The ‘F’ Word

The Way of the Future

I used to fear the future. I used to have faith in the future. I pinned all my hopes and dreams on the future. I lamented my ignorance of the future. I pretended to be ready for the future. I made plans based on the future. I wished I could predict the future. I dreamed of what fantastic things or people I might encounter in the future. I stared into the weeks, months, and years of the future, instead of tomorrow or even later in the same day. I was blinded by my idea of the future. I used to curse the future. I treated it as a living, breathing thing, the future.

My eyes were closed to the gift of the present. I was invested in the unpredictable, every-shifting future. I didn’t put stock in myself or my God, so how could I ever cash in on the moment? I never pursued loan sharks, but cashed in deals with my inner demons.

“Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.” -Stephen King

The exchange rate wasn’t too bad, and I had quite a high percentage of interest-from which these demons benefited. If I granted twenty silvery pieces faith, patience, love, I’d receive a small slice of “happiness” or feeling “fine.” Of course, I didn’t know what the true cost would be. Like most young adults, I invested my hope in the wrong thing. I ended up paying emotional and spiritual dues, with interest.

Fine is Okay, Too, I Guess.

When I desired to overcome my fear of the future, I settled with feeling fine. The ‘F’ word used to be the future and all I believed or felt about it. Now, my new ‘F’ word is ‘fine.’ To which I say, “Fuck that!” Who settles for average when they have all of today before them?

Fine is on par with average or boring. It’s equivalent to settling for less, or treating the mundane as ideal. There’s nothing wrong with the ordinary, mind you, but it shouldn’t be a goal. Normalcy isn’t admirable. “Fitting in” is for those uncomfortable with themselves. It might be ideal for a spare few whose lives are tough, and whose definition of “fine” is surviving.

The Exception

I say forget being fine, unless your life isn’t already average. If you’ve lived a life well below average, then you are the exception. Most people settle for less than they can have, or deserve. They feel themselves unworthy. They’re ignorant of the present opportunities in their lives. Or, they don’t have sufficient motivation. Any of these reasons aren’t good enough. If your life is below average because you’re starting over, start small.

Progress over process.

For some, all they do is spend their entire lives trying to move from the bottom to “fine.” I think of those with chronic conditions of the body and soul, those whose every day is a battle. These should never be excuses, but reasons to seek out normalcy. The beauty of average is its subjectivity, much like perfection. Yes, there are objective measurements of normal, but people aren’t objects.

Find your “fine” and flip it on its head. Turn your every day into a new starting point. Make extraordinary your average.


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