Choosing Optimism

Sometimes, I have to try really hard to be an optimist.

On some days — days full of sunshine, warm smiles from strangers, face-up pennies, and green lights — it's easier than easy. The world just seems and feels open to you, like a gift just for you, like it's telling you it's on your side. Conversations are effortless, the bumble bees keep a wide berth, you get your ice-to-coffee ratio just right. I love those days.

Then there are other days, where it seems like every doubt you've ever had about yourself, your life, your plan, your skills, your journey, crop up just to remind you that they're there, always waiting, just waiting to catch you in the briefest moment of darkness and threaten to consume you. They're waiting for you to be sidetracked for just one second. Waiting for you to let your guard down and remember that thing, that guy, that conversation, that nagging feeling that brings you to places of bleak uncertainty, fear, doubt.

I'm having a mix of these days right about now. Everything is lining up right, life is good, the plan is on track. But there are things in the back of my mind that, due to their nature of chaos and that they're unresolved, threaten to unravel me every now and then. I'll be sitting at my desk, working away, or scrolling through to see what my friends have to tweet or 'gram today, and BAM. Like a ton of bricks I'm hit with a reminder of something I try so carefully to keep banished to the dreary, nearly inaccessible depths of my mind.

But we can't unknow things we know. We can't unhear things we hear, unsee what we see, unfeel what we feel. So no matter how diligent we are in keeping those negative thoughts, those painful triggers, those threatening reminders in the back of our minds, you never know what song lyric, fleeting image, casual turn of phrase will slam into you like a sledgehammer, just because it can, and just because there's nothing you can do to stop it.

In those moments, on those days, being an optimist is hard. It's hard to think that a day will come that this all-consuming thing won't consume you anymore. That this person or place or feeling you miss or want so much will one day just be a thing that exists, and not a thing that matters to you anymore. It can be impossible to imagine a time where the greatest things on your mind today will one day be distant memories or, in many cases, gone from your memory altogether.

And then you remember that optimism is a choice. And that barring extremes, happiness is too.

And that eventually, no matter how long the winter, how high the snow, how fast the winds, spring will inevitably spring again.


Here's a haiku I wrote a couple of months ago. It somehow feels even more fitting now than it did when I first penned it back in January.

a bloom finds fresh air
beneath the blistering wind
winter springs new life

I'll be back tomorrow with something more blogworthy. Until then, have a sweet Tuesday.


  1. Ugh, I hate that you're going through this now. I completely understand! I've been there, recently. I'm back to having more of the sunshiny days, but sometimes the darkness is really immense & it's just hard. It's worse at night. You'll get through it. Do as Barney Stinson tells us to "stop beings sad & start being awesome." Because you are!

    peace & hugs

    p.s I noticed your new header tonight. LOVE IT!


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