Monday, July 26, 2010

Optimistic Pessimist

Another old favorite. Enjoy!:

There have been times in my life where I thought I had life figured out. Foolish, I know. I suppose that is the folly of youth, an overzealous thinking that life is black and white. As I’ve grown up I’ve come to appreciate that little is as it seems, and that people will continuously surprise you, especially when you think you’ve got them labeled and neatly stored in a box.
As of late I’ve found that my thoughts continuously come to a stand still. It is as if I am running furiously in a direction with my feet spinning under me, and yet like a cartoon I move nowhere. My feet are not on the ground. I am usually the girl with more to say then could ever be necessary. I have my opinions, and others are more then aware of them. I am not quiet. I am not meek or submissive. I am bold, I am hardheaded, and as my friend Chris tells me quite frequently, I tend to “call a spade, a spade”. But amidst all of my bold, outspoken tendencies, is a quiet mouse. I am fearful. I fear the future and what it holds. I fear what I do not know. So my running, though it is bold, desperate, and anxious, is more then happy to run in circles. If I do not deal I’ll never come to a conclusion, and if I never come to a conclusion then that must mean there is nothing to deal with. Again, foolish…I know.

I can’t say that I’ve led a tormented life. I am not a moody, angst-y, depressed artist. To the contrary, I am quite the opposite. I am an optimist, a romantic, a dreamer by any sense of the word. I see beauty in the world wherever I can, because life is short and it’s worth living. That’s not to say I haven’t had to deal with my fair share of blows. Who hasn’t had to deal with one thing or another? After all, we are all essentially the same. We feel the same. When you strip away titles, material, and status, are we not all built with the same essential components? Of a desire to be loved, needed, and appreciated; a desire to truly live the human experience to it’s full extent, in one way or another? Truly, we are all the same. I know, another black and white understanding of the world, but I’m afraid I can’t help it. Not only have I been accused of “calling a spade, a spade” but I have been told on more then one occasion, that my head is in the clouds. It appears that it’s not just my feet that aren’t touching the ground…my head doesn’t manage to stay very close to it either. It’s as if I am forced to remain in limbo, an optimistic pessimist or a romantic realist of sorts. In truth, I suppose I am a walking contradiction.

In the face of adversity, I find myself quaking yet hopeful. Like any sane person, I fear what I do not know, yet I relish at the opportunity of learning, growth, and discovering something new about myself. Just like any other person, I have my insecurities and my fears…the unknown, being alone, am I attractive enough, smart enough, yadda, yadda, yadda…we all know that list. Yet when faced with something larger then myself I have the opportunity to shed those layers, contradictions, and labels that I carry on my shoulders from day to day. When faced with a monster, my quite and fearful mouse-self is forced to grow and get over those stupid, petty insecurities. That is when I learn, truly learn, that we really are all the same. I learn compassion, understanding, and humility. Oddly, at times I find myself grateful for the trials that the Lord puts in front of me. He knows me, understands me, and knows what will make me into what I must become. It is in these times of growth, when I feel as if my heart might burst, because it is in these times, that I can feel the most. I feel hopelessness, despair, and fear to it’s full extent, I allow it to eat at me and consume me whole. And then, when I feel as if I can’t go on any longer, I allow my self to be full of courage, strength, and hope for the future. It is at these times when I can feel how truly beautiful life is, in all it’s ups and downs, it’s tragedies and victories. It’s inn these times that I can see exactly what Kevin Spacey was saying in American Beauty when he said, “I can't feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life.” Because isn’t that the truth?

And so…while I’m running in circles, my feet not touching the ground, my head in the clouds; when I tremble in fear and when my heart is full of hope; when life makes perfect sense and I’ve got it figured out, compared to the times where I’m sure life has no rhyme or reason…these are the times I am quite sure, that life is worth living. Because it’s messed up, it’s complicated, it hurts, and you are most certain to cry…but in the end, it’s the only life we’ve got. So despite youth dying from cancer, love lost, families crumbling apart, the pain of growing up and learning, it’s the only life we’ve got. And certainly…it’s a beautiful one.


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