“Yes smoking kills, but mostly kills the other guy”. Are you an optimist? This video really, really speaks to me. I found this video when I was in a comfortable place, sitting on my bed, helping a friend sort through some issues… but even when I was completely content, and not feeling bummed, it spoke to me. I’ve always been a hopeful optimist. Even in my most downright depressing moments of anxiety and fear, that little spark of optimism sat inside me. The problem is, I would often struggle with myself and wonder if this truly is a good thing or not… because sometimes… well it wasn’t… or well, the way I let my overly optimistic views take over, and the way I handled the following letdown wasn’t. Here’s an example of a situation, that has happened more times than I would like to admit, in my romantic relationships—in college, after college, and even in my most recent relationship/engagement. Let’s say there was a meeting time/a time of expected arrival, and said romantic partner is late… five minutes go by: okay, no big deal. ten minutes go by: traffic, for sure. fifteen minutes go by: he got held up, plus some traffic. twenty minutes: whelp, he must be late, because he’s stopping to get me flowers…………. No, really, this is where my mind would wander. So of course, the boyfriend comes over twenty minutes late– with no flowers… and I’m well, one: annoyed (I hate when people are not on time) and two: slightly bummed to see that there are no flowers. I think it’s pretty clear how this could begin to be a problem. And while, I have always realized that I was the one letting myself down, because I was the one always being the hopeful dreamer and hoping and expecting the best out of the not wonderful (but not terrible), late situation: I still did it. Over and over again, I would wait, think of the best possible scenario, and be a bit bummed at the reality of the situation. Yes, I really do live in a dreamland. (And I, just now, while re-reading this entry have caught myself doing it… no, I didn’t think anyone was going to show up with flowers, but I just let my head go to a place of overly wishful thinking… whoa.)
Okay, so thats one situation… silly, but real. I do it with everything though, and like the video says about the firefighters or the possibilities of cancer “Oh I didn’t think it would happen to me”: I do that. (I should probably stop here, and say: nothing bad has happened to me or Marlowe, I just can’t help but think about this video this week… and watch it over and over again). It’s just, sometimes I do like to dive right in. I know this is strange for someone who still struggles from time to time with anxiety, but I do like to think that I can fly, that I am invincible, and that everything is ALWAYS going to work out in the end. And this video, finally makes me realize that even though there might be some pitfalls to that, it’s been proven that the overly optimistic can and will fly after experiencing let downs, set backs, and downfalls… the key to everything is just finding that balance in the bias. Yes, being a pessimist has it perks. There are no let downs if there is no hope. Also, people who are slightly depressed tend to be more realistic and less hopeful of future situations… and sure you could stand there or push something away, but then what? Then you never get anywhere. Or even for the people who aren’t entirely pessimistic, who try something once and fail… and think “well, I tried, but I will surely fail the second time”— I mean, yes that can be logical and all, but sometimes you really have to look at a situation because many times: the risks are so petty compared to the bigger picture and overall great reward (says the overly optimistic). There really is no flying in a steady, stubborn stance.
I know I’m taking this to both extremes… but bear with me. Over the years, I’ve been slowly (oh-so-very-slowly) learning how to use my optimism as a tool to battle the difficulties I may face. I’ve been making progress, especially in the past two years. But I’ve seen the biggest change in myself, in the past five and a half months, since Alex and I have split. The changes are almost night and day— almost. And the thing I am most proud of— well, it’s not finding more optimism, it’s almost the opposite— it’s been in learning how to become a more logical penguin (if you watched the video you know the reference), taking the time to feel my optimism, to think about it, to be more realistic in my possible outcomes. I no longer let my emotions run wild (or as wild, anyway) and I no longer dive right in. I’m learning to step back, feel things through, know that my emotions are human (and most importantly real and valid), and find the best possible way to take the next step, while remaining hopeful that: yes I can fly, anything is possible, and I can have everything I want in my life. I just need to remember pack my chute, while I let that spark within me: LIVE.

Speaking of optimism…
-I should *hopefully* be hearing some news about my possible future home in the next few days! I really think this is going to work out. I really, really do.
-Also! I don’t think I mentioned this yet, but I renewed my passport and will be jumping on a three day cruise to the Bahamas in the beginning of June! I know, cruises are like, the least eco-friendly, vegan-friendly thing ever… but, I am so very much excited. My good friend, Laura’s parents offered to take the two of us… I mean, how does one say “no” to that?
-And one last thing! The winner for the Quiet Home Paints Giveaway: Alicia! Congratulations! You will be contacted shortly <3 And for those of you who didn’t win, don’t forget the 15% off discount using the code “ohdear”!

**also, I really don’t want to get onto the topic of attachment parenting (especially after the recent NYTimes article and because I’m not* the greatest example of an AP practicing mama… I do what I can within my own comfort zones), but for all you attachment parenting mamas, this video (and all the behavioral research within it) *might* be a good pointer to bring up when arguing why AP could be beneficial to raising well balanced, honest, hopeful, happy adults. 


  1. Omg Drea… I had to stop reading your archives and comment on this post because… I totally do this too! Just the other day I was driving home, and I saw my boyfriend in his truck drive past me in the other lane, giving me a wave out his open window, going the opposite direction! I assumed, "Oh he's trying to come meet up with me after work, maybe he wants to go out to dinner" so I turned around. I drove around for maybe 20 minutes, back to work, to a friend's house nearby, and to a couple restaurant parking lots in the area trying to find him (he had no phone at the time and works on the other side of town so there's no reason he would be by my work)… I get upset, and drive home, defeated. When I get there, he's waiting for me, all happy to see me and I am just a black cloud of frustration. Turns out, he was just dropping a friend off at the train station nearby. Who knew so much disappointment could come from your own optimism, right??

  2. This is one my favorite posts that you've written. It shows that you are very informed and clearly in a very good/ happy place with yourself. It's really awesome when you feel like that.

  3. I think I can be both an optimist as you describe and a pessimist. Maybe I just have too much internal dialogue going on.

  4. Before the blogosphere bites your head off… I assume you meant to add the word "not" to your final ** note? Right now it says "because I'm the greatest example of an AP practicing mama"… unless you meant that… in which case go you, I'm never one for modest statements. ha.

    • Oh my goodness yes. I need to not edit things when I'm drifting off to sleep!

  5. I'm the same way with holidays and birthdays and am ALWAYS disappointed. Especially since we've been married for over 10 years. He knows I hope for things like that to happen. I do it for him, so I expect the same…nope

  6. I love the buying flowers example…. I can totally relate to this. My husband and I joke about my mom saying, "Well, maybe…" all the time because she would be painfully optimistic when we were trying to be realistic in a hard situation–especially when we were trying to find jobs after graduating from college right as the economy was tanking. However, I have to realize that I have been fighting being optimistic as I try not to get disappointed. I, too, always go, "Well, maybe…" in my mind with some excuse for people. Overall, my husband is a pessimist and grew up in a pessimistic family (that sounds so mean, but I don't mean it that way! They had some hard times and maybe came out as realists instead of dreamers.), and I am an optimist and grew up in an optimistic family. Sometimes we don't understand one another, but it mostly works to keeping one another balanced. Keep trying to fly, lady, because you'll get there eventually!

  7. Oh I do love these posts of yours, so honest and truthful! Being an optimistic is a breath of fresh air, it keeps so much unneeded negativity away. Though you can find yourself being let down, there are still so many more pros than cons with this type of lifestyle. Yes it is a lifestyle, it takes lots of work to look at everything as a cup half full! I strongly believe that if you are a good person, follow your personal beliefs, and keep your head up, then good things will find their way to you, even if it takes longer than you expected!

    Good luck with your soon-to-be home!