Thursday, May 15, 2008


(Note: The above is a Yellow Warbler; I took this picture at Hay Creek.)

I think I lean toward the-glass-is-half-empty, not because I bask in negativity, but because I always fall hard when disappointed. I feel like pessimism protects me sometimes, a kind of protective pillow when the answer is no.

But what about risk? What about opening up your arms and letting the world in? Optimism needs to become more a part of my life. And hope. Things have been working out lately, after all.

I read this, a post by my dear friend Eireann, and it spoke to post-event optimism. It speaks to how I've been reflecting on events in my own life. My mother-in-law and my paternal grandmother are experts at this kind of positive energy--when life approaches with difficulty, there is no flurry or tantrum of frustration, but instead, a what can you do / roll up your sleeves and fix it kind of attitude. No simpering or pots thrown about the kitchen. Just a repair with a silver lining. A story to tell later.

And I suppose this is the attitude I've mutated toward, have shifted. When Ryan and I first met, I was quick to melodrama, prepared to cry my way out of a situation, but he clearly had no patience for that, this tactic I used in the last big relationship which went over well (this, which included the kind of violence that slammed doors can bring, can destroy glass panels, can involve high rates of speed and so much shouting). Instead, he waited as I unclenched myself, embraced me, and we went about the act of repair. Myself, my heart, which had broken along with the stained glass, and my own attitude toward difficult situations. (He is the person who has eased me into so many better things for myself; he is a truly good, good person. Have I mentioned that? How lucky I am?)

I am currently seeking alternatives to pessimism. For instance, during the MFA hunt, I did not want to believe it would work out for me, just in case it didn't. For so many days, weeks, I ran home, my stomach knotty, my bowels turning to liquid as I'd rush to the answering machine, the mail slot, in hope, hope, hope. Disappointment slams me down. Perhaps instead of optimism, I need to learn more how to not crumble at no. Find out where yes takes me instead. What doors are opened, that sort of thing.

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