I have an announcement to make: I have decided to leave behind my pessimistic life and become an optimist!
I’ll begin like this: by knowing that there is no silver lining, but the whole cloud is silver! In fact, not even the whole cloud, but the whole sky. Speaking of the sky, whoever said “The sky’s the limit” was a real pessimist. In reality, the universe is the limit. So when you’re aiming, aim past the sky, and straight into space!
Moreover, I don’t believe in seeing the cup half full. The entire cup is full. Actually, it’s overflowing! There’s no end to good things flowing your way!
I will smile and be cheerful because it confuses people. When they look at me in thorough confusion, I will smile wider. The universe is the limit, right? I’m going to behave as I believe.
I will believe in one important principle: there is no such thing as failure. The pessimistic term “failure” is, as Thomas Edison said, merely finding a way that didn’t work. I have found plenty of ways that don’t work. I bet you have too.
When there is a blizzard tomorrow and my brother has to shovel the driveway, I will remind him winter’s nearly over, and soon there won’t be any more snow to shovel! When I am cold inside the house (as normally happens), I’ll be confident my dad will turn up the thermostat so we won’t be as cold.
Speaking of tomorrow, I will be optimistic about having a snow day. We are having a snow day, we are having a snow day, we are having a snow day. I will remain optimistic to the point that I won’t do my English homework because I know I’ll have the weekend to do it. Nor will I study for my International Affairs map quiz, or my Spanish vocab quiz, because I won’t have them until Monday. I have the weekend to study.
I will be so optimistic, I will be calling Kristen a pessimist. (And that is saying something.) There will be hope that Crystal will become normal; that Maria will have a healthy concern about school. In fact, I am so optimistic that I know all the rumors about Corey and me will stop tomorrow! The entire student body will forget it was ever mentioned!
I will get As in math for the rest of my high school career, I will become valedictorian of the high school graduating class of 2009, I will get into Harvard and be the valedictorian of the college graduating class of 2013! I will get three Master’s degrees in quick succession and be making a salary of $2,000,000 by the age of thirty, as a best-selling author. My friend Jenn once said my name would be in lights in New York; I’ll start believing her and it will actually happen. By the time I am forty I will making ten million dollars a year, buy myself a vacation home in Hawaii, and give enough money to my parents for their comfortable retirement. “Comfortable” means they will have a 20,000 square foot mansion with three plasma screen TVs, sixteen bedrooms, an eight-car garage, and eight cars to fill the garage. Two will be mine, two will be Patrick’s, and four will be my parents’, which they will freely lend to us.
But I have yet to exercise my optimism in other areas. In terms of my speech, my trademark phrase will be, “Well, things can only get better!” “Rock bottom” is really the beginning of a new journey to the sky—I mean, past the sky, because the universe is the limit.
Sigh—I’m tired—no, I’m not; I’m merely ready to start re-charging for tomorrow! I am going to sing and dance and smile my way through the morning, so much so that when my mom wakes me up at five to let me know we have a snow day and I have to call my friend, I will thank her graciously and say “Kristen will be so delighted to hear that!” rather than groaning and whining, “Wanna sleep. Wanna sleep,” in the informative manner of a four-year-old.
Mentioning tomorrow makes me want to begin the snow day chant again! We are going to have a snow day, we are going to have a snow day—say it with me now!—we are going to have a snow day, we are going to have a snow day. In fact, we’ll have a snow week: I won’t have Solo and Ensemble or work on Saturday—I’ll be able to go to church Sunday morning, but a blizzard will materialize Sunday afternoon and snow us all in until next Friday.
But, boy, is this optimism thing work! I mean, really, do optimists actually believe all that? I’m more tired than when I started. I’m reverting to pessimism—but I probably won’t be any good at that. After all, we’re all prone to failure. Besides, we won’t have a snow day because the district will be obstinate and make us go to school for the sake of our education. And I’ll have to do my English homework, because if I don’t, I’ll fail English, my GPA will go to ruin, and I won’t get into a single college I apply to—not even OCC will take me! My life will deteriorate, and I will rue the day I decided to think optimistically!
*originally published January 31, 2008