Saturday, 27 February 2016

Counting Mississippis

I used to wish that life was a movie– or one of those bad sit-coms complete with its de rigueur laughter track and wilhelm screams; exhausting hours spent in the making, forced chemistry between actors, cheesy lines to memorize, multiple takes to get one scene right, and ultimately leading to the grand finale. 

I was always a big fan of this so called grand finale, the happily ever after, the italicized fin., credits rolling up, the whole shebang. I desperately wanted my happily ever after. Right now, I wish I could go back and ask past Anna what the phrase even meant to her, because I don't get it. The very institution of the so called "happily ever after" just doesn't make sense to me right now. I'm not being cynical, I'm not saying people do not end up happy; to me "happily ever after" just raises a phenomenal: now what? Because unless, of course, you expect the rest of your life to go on in the crazy credit scenes, a happily-ever-after just doesn't seem ideal.

It's like the word "content". The word "content" never really sat well with me. To me, it suggests a kind of decay. A settling. A tendency to overlook the journey.

We all have our fair share of theories on life– Forrest Gump compared life to a box of chocolates, Albert Camus said life is meaningless, and the pretentious side of me likes to think that life is a conveyor belt of moments sequenced illogically. 

Irrational and temperamental— I change my major in college, like I change the highlights in my hair, on a whim. I'm constantly evolving who I am and what I love, and it's all because of these moments– the happy, the sad, the excruciatingly humiliating, the excruciatingly mundane, each seemingly insignificant moment. They might not all tie up together at the end in a neat little bow, loose ends and red herrings are inevitable in life. But if I had a choice I would never fast-forward through all these moments just to get to the end. I'd rather look forward to my during than my happily ever after. No, this is not some elaborate take on YOLO; all I'm saying is, each second, each eternal four-syllabled mississippi counts. 

And I'm so grateful for my tally of mississippis; and if I could hit rewind, I wouldn't change a thing.