A week ago, I was talking to a Nationals fan about this season, and he expressed a pessimism for his team that made me yearn for home.
"Don't worry," I said. "The Mets will collapse in this next series. Good things don't happen to Mets fans."
Then I watched as the Mets staged three straight come-from-behind victories to sweep the Nats and take a then-7.0 game lead in the National League East. That lead has grown since then. Good things happened to Mets, and no matter how much residual pessimism I might have from a decade of disappointment, I have to admit: I think I'm actually happy.
The Mets are good this season. They could make a decent run in the postseason, and they're built for lasting success over the next four or five years.
My earliest memory of the Mets is the 2000 season, when the Mets dropped the World Series to the New York Yankees. It was the moment in my childhood when I realized things don't always go the way you want them to and that disappointment is a real thing.
Since 2008, the Mets' fan base has been built around our collective disappointment. But now, the Mets are actually exceeding expectations. And it's weird. This success has fundamentally changed what it means to be a Mets fan. We used to spend our days bemoaning mediocre players, incompetent front offices, and ownership that refused to spend money like a big-market team.
Now the Mets have some of the very best young pitching in baseball to go with a dynamic offense, and they're in first place in mid-September. Say what you will about the organization as a whole, but this team is hard to complain about. Good things are happening to Mets fans, and that'll take some getting used to.