We are the generation of optimism. Seriously, you cannot have a “successful” Instagram account without daily mantras, words of wisdom or some sort of prayer for prosperity or peace. It is guaranteed likes. We can be so detached from each other in real life, including ‘spiritually’ (if you believe in that stuff), that it’s really quite farcical. We preach Buddha online & call strangers ‘cunts’ at the shopping centre for taking our car spot at Christmas time. Our generation has come to believe that if you are positive, you can achieve ANYTHING. It is THE most important thing. You wanna be a rockstar? Cool. Think positive, work at it, & shit… You can do it. Want to be famous? Not hard these days. Tell yourself you CAN & you WILL! A scientist? Of course you can. Love yourself, & others will love you too. Etc.
How much of this is true, though? Why have we come to value optimism over anything else? Why are you akin to a modern day deviant for being truthful instead of positive? People like Miranda Kerr & Louise Hay have spearheaded the notion of positivity over EVERYTHING. But really, when you think about Kerr at least, all she is doing is telling you to treasure your body. Nourish your body. Women, it’s all about your body. Where is the honesty? Where is the truth in any of this?
I got here because I realise I am perceived as quite a negative person. A pessimist. A fucking wet blanket, if you will. I say, actually, you are wrong, dear optimist. I am a realist. My mantra is truth. I live by TRYING (it’s impossible all the time. We change hourly, depending on who we are with) to be who I am, speak what I really think, & just generally avoiding anything that might not rest easily with me upon deeper reflection (it’s easier to sleep at night). I say, let’s start to value realism. Let’s all be realists, not only optimists. Let’s be honest with ourselves & each other. It’s hard. It’s not the du jour persona to broadcast. I can honestly say, the people who dislike me probably do so because of my overt realist attitude at times. It can come off offensive. It can come off rude. Whiney & whingey, even. I know this. & that’s because I’m a REALIST: I’m even real with myself. Most of the time, anyway.
Before you write me off as merely a pessimist, please understand sometimes optimism is crucial. Sometimes, the only way to get through something is to believe you will be okay, & allow yourself only happy thoughts. & it’s true, you WILL be okay. There are some certainties in life, & that includes inspirational quotes on Instagram by celebrities that didn’t ever say that shit, & that you will eventually be okay. Optimism is an amazing thing. The ability to both support & encourage yourself during trying times is one of the most important abilities one should learn to harness. BUT. Here is the big, heaping, OMNIPOTENT BUT… All the time? Really? You are happy your cat just got hit by a car? Did it teach you heaps, did it? Heaps about fucking HEARTBREAK. WHAT IS POSITIVE ABOUT THAT. WHY DOES IT NEED A POSITIVE SPIN!? Optimism, I believe, is not above everything. It is both powerful & important, but not always the best policy.
I’d like to put my theory into practice. Let’s take a look at this scenario, first with the optimist:
YOU: “Does my ass look huge in this?”***
OPTIMIST: “No. It looks bountiful. Always believe in your beauty, & you will always look beautiful”
Three days later, you’re untagging all the photos from the weekend on Facebook because actually, those positive thoughts didn’t fix the dress you wore that was perhaps too tight. Thanks.
Replay this scenario, but with me. The realist:
YOU: “Does my ass look huge in this?”
ME: “No I like your butt, but I don’t know about that dress, try on something else?”
Three days later, you can’t even decide which picture to use as your display picture because you are just so hot! That outfit was killer! YAY FOR REALISM!
So anyway, as you can see by my very scientific scenario I created in my mind where we are best friends & I am brutally honest with you, being truthful is good. It’s really good. Being honest should not be, and IS NOT, the same as being a pessimist. Please, let’s praise being honest. Even if it seems rude, or harsh, or shitty. & let’s be optimists sometimes, but not value it over everything else.
The truth isn’t always positive. But always being positive also isn’t always the truth (if you wanna make that your Facebook status please make sure to include my full name as the person who said it, in quotation marks. Cool, thank you).
***I love all asses so please, do not think I am some heinous bitch. Asses are beautiful & I’m sure yours is too. Purely for scientific purposes.
[…] important to grasp this concept wholeheartedly. I have spoken before about being realistic. Embracing the good & the bad. There’s a reason why New Year’s Resolutions fail, […]