“If You Expect Disappointment, Then You Can Never Really Get Disappointed”

So says MJ in Spider-Man: No Way Home.

**Just as a disclaimer, I’m going to be referencing the movie in this one, but there aren’t really any spoilers**

It’s a pretty good strategy. Disappointment sucks. It’s discouraging and sometimes embarrassing. So, if you can adopt this strategy, you can save yourself from a lot of anguish and frustration, and a bit like MJ and her posse (i.e. Peter and Ned), I became very good at it when I was applying for medical schools.

The problem with this mindset is that it makes you jaded and closes you off to possibility, which seems to be a point that the movie tried to make (whether or not they were successful is conversation for another time).

With the New Year coming up, people’s eyes are usually starry with the possibility of changing themselves for the better (whatever that means for them). But nowadays, or actually probably for a long time now, broken resolutions are a cultural meme; the tapering of gym crowds, the slow but progressive deterioration of a new diet that started off so strong! Commitments made and then broken faster than you can say February.

What is different about modern times is that visibility and access to other people’s lives is higher than ever. If you publicize your New Year’s goals, you are also publicizing your imminent failure. So rather than making a resolution, it’s much much safer to make memes about people who would be so bold as to have such ridiculous expectations of themselves. Everyone can relate and so everyone will give you the affirmation we all inherently crave via likes and comments.

I know intention-wise most of this is all in good fun, but like a lot of jokes, it’s funny because definitely there is truth to it. And so even if you know that it’s joke you don’t want to become the butt of it and will act accordingly. Jokes and memes create culture and culture defines our behaviors. The question is, what type of culture we want to bring into 2022?

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