I never knew I was a pessimist until this moment.
“Realist” sounds better than pessimist. Maybe I’m a realist? Yeah, let’s go with that.
I don’t give myself fair shot at a good day. I wake up expecting it to go bad.
Paramore’s new album After Laughter is playing as I type this. What an incredibly honest and sad record. On “Rose-Colored Boy,” Hayley sings, “I just killed off what was left of the optimist in me,” On “Fake Happy” she bemoans the tendency of society (and herself) to put on a show for the cameras and save the tears for behind closed doors. “Oh please,” she sings, “I bet everybody here is fake happy too.”
There’s something distinctly, painfully relatable about these lyrics. We know pseudo happiness well. But what happened to feeling carefree? Because we all did, at some point. When did we lose it?
Blame it on the 90 degree temperatures accompanied by 90% humidity. Blame it on missing my family and feeling the sharp ache of the distance between us. Blame it on hormones and chemical imbalances. Whatever you want to blame it on, I’ve been waking up every day with a vengeance, just waiting for grievances to add to my list of “Gone Wrongs.”
I’m waiting for the inconveniences, the minor frustrations, the headaches – to pile up so I can get angry about it, then get sad about it, wash and repeat – the cycle continues. It’s overwhelmingly negative and super destructive.
What happened to the me that saw each new day as an adventure?
Can I somehow resurrect the optimist in me? If so, how?
With all the religiosity burnt out of me, and only faith like a lifeline to grab onto…the only answer I can think to give is “It is well.” Not in a cheesy Christian bumper sticker, artfully-designed-poster kind of way.
It is well means, essentially, IT IS O.K.
Even if the day before me turns out to be as awful as I pessimistically fear it will be, I’ll be ok. I will survive. My spirit is intact. My soul isn’t taking an L here. Regardless of my emotions and their turbulence, it will be okay…because, as my circumstances often remind me, I’m not the one in control of my life. As hard as I try to grip the steering wheel, white knuckled as I am, the car will keep careening every direction unless I just freaking chill for a second.
I’ve made it this far, and you have too. Look at that. We’re built to survive. It helps to let go and fall into the arms of the one who actually does control, well, everything.