When I was little, my mom used to call me Pistol Pete (no, I don’t know why; my family is random like that). Pessimistic Pete probably would have been a better nickname. At least a more accurate one.
Yes, I have a tendency towards pessimism. If you believe in astrology, then you can chalk up this trait up to being a Capricorn. If you don’t, then, I dunno, chalk it up to reinforcement or self-fulfilling prophecy if you believe in psychology.
I wouldn’t call myself overly pessimistic. Mostly I’m a realist and that makes me seem more pessimistic. That’s because I look at my past to help determine my realistic possibilities in the future and my track record isn’t that great. I hope for the best, expect the worst, and I’m delight if things turn out okay. That’s because rarely (so rarely that I can’t really remember any examples) do I get the best. I don’t usually even get the good. The bad is more likely and I know it’s more likely and because I know it’s more likely and that’s what I tend to expect, then I’m seen as quite the downer.
People have told me to think positively and you know, I do. Like I said, I hope for the best. In my head, I focus on the good, the positive and I try to project that energy. But there’s a part of me that knows no matter how hard I try to think positively, I do not attract positive energy. I just don’t.
I work at being less pessimistic. I try not to think of the worst FIRST. I focus on the good and the positive and then slowly let in reality until I get a decent, realistic expectation. I try to keep the overly negative thoughts out of the mix. But there are times when I’m prone to excessive pessimism. Sometimes I think EVERYTHING will end badly. Rocks fall, everyone dies.
It’s these times that I look at the state of things. I look at my mess of a life. I look at the financial hole I dug trying to pursue a career. I look at the decisions I’ve made and the risks I’ve taken with little or no support and/or not enough planning. I look at the physical ideals imposed upon women that I’ll never meet. I look at the responsibilities that I’ve taken on that never should have been foisted on me in the first place (and God forbid I should have refused them or else be labeled as selfish). I look at all of this stuff and more and I think “This is the life I’ve created. There is no hope here. There’s no point in being optimistic. This is it.”
I don’t like those times. I feel very alone during those times. I feel very tired during those times. And I feel very frustrated at those times because as tired and alone as I feel, as much as I want to say “fuck it” and drive on, just accept my reality and trudge through it until the end, I know I won’t. Because there’s something in me that won’t give up. There’s a little part of me that struggles and insists on looking on the bright side and striving FOR that bright side.
It’s annoying little bit of me, to be sure.
In the end, though, I’m glad it’s there. It puts the pessimism back in its cubby and insists that I get my head out of the self-pity oven and get on with it. There’s no time for this shit. I’ve got some living to do.
So, yes, I am pessimistic and have a tendency to be overly pessimistic sometimes, but I’m not nearly as pessimistic as you think I am. Because I fight not to be.
Aren’t you glad I haven’t surrendered?
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