I don’t have many words of wisdom or inspiration that I make a point of living by. Mostly that sort of thing feels like bullshit. You want advice? Follow your dreams. Be free. Be wild. Be an opossum. Eat out of the same dumpster you fuck your girlfriend in. Chitter ominously at passersby until neighbors fear to take out their trash at dusk. Most of the Instagram ready quotes about following your heart amount to the same thing. Okay, for me they do.
But I swear, ever since I heard the phrase delusional optimism it’s been a kind of positivity earworm. It embraces the fact that sometimes being optimistic feels like kidding yourself. It feels like a lie.
And sure, there’s some merit to not deluding ourselves, to holding our most cherished lies up to the light and then smashing them like piggy banks, revealing there was never anything in them but an IOU. I get that.
But sometimes it’s not a lie. Sometimes it only feels like one because optimism is so rare and so fleeting. Sometimes telling ourselves that it’ll be okay when we have no idea if it will be or not is the kindest thing we can do. It’s a kind of self-care. It careens headfirst into absurdity and relishes every spin out, treating positivity like a carnival ride instead of an exercise in futility performed over green tea.
Maybe, right now, a little recklessness in our optimism is for the best.
So true. I roll my eyes at every motivational quote or banal aphorism. So much advice is contradictory if you think about it for ten seconds.
However I simultaneously believe in the "whatever works" philosophy.
...whatever love you can get and give, whatever happiness you can filch or provide, every temporary measure of grace, whatever works.
Everything I just said is basically the same as what you just said but I think you said it better.
Pick a filter, any filter. Embrace it. Or not.
Just don't forget it's a filter - as opposed to, oh.. how about something so lofty as "reality"...? - lest one become subservient to it....