What not knowing the future gets you

I probably ought not write about this, because I see it bringing only trouble. But I can be compulsive about the truth as I see it, so…

Young adulthood was pretty good to me. I had an awesome girlfriend and I was beginning to climb the rungs, successfully and almost easily, toward a career that I would have really enjoyed, had things panned out the way I thought they would have. Things started turning south, I would say, at about the age of 24½. For about six years after that, life felt like one heartbreaking disappointment after another.

I am now past 50 years in age, and the following grim reflection occurs to me. Although I am nothing like suicidal now, I do think that if, by some hideous anti-miracle of cognition I could have had in foresight at the age of 24½ the quarter-century I now have in hindsight, and had efficient means been available — such as a fistful of Nembutal or a reliable firearm — I very well might have killed myself. At least, the resolution to do so I regard as retrospectively rational. That I did not do so is a tribute not to wisdom but to ignorance and I suppose also to hope — here the irrational conviction during my darkest days that things would look up someday, that at the end of all the misery there would be a life so much better that I would be glad to have persevered through wretchedness. That isn’t so. While in fact things did get somewhat better, I do not now regard them as so much better that it was worth it to have lived through the darkest days. And I certainly no longer expect that any good thing lies in my future that will change this judgment. No lottery wins or Nobel Prizes lurk over my horizon, and don’t let me get started on my pessimism about relationships.

Life is served by ignorance and irrationality. That doesn’t say much good about life.

Update on July 20, 2017. I’ve added a link above about my pessimism about relationships. And if you like that sort of thing, here’s another.

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