I was born a pessimist. Well, perhaps I didn’t exactly roll out of the uterus acerbic, suspicious and viewing the glass half empty–but let me tell you, that’s who I am deep down inside. Personally, I believe this phenomenon is twofold in its genesis: as a survival instinct to all the rampant negativity out there that constantly threatens to break down the door, and as a result of growing up in the New York area where sarcasm is king.
On a daily basis, I struggle to be an optimist and see the sunnier side of life. Fellow pessimists, you know how difficult this can be. And it’s a pretty deep, dark closet in which we pessimists must hide–especially since the barrage of sickly-sweet Hollywood films make it social suicide for us to be our true skeptical selves. Every single day, in a good faith effort, I search high and low for the cherry on top of the impending gloom.
Just today on Facebook, I saw that my cousin is quite the opposite of me–according to some random quiz: “You are the Peace Sign, the friendliest of all the symbols. You try and get along with everyone and most of the time, you succeed. You love colors and circular shapes. Bringing joy to everyone in the world is your goal, along with ending world hunger, war, and making world peace. You work hard for what you get and deserve it. Don’t give up with your plans.”
Gee, I would love to bring joy to everyone on the planet, if only I had the time and billions of dollars to buy the world a Coke. But, alas, I don’t. So instead of being a wet blanket, I focus on what I can do. And I can learn to be an optimist. Each day I must get a tiny bit better at it, because miraculously, I’m lucky enough to have a loving, generous and kind girlfriend–Kailey–despite my infirmity. The other night we went out to a neighborhood sushi bar for a friend’s birthday party and found ourselves boxed in by a roomful of potentially catty lesbians (see “Coming Out As A Couple” to find out why this might be a concern). And wouldn’t you know, one of my exes–famous for her penchant for stirring up drama–was there. Kailey and I grimaced as we watched my ex cop a feel on the unsuspecting (and straight) waitress’s ass. We just looked at each other and smiled–watching the games begin all around us but knowing we could sit this one out, together.
There’s something to be said about the power of a beautiful woman–who thinks you‘re great–to improve your view of the world to glass half full. That’s one hell of a sweet cherry on top of each potentially derisive day.