I didn’t have too much to do today: meeting with a professor, study time in the lounge, getting lunch with my sister, and gym time. In between all of that, I had about 2 hours to kill from about noon-2pm. After flip flopping between coming home and relaxing and attempting to get some more work done in the lounge, I decided to go on a long walk.
Behind my university’s main campus, there is a long stream and nature trail that ends up at the Potomac River in DC. I’ve been on the trail a few times over the years and since it was nice out, I figured I’d spend some quality time alone. I left everything in my car and began my walk.
It was just me, my thoughts, the sounds of nature, and many bunnies (spring time in Northern VA = lots and lots of bunnies) – I loved it. It was just so great walking up and down the trail with the sounds of birds chirping, water flowing, and the rustling of leaves as the furry creatures roamed the tangled up mess of nature.
On my walk, I tried not to actively think too much. I do that sometimes. Because thinking sometimes gets the best of me, I have to actively and consciously try not too think so that I stay mentally stable and in control of my thoughts and emotions.
But then I started thinking about something Hannah Hart preaches: Practice Reckless Optimism. I love the saying and how quirky/cute it is and as much as I can preach it (to myself and hopefully others), I can admit that being optimistic just isn’t in my nature.
It’s really hard to change something so innate and while I actively and consciously try to be more optimistic, I’m a pessimist by nature. It’s just who I am and that’s pretty hard to change.
I realize that I may never be the most optimistic person around but that isn’t a bad thing and it’s taken me so long to even come to accepting that.
My first thoughts may always be negative and pessimistic, but that doesn’t mean my second and third thoughts aren’t optimistic and hopeful. It just means that I start out thinking negatively and that’s okay – that’s who I am.
My pessimism isn’t even always pessimism – it’s more realism than anything else. I think of worst case scenarios so I’m prepared for them. When other people are thinking optimistic thoughts and are happy-go-lucky, I stress and momentarily freak out and ultimately, it’s me who gets things done in an effective manner.
This isn’t knocking down the optimists of the world; I aspire to be recklessly optimistic and I always will. But I don’t want to sit here and knock myself down either. I am pessimistic and negative at times, I stress out and act freaked out and angry, and I may even think irrationality at first.
But it’s more about not letting those negative thoughts take over. It’s more about not letting the stress take over. It’s more about not letting the pessimism control me.
I have been trying to be more optimistic and positive and it’s done wonders for me and I love it. But doing so doesn’t mean I have to change who I am and it doesn’t mean that who I am is something that needs changing.
My thoughts don’t control me and don’t define me – I control my thoughts and I define me.
Practice Reckless Optimism.