As someone who has been called a “watered-down Wednesday Addams,” it’s safe to say that I’m not the go-to girl for optimism. My humor is dry and my outlook cynical. I see “I hate you” as a phrase of endearment and respond to many statements with either a groan of the appropriate pitch or a simple “fight me.” However, today I just watched Meet the Robinsons so my defenses are sufficiently lowered.
It’s very easy to be a pessimist. The older we get the more people disappoint us. We begin to learn that friends can be temporary, love can go unrequited, and family isn’t stable. But perhaps rather than being hard truths, those can be considered necessary lessons.
My mom is a walking cliché. Inspirational quotes cover every square inch of my house and whenever something doesn’t go right she always hits us with an “everything happens for a reason.” This quote tends to make my eyes roll out of my head because sometimes life just sucks and it’s important for that to be recognized rather than trying to make your problems seem less than what they are. However, in the grand scheme of things, perhaps there is some hidden wisdom within my mom’s “live laugh love” mentality. Because when things go right, it makes sense.
There comes a point when all the people who left or the ones you had to leave behind fade into nostalgia, what’s left are the ones who stayed. And when you’re with your best friends at 1 am baking cookies or driving way too fast on an empty road blasting music, or watching a movie with your parents in pajamas, you’ll realize that everything you’ve been through has led up to moments like those. Sometimes the universe is just on your side and it’s for the possibility of a better tomorrow that we take a page from Meet the Robinsons and keep moving forward.
But there’s much more to life than merely surviving. Being a positive person doesn’t mean that you are always OK. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have issues or that you can’t have a good old-fashioned mental breakdown every once in a while. It means that despite how crummy the world we live in is, you’re choosing to see the best in people even when they show you the worst of themselves. It’s accepting your loses because you know that in the long run, they’ll help you grow. And it’s making the conscious choice to always be the bigger person even when it’s really tempting not to be.
There are plenty of killjoys but there is a shocking deficiency in those who are excited to be alive. We’re all just floating day by day while they are living in every moment. It’s almost an act of rebellion to be happy in a society where we perpetuate brooding, which is true because everyone loves the sulking character. Jughead Jones, April Ludgate, and even Wednesday Addams capture viewer’s hearts because in them we see ourselves. But the funny thing is that they quickly become our favorites because we want what’s best for them.
It’s ironic that the best thing about a sad character is their ability to be happy but humanity cheers on the underdog. And if we can root for them then I think we can root for ourselves, and each other, just the same.