Ambivalence: am·biv·a·lence; am-bi-və-lən(t)s noun
Etymology: International Scientific Vocabulary 1918
1: simultaneous and contradictory attitudes or feelings (as attraction and repulsion) toward an object, person, or action
2: a: continual fluctuation (as between one thing and its opposite) b: uncertainty as to which approach to follow
am·biv·a·lent \-lənt\ adjective
Up there with my quest to love unconditionally is my struggle to look for goodness in others. I think good does exist in everyone, just like evil does too. This means everyone struggles with a form of internal ambivalence, with the light and shadow sides of themselves.
I know someone who is both overbearingly rude and thoughtful. Considering the usual selfish behaviour I was accustomed to, the moment of thoughtfulness I experienced sort of blew my mind. Now I am grateful and repulsed. All right not repulsed. As I’m not fond of this individual, they do not really rate on my Give a Fuckometer, I don’t give any energy over to thinking about them—which is another reason I’m stunned by their thoughtfulness.
I’m thinking about them now. I’m not rushing out to be their new best bud, but I did tell someone who is familiar with The Somewhat Honourable Rudey McThoughtful’s typical behaviour, just because I thought it was the “right” thing to do. Since I did that, since I succeeded in finding that sliver of goodness and trumpeted the horn, will good karma (subliminal suggestion: watch My Name Is Earl) come my way?
Or, if continuing along with this theme of ambivalence, do I need to be bad to attract good?
If that’s the case, why is bad always so much more interesting? Why is it more, um, fun to talk about Rudey McThoughful’s shortcomings than nice little bit? Furthermore, why is an antihero like Hannibal Lector more appealing that the heroine Clarice Starling?
Fight scenes are so much more fun to write than the love scenes. I have to have both, but malevolence is exhilarating, the evil digs and barbs characters toss at each other are ripping good fun to write. Which brings me to 70,000 words, I’ve got 70,000 words, and at this rate, I’m nearly done.
Suddenly I’m ambivalent with my original research plan. I can resurrect the other 3,000 word novel and continue with the dual case study. Or I can just stay where I am, finish off novel # 1, and not challenge myself to hike that extra mile uphill with a fully loaded backpack and hero that looks like Richie Cunningham in a leather jacket?
Hang on a second. Am I confusing ambivalence with optimism and pessimism?
Maybe yes. Maybe no. Maybe Cheesburger.