Post-A-Day 2011: Are you an optimist or a pessimist?


I hate when people ask me if I’m an optimist or a pessimist. I don’t think that most people can clearly distinguish their worldview as monolithically “half-full” or “half-empty”, because most people face a life that is at times wonderful and at other times rife with tribulation. Sometimes the times that seem the best are those in which people find themselves waiting for the other shoe to drop, and moments of greatest stress and challenge are when their hope and determination shine through.

Brian likes to call me a pessimist when I get down about things, but it just isn’t true. Neither, however, is when I tell him “I’m a realist” — it’s so pithy and cynical but I can’t help it; it’s the only thing that gets him to stop. The truth is, I’m a little bit of both. It just depends on the day.

We all have to confront disappointments or particularly difficult situations, and sometimes in the middle of all that I will turn around and whine, “This will never get better!” It may not be completely obvious, but I’m usually being hyperbolic out of a need for reassurance (or sugar) — if I really thought that things would never improve, there would be no point in trying to improve them. And even when I’m sobbing into my pillow and contemplating turning that activity into my one and only hobby, I can feel my spine straighten and my mind start to snap out of it. I don’t mope — well, at least not for very long.

All in all, I guess I just don’t believe that everything is going to fall spectacularly to pieces or pull itself together unless I’m a part of it. We are all given a set of circumstances and a set of choices, and it’s less about believing in the best or worst outcome and more about acting to bring about the consequences we want to manifest. It may sound all hokey and self-helpy, but that’s the way it is. Nobody and no cosmic being is sitting around focusing only on you and making or breaking your dreams — if the opposite is true, than you either need to build a monument to that person, punch them in the face, or guard that genie’s lamp with everything you have…at least until you’ve used your third wish. Choose wisely!

Short answer: I’m a “life’s a dance you learn as you go” sort of person.


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One comment

  1. […] Post-A-Day 2011: Are you an optimist or a pessimist? (shanshantastic.wordpress.com) […]

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