I have always been drawn to things which are bitter-sweet.
Well, at least since I was 15. I remember hearing “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” as a kid, and wanting to turn it off because it was so depressing.
But if I was hyper-sensitive to sadness as a kid, I positively embraced it later on. I remember writing a series of short tales that I would now identify as fledgling psychological horror stories. Later, when I was writing music, I found myself progressively writing darker and darker pieces, until something in life would shake me up, and I could hit the reset button and go back to writing mildly upbeat songs. Then the process would repeat.
I think being drawn into the darkness like this comes from being so introspective. The inside, it seems, is always darker than the outside.
But here’s what I want to say:
In those times when I’ve held most strongly to a positive and meaningful worldview, the darkness and the bitter-sweetness fit. In a beautiful and inviting universe, there is room for melancholy. It adds character and spice, it allows us to see things more clearly, it shows us a deeper and more nuanced beauty of its own. In a world of light, darkness has a home.
But in those times when I’ve held a negative and cynical worldview, there was no room for light. It did not and could not fit. It stuck out like a wound, an intrusion, a growth. In a world of darkness, there can be no light.
So I think it’s important to get the order right. If you begin by embracing meaning and goodness and positivity, then everything has a legitimate place and purpose in your world. But if you begin by embracing negativity or cynicism, then nihilism will ultimately be the only thing that fits, and it will squeeze and choke out everything else of you that there is.