keep 'em coming!

Est x

DidesCharlie said...

Thank you for your comments. I think it's all worth it in the end, but your words make me always strive to be better at this writing malarkey. x