Everybody wanted to be Ferris Bueller. Even the antagonist of the film must have been jealous of his winning style. I wonder however if I was not alone when I watched the movie and identified with the secondary character, Cameron. The poor guy in high school blinking at what was going around him and wondering what was happening to him. All things considered, he would rather stay in bed all day. He’s says he doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life, and is asked what he’s interested in, to which he replies: “nothing”.
That was me when I watched the film and through most of college. I was so directionless and confused. I thought I wanted to be an actor or a screenwriter or write novels. But deep down in my heart of hearts I knew that was not an achievable dream. Aside from an inkling that I liked to write, all I knew is that I was lonely. So I did what I always did. I lived in the moment and wasn’t mindful of the future.
It was years later that I learned what that mindset is. When I don’t consider the future, and especially when I don’t take seriously the present that is called being flippant. I didn’t know what this word meant when I first heard it. It sounded like a fancy name for a dolphin. The person who taught me this word was concerned about my uncaring outlook. It was important to her that I take my life more seriously because we wanted to share it forever.
It’s easy for me to laugh off a cavalier attitude as a character flaw like an amusing quirk. And that right there is archetypically flippant. If it’s a defense mechanism then it’s an unhealthy one. To me, when I dismiss the seriousness, it feels like laying back in bed and pulling the covers up to my chin and ignoring the rest of the world.
I have had this mindset for a week or so now. While December makes me edgy, February makes me feel depressed. With Naomi’s birthday on the 10th and mine on the 28th the sands of time chafe me like nothing else can. I haven’t written for a week. I even had trouble getting up in the morning. And it seemed impossible to see anything in the future past my nose.
I don’t’ want to stay like this. I wanted today to be different. I got up this morning. I have some ingredients for buttermilk pancakes coming to room temperature. And I’m writing. That is something I’m interested in. And today I’m going to one of my favorite restaurants with my favorite person in the world to celebrate 19 years of marriage.
She has stuck with me through the years of character flaws, even the Decembers and Februarys. And if I can make the effort to examine my life and work through my character flaws with help from others, I can see what’s important.
Tomorrow will come and it will still be February. I want to remember, I hope I can remember, that I do care. I like who I am today. I enjoy my job and writing. I love being a dad and I love Prajna Faux. And this isn’t a message in a bottle either. I want the world to know. Happy anniversary Prajna. Thanks for helping me dissolve the flippancy and feel what is real, like my love for you.