Thursday, June 12, 2014

my silver lining: balancing hope and truth

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Ever since I read Rachel's post, I've been stewing over this question: What defines me?

When I'm faced with a blank bio box on the profile of a social media outlet, I typically slap a bunch of labels in there and move on - wife, fur mommy, professional, blogger, lover of Chipotle and cheap wine. And although all of those things are true, undoubtedly, there are hundreds, maybe even thousands, of people who could claim those labels for themselves.

So what makes me different from them? What defines me?

I think the essence of who I am starts with the foundation that I've been building my whole life. This foundation has been built by the experiences that I have had throughout my 30 years, which have allowed me to learn a lot about myself and others. This foundation is the way I view the world and my approach to it. And, though I am still learning every day, my past experiences have led me to consider myself an optimistic realist.

Being an optimistic realist is all about balance - balancing what I hope with what I know to be true. I always look for the good in people and in situations; however, I understand that it's not always rainbows and butterflies. People can deceive you and things don't always go according to plan. But rather than lose faith in humanity and the dealer doling out the cards of my life, I choose to seek out the silver lining, no matter how thin it may be.

For me, this foundation has allowed me to be open minded, calm under pressure, {mostly} rational in my decisions and solutions to challenges, armed with the ability to forgive and learn from mistakes, to give people second chances {which we all deserve sometimes}, and to be happy in this crazy world.

Do I see negative? Absolutely. But that doesn't mean I stop looking for the good. And that doesn't make me blind to what's in front of me, to what's real. From what I've learned, life is about balance. It's also about choice. How you approach the world, how you act in it and how you react to it are all choices. Sometimes it doesn't feel that way, and sometimes choosing can be difficult.

I choose to seek the good. I choose to be optimistic and I choose to see what's real. Am I disappointed at times? Yes. Am I pleasantly surprised sometimes? Yes. Am I willing to make changes in order to make things better in my life? Yes. Do I believe I can? Sometimes. Because life isn't always Oreo Blizzards and puppies.

The essence of who I am has been, and continues to be, built upon a foundation of optimistic realism. I approach the world with an open mind, faith and hope coupled with open eyes, lessons from past experiences and rationality. Because life is about balance and choice. 

7 comments:

Audra said...

I <3 you

(I do think the world should include many more Oreo blizzards)

Samantha Curtis said...

Preach. I try to be optimistic but right now I just want to curse the universe :(

Because of Jackie said...

First of all, I heart you, I hope you know that;) I am also a realistic yet optimistic person. Not a lot of stuff can get me down, and I am good for lifting others up, I think. Loved this post, friend;)

Rachel Emily said...

Thanks for the post shout-out sweet cheeks. I have to work to see the good in situations most days, but I do try try try to. I think it is so great that is how you define yourself because I have to try to hard to be that person <3

What Jenni Loves said...

This is such a great post, and one I definitely relate to. I would also say I'm an optimistic realist. An old boss of mine once remarked upon the fact that he admired the way I could maintain a positive attitude even in the face of adversity - I think you've got to. Sure, sometimes it seems like everything is awful and all going wrong, but I strongly believe that things work out in the end. And I'd rather chug along with as positive an attitude as possible because otherwise I just make myself more miserable. I'm not so optimistic that I set myself up for disappointment though.

Mary said...

Word.

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