Optimism

Dear Future Me,

I hope you’re still filled with utter glorious optimism about life, although in reality the dark underbelly of this seedy town has probably soured you to the simple pleasures. For shame! Let’s not forget how you once gazed out upon the world with nothing but open hopefulness for many happy returns.

Listen, I’m an optimist. I try not to be one of those fucking irritating optimists though, the kind that are all like If you think good things, good things will come to you because frankly that is a load of bullshit. Sure, positive thinking will make you happier, and maybe a happier you is less likely to scream profanities at the Denny’s waitress and get your ass arrested, but all the positive thinking in the world isn’t going to stop that out-of-control bus from taking your smiling self to the afterlife like so many disgruntled transit riders.

So while I am all for positive thinking, I also understand that it isn’t always logical. I find the middle ground is best: think positively, act carefully and respond intelligently, and generally good things will come to you. Sure, people who mope and whine and moan all the time are totally reprehensible, but so are people who are so buoyed along by their blind faith that they never face reality.

Leslee: “Um, hey, I think you’re on fire.”
Them: “Oh, will you look at that! Well, I’m sure it will work itself out.”
Leslee: “Maybe you should scream for help? Or try to put it out?”
Them: “Naw, I’m sure it will be fine if I just keep a positive attitude!!”
Leslee: “No, really, you need to do something or you’re going to suffer third-degree burns.”
Them: “Geez Louise, are you always so negative?!”
Leslee: “… … …I hate you.”

Okay, that’s an extreme example that has probably never happened to me, but you see my point. Positive attitude without appropriate action is a load of crap, just as much as complaining indefinitely but refusing to do anything to change your situation. Step up or shut up, my friends.

All that being said, I am still an optimist, but mostly because my life is awesome. I believe that things will turn out well because they have, consistently. If I’d been up to my eyes in shit all my life I’m pretty sure I would be a pessimist, and with good reason. But stuff keeps turning out okay, and until it stops doing so I’m going to keep presuming that it will.

Mostly I’ve just been stupidly fortunate all these years. Forget to study for a test? No worries, it’s been pushed back a week! Forget your wallet at the coffee shop? Whatever, just take it, you can pay me back next time! Miss the deadline to apply for that job? It just so happens that the job was posted wrong and we’ll have to do it all over again – day fucking saved. And this kind of shit just keeps happening. Part of it is likely that I’m a pretty girl, part of it is that I look like I’m going to cry, and part of it is that yes, I try to be a nice person, but a lot of it is just plain dumb luck. Lucky enough to have great friends, lucky enough to have a great family and lucky enough to have good luck. Thank you, random chance!  

So, Future Me, if your luck has changed and life has knocked you on your ass again and again and again and you’ve become a cynical, angry person…well, I’m okay with that. You’re free to have a positive attitude, you’re free to have a shitty attitude, you’re free to dress up like a lobster and have noisy sex in the park.

Well, maybe not that last one,

Past Leslee.

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About leslei

Listen, I like to use the eff word. If that is going to be a problem you should probably just turn this car around RIGHT NOW.
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