I might have mentioned this before (I’m too lazy right now to go back and check), but I was voted Most Optimistic in high school. (I was also voted Class Clown and Class Fashion Statement, but who’s counting?) For the longest time, I wasn’t willing to own the title. Sure, I’m not overly negative or gloom and doom, but I never felt all rainbows and glitter either.
Over the years, I’ve realized that I initially had an over simplistic view of optimism, reducing it to thoughts of a perpetually happy and blissfully unaware person. I’ve come to understand that optimists are, more often than not, fully grounded in reality, aware of what is going on around them, and able to deal with what life hands them. I’m happy to be an optimist.
I was writing in my journal last week (again, highly recommended as a healthy self care habit) and couldn’t help but think I was receiving some sort of affirmation of my optimistic tendencies when a rainbow fell across the page. I have a mirrored picture frame that catches the light just right in the late afternoon, but I’ve never had it line up so perfectly. It highlighted the line “I’m looking forward”.
And really, that’s what optimism is to me. It’s not positive thinking that drowns out things that are less than ideal or ignoring the bad things in life. It’s taking note of all of those things and looking forward. It’s moving in a positive direction. It’s hope. It’s believing that things can and will get better. I’ve started to use “I am looking forward” as a personal mantra. You’re welcome to borrow it, too.