Mr. Brightside

How am I still an optimist? You would think that the world would have beaten every last bit of positivity out of me. But no, it’s still there, sticking it’s annoying head out at every opportune moment – whispering it’s affirmations, as naive and bright-eyed as ever. These corny whispers totally ruin my street cred when I’m just trying to be a realist, or even a cynic who manages her expectations. I’d rather be happy when things surpass my realistic expectations rather than disappointed when things fall short of my needlessly high expectations. So after all the many colorful disappointments in my life that always leave me bare and broken, how have I not learned my lesson?

I’m working on some writing that’s required me to read through my old blogs on this site. Most of them follow a similar formula – they’re really raw, honest and tragic for most of the post and then it takes a somewhat abrupt turn to sugary sweet positivity. The hopeful endings never sounded quite authentic so I always assumed that I threw in a little positivity for my readers because otherwise, my posts would be too much of a downer. But I’m realizing that it was for me.

Even now, I have some wildly dangerous thoughts. They start off pretty innocuous: “Why is my daily life so much harder than all my friends?” to which I don’t have an answer to and never will. “I would kill to have their problems.” But it inevitably leads to the dangerous one: “I’m tired of this life.” I know it’s a useless, unproductive thought that only shows it’s face during a fleeting moment of weakness. But I know it’s unhealthy to sit with negative thoughts like that. As soon as I feel those thoughts creeping in, I throw on some T Swift or Friends, and get back to a more familiar headspace of loving laughter and lyrics. But if it progresses to tears, my dog sprints to my side and licks my face forcefully until I start laughing. So I’ve got all my bases covered.

So I guess I’m still an optimist as a self-preservation thing. I need to keep my expectations high and keep swallowing the disappointments, because the alternative, having low expectations, would keep me in such a negative headspace and I don’t want to know how low those thoughts can go. This is just the price I pay, so that one day, my reality will match my high expectations, or maybe even surpass them. But I think I’ve always been an optimist and that never really leaves you, no matter how hard you, or the world, try to destroy it.

4 thoughts on “Mr. Brightside

  1. That’s so fetch!PS – I was digging around some old emails and found an absolutely beautiful one from you that made me want to start up this blog again. Forever empowering me Renee, thank you.

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  2. You’re definitely allowed to have (and share) the darkest of thoughts but making sure you provide yourself with what you truly need is a radical act of self-preservation. The blogs and articles are really important to all of us and reading them is both enlighting and comforting. But at the end if the day, they’re your journal. I noticed recently that, when I write the intro to my media outlet’s newsletter every Monday, it’s mostly been sweet little pep talks about accepting and processing what the pandemic did to us. I was like, why?? And duh, it’s a pep talk for myself. It gets my head right every time. But seriously, feel free to get super dark with us anytime. We’ll lick your face like Duke does (sorry that’s so creepy).

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  3. “A radical act of self-preservation” – I always love your turn of phrase.And we basically shared amniotic fluid so a few licks are nothing for us! Shhh, don’t tell Nani.

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