Or maybe that’s just called a realist…I’m not sure.
When I was in middle school my best friend’s mom decided she didn’t like me because I was too pessimistic and it was a bad influence on her daughter. In reality we were both hitting puberty and the fun rush of hormones was playing havoc with our own is individual mental illnesses but she needed someone to blame so she picked me.
As a senior in high school I was voted Class Pessimist by a group of peers I didn’t realize knew who I was, let alone so many of them thought so poorly of me. Unlike when my best friend’s mother called me pessimistic, it didn’t hurt or offend me. It amused the bloody hell out of me.
By this time I had learned enough about myself to know that I suffered from depression and anxiety, I had ADHD and being around so many people and constantly having to focus on stuff I lacked interest in was painful for me. I didn’t care about getting good grades or making new friends, I wasn’t social in the least and I didn’t care that everyone thought I was negative. In a way, I was.
I am not a pessimist. I honestly hope with all my heart that things will come out for the best. I believe in love and chasing rainbows and that people generally have at least a sliver of good to them.
I’m just really unlucky and I’d rather think about all of the many ways things can go wrong and plan for them than be blindsided when something bad happens. I pretty much always assume things will suck so when they go right and things work out how they’re supposed to I enjoy it all the more knowing all the ways it could have failed but didn’t.
I don’t make plans very often because I kind of figure something will go wrong and my plans will fall through. Usually two days in advanced is as far as I’ll go. A few years ago my best friend and I took a trip together that involved months of planning and every day I wondered what would go wrong. Would the car break down? Would our hotel give away our room (although, it probably would have been better if they had. That place was scary!)? Would we get lost (We did and it was awesome)?
The trip was a huge blast. We walked for hours, we visited the zoo, we ate weird food that I would have never tried if we hadn’t went and explored. We swore we would do it again every year (then we both had babies and our trip money and time was gone but that’s a different story) and it was amazing.
I enjoyed it all the more knowing that it went right in spite of everything. We were prepared for all of the things thrown our way so it wasn’t terrible. We got lost more than once, we ate food that wasn’t good, we ate food that was amazing, we walked until our feet had blisters, we went through scary parts of town, and it was perfect despite our bleeding feet and dead phones from constant GPS usage. Why? Because nothing the trip threw at us threw us off because we’d planned for it.
I may come across as negative because I’m always looking for the bad things life can throw at me but I’m not trying to be negative. I’m trying to be prepared. I’m trying to anticipate all of the things that can throw me off track because I have a really hard time finding my way back if I get derailed.
When life throws me things I have no way of anticipating it feels like the world is ending and I can’t breathe and life as I know it is over. I don’t mean this in a melodramatic way. I mean it feels like life is over. I freeze. I don’t know how to react so I shut down. I stop thinking and stop doing and have a meltdown that usually involves a lot of yelling at everyone for nothing and then going to bed. It will take days for me to come out of it and be able to plan my next steps.
So, I may not be Mary Sunshine, I’ll always be Most Pessimistic of Class of 2007 but I’m able to keep myself going through hurdles and bumps and bruises that would ruin most people’s days.