Part of my personal philosophy of punctuating my life with meaning has run counterpoint to a character trait I have.
I am a realist. To an annoying fault.
In some cases, this serves me well. I count the cost of everything until it cannot be counted any more and then I count again. I make decisions, when I can, based on the facts available. When I take on freelance gigs, I give my clients a fair estimate of my ability to fulfill their requests and how long it will take me to do so.
But other times, my tendency toward realism devolves into pessimism. I never saw it as such until recently. I had so programmed my thoughts to say, “No, this isn’t going to work out,” that I wasn’t giving myself the chance to change something. If I have given up before I begin, then I rob myself of any burgeoning greatness. Worse, I have declined to mentor young people because I don’t want to dampen their spirits.
I moved to Atlanta six years ago to work in editing and writing. My career path has been winding, but I have always had a job that involved words. For this, I am grateful. The chutzpah it took to move from Florida (the day after graduation!) with no job and no hardcore plan except, “Find a job. Soon!” landed me here. I am still striving to accomplish goals, but it can be difficult at times.
Previously I thought that looking on the bright side was for folk who were too blind to see straight. But when I look back on my drive up I-75 all those years ago, I can feel my excitement, a palpable current of energy that told me Atlanta would be good for me. And it is. I have learned that it takes faith to start out on a path you’ve never taken, but perhaps even more faith to stay the course of that dream when it takes a curve.
So, today, I start a new path toward positive realism. If I say I believe there is power in words, then my own self-directed words should reflect the good that I want for my future. See and say great things about yourself and then work hard to make them tangible.
Real? Yes. Positive. Oh, yes.