This month I turn 35. It occurs to me that I should effect some significant changes in my life. For one thing, I could be more hard-nosed and hard-hearted. For another, I should cultivate optimism to the point where I'm deluded enough to believe in the wisdom of planning for the future. You wouldn't know it from looking at my life -- a roof over my head, food on my plate, no arrest record, no kids, a healthy social life, less debt than your average 35 year-old American -- but I've never really been one to act like I'm expecting a future. I didn't think much about college in high school, and spent most of my adult life simply placing one foot in front of the other, expecting nothing and hoping for the best. I'm unambitious, and congenitally incapable of scheming and strategizing -- particularly in those ways that pit me against any one else's interests. I've had low expectations since childhood, struggle more with not wanting than with a world that won't give me what I am told to think I want, and am keenly aware that, although from others' perspectives I seem to have had it rough, I have it really good. At my worst, I excel at making it look like I don't have a care in the world.
But I want to trust the sense possessed by achievers; maybe they're on to something. I should maybe start giving some thought to planning my life in advance, learn to assume I have a future. Come up with an objective to be achieved within five years and work towards it. Give myself goals to reach. Be self-disciplined, rather than self-sabotaging. Challenge myself. Of course, once that's done I'll end up a hood ornament or recipient of a stray bullet or something...I may be naive of many facets of reality, but irony is well known to me.
Anyway, I should also take to heart what friends have said: that I'm entitled, and should start acting like it.