Disillusionist

is not a real word (I’ve checked the dictionary. As a non-native speaker, I’m never completely at east with English), but I think the word is self explanatory when it comes to its meaning. I am a disillusionist, sadly. Whenever I like something and get into that fluffy feeling of being illusioned, I am always afraid that I will become disillusioned in the future. This has happened again and again, and will continue to happen again and again. When I was little, I dreamed of going to a big city; when I eventually arrived at a big city, I felt disappointed. The disappointment mainly came from the fact that one was reminded of one’s economic status all the time in the big city since there were always things one could buy but one could not afford to buy. Then I dreamed of going to the best university in the city; when I eventually got into it, I became instantly disillusioned. The curriculum is archaic; the textbook out of date; the best professors going abroad; the study primarily memorization.

Now many years later and many disillusions later, finally I thought I had come to an equilibrium and contentment. Then I watched a video about bird nest from Vietnam by one of those popular youtubers. I’ve never tasted bird nest myself, but I’ve always known that it’s the best of the best delicacies. I’ve held this notion for years until today. The video shows how people collect the nests, which are supposed to be bird saliva but in reality they are mixtures of saliva and feathers and probably also bird droppings, how people process the nests, how people cook it. Just watching the whole thing, I am totally disillusioned about bird nest. For one thing, I feel that it is almost impossible to completely separate the saliva from the feathers and the droppings.

When one illusion is debunked, we promptly find a new illusion to pin our hopes on. So the cycle restarts. Do we ever learn? I mean psychologically. We do learn to handle disappointment better and to expect things with less of those unadulterated enthusiasm as before, but other than that we behave the same and likely to make the same mistakes again.

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