“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.