Normally if people ask me if I’m an optimist or pessimist, I say that I am a realist. Events lately have taught me that that is a lie I’ve been telling myself.
Earlier this year I listened to Seth Godin’s book Linchpin, and I was struck by his definition of the American Dream:
Keep your head down
Show up on time
Suck it up
…you will be rewarded.
That was not my American Dream. His version is so sad and depressing! Who on Earth would be inspired by that?!?!? I was always taught that the American Dream means that people can rise above their circumstances … and I am still a firm believer in that.
I am a closeted optimist! I can do what I set out to do if I work my butt off. No, not 100% of my dreams can come true. Not everyone can be President – there are lots of people vying for that office and only person can hold it at a time – but a career in politics (whether it be reporting it, local positions, or government worker) is possible. Heck, I was elected to a very low level local position, and politics isn’t my thing!
What I’m saying is … what exactly am I trying to say? I believe, no I know, that my future is still at least partially under my control. I can sit and coast and settle, or I can strive to be a better me. I’ll admit it: I’ve drank the Kool-Aid.
If I work at it, I will achieve what I want. Maybe not to the image that I have when I begin down the path, but I know new and improved opportunities will come my way if I’m on the look out for them and prepared to jump when they arrive.
“Though no one can go back and make a brand-new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending” Carl Bard
So yes, I guess I really am an optimist, and not so much in the closet any more. Without hope, what is there?