Expectations, pessimism, and examination results.

15 Aug

Why did I put this in the category “Happenings”? Because today was the day I finally got my IGCSE results back. After two months of solid waiting, it’s about time, too. But–I digress, and I’ll write about the results themselves later, because I don’t want to be the sort of person who posts about their exam results online just to get people to compliment them. I really don’t.

I want to discuss something that’s been on my mind since…well, forever. I consulted Google, and this is what it regurgitated for me when I looked for the word “pessimist”. These are from various dictionary websites (and others too):

Pessimist:

  1. A tendency to stress the negative or unfavorable or to take the gloomiest possible view.
  2. A person who habitually sees or anticipates the worst or is disposed to be gloomy.
  3. The tendency to expect the worst and see the worst in all things.

…etc, etc.

People who have heard my views on life and this planet in general often tell me in the end that I’m a negative person; a pessimist. I agree. Then again, I’m not that gloomy (intense, more like) and I don’t see the worst in all things. When I do, though, I accept it. I know that I’m cynical and sarcastic, and that I often point out flaws and unfavorable possibilities, but to me it’s simply being realistic. …This is probably what all pessimists think.

Being realistic is No. 1 on my list. I agree with the saying “reality is cruel” completely. Being realistic means looking at something from all angles, noting the ways it could possibly go wrong and the ways in which it could be improved. It means taking precautions against wind and rain on a well-planned picnic and keeping separate copies of important documents. It means bringing [my equivalent to a] diary everywhere and checking on it religiously to make sure that it’s still there and that nobody has stolen it. It also, to many people, means being very, very paranoid indeed.

Considering all this, I hardly feel entitled to the label “optimist”, and yet I feel a reluctance to openly declare myself a pessimist without launching into an agitated explanation straight afterwards.

Why? Because the first image people see in their minds when they think of the word “pessimist” is either an old, gnarled man, a greasy-haired slacker or a self-mutilating teenager. I’m none of those things. I can be pessimistic and snarky and cynical and all that shit AND still enjoy life. The fact that I see myself looking upon (or rather swimming in) a drowned city in fifty years doesn’t stop me from doing my homework or enjoying my coffee. It certainly doesn’t stop me from washing my hair or wearing colorful clothing or keeping my body in one single piece.

And now, about expectations. Me–I’m always expecting the worst; after all, I’m a pessimist/realist/cynic/negative person/weirdo. To me, it makes no sense for a person to get themselves all hyped up and expecting the best only for their hopes to be dashed. With high expectations, things can only be worse. When you steel yourself for the worst, however, there’s a big chance that things actually turn out to be better. Or, you know, not as bad. Same thing. I don’t mean that you should be apathetic and mope about thinking about how much you’ll fail, but I’m all for preparing yourself for dissatisfaction. This, and my pessimism in general, is something that I’ve failed to make my parents understand–they keep trying to tell me that I should be looking at the brighter side of things. Being more optimistic.

“Setting myself up for more disappointments”, says my little voice.

I guess you can see where I’m leading up to. Yeah, exam results. I guess I was probably too confident in myself–I’d hoped for all A’s. I didn’t see that I was setting myself up for The Big Disappointment. And now just because I’m anal-retentive about weird things like IGCSE results like that, I can’t even bring myself to be happy about the fact that I scored double A’s in the subject I thought I was going to mess up on because I replaced the two potential B’s with other subjects–subjects that I thought I couldn’t mess up in. In other words, I shouldn’t have gotten them B’s. Through some freak stroke of luck (or rather, the lack of it), though…yeah.

I realize that I’m being bratty and ungrateful and whatnot, but I really feel that had I worked harder I would’ve gotten the A’s. In other words, I’m pissed at myself. And that’s worse than being pissed at other stuff, because you have nobody else to blame and basically reap what you sow. I’m pissed because I didn’t work as hard as I could have and I’m pissed because I forgot to listen to my own advice and prepare myself for these freak happenings.

I’m not pro enough a pessimist. Or I just let my ego blow myself away. In any case, I’ll just go away now and try to get over it.

Signing off now from a mall that’s at its closing hour, Me.

Edit: I totally forgot to say how much I want to thank my teachers. Certain ones in particular :D. So…in the unlikely event that you’re reading this, THANK YOU! 

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One Response to “Expectations, pessimism, and examination results.”

  1. Kitten August 21, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

    You sound like me. I’ve been labeled pessimistic simply for not waking every day as a cheery blossom.

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