2016 was a big year for me and my life in general. I decided to finally take control. And with that came a lot of emotions and things that I know that I need to work on.
(I wanted this shirt badly.)
One of the biggest things is optimism. I want to let go of some (or all) of the negative thought patterns that I hold on to. From feeling like something bad is always going to happen (usually revolving around death or disaster) to just all the uncertain things that we deal with on a day to day basis.
I wanted to work on being and feeling more optimistic that I made it one of my January 2017 goals. I struggled with how to go about it and even talked with friends on ways that may help.
Recently, following some goal brain storming, as I was cleaning out some boxes of photos, I came across some speech talking points from middle school/eighth grade. I’m not sure what the topic actually was, but strikingly enough, this is what I wrote…
Thoughts On Optimism From 13 Year Old Me
Optimism – a tendency to expect the best possible outcome or dwell on the most hopeful aspects of a situation
Pessimism – a tendency or belief that evil in the world outweighs the good
There are certain situations that occur in your life that you have to be optimistic about. At one point or another, you should have used optimism to solve a problem. Do you ever think about that? Are you optimistic or pessimistic? You should always try to be the least bit optimistic, if not fully. Always try to find the good in bad.
I try to look on the bright side of the hardest situations. One of the toughest things I have had to go through in 13 years is having to drive an hour away, every single day, to go to the hospital to see my uncle, who was dying of AIDS. It got tiring after a while, but mom always told me, “We’re not driving an hour, we are seeing family.” When the doctor told my mom something bad happened, we said, “He is more and more in our hearts.” Even till his last days he told his kids and family to watch out because he would “always be watching us.” Now, tell me that isn’t looking to the positive. It’s not like he laughed about himself dying, it’s just that he didn’t lay in his house and worry about dying.
Last year when I got a D on a report card, I was upset. My parents were not happy either, but they were understanding. And Dad told me that it was a sign for improvement in the subject. Boy did I think I was in trouble, but my dad was optimistic about the whole thing.
At school everyone happened to learn that I like the Backstreet Boys and believe me, when kids talk about them it is not always nice. But I try to be optimistic about what they say and I tell myself, “They just don’t know what they are talking about.” I don’t let the pessimism side in me show when that happens.
Every year when we go on a cruise, we usually go during September, and that is normally known as hurricane season. So people my parents work with, I guess you could say are pessimistic, they tell us that we are going to come in contact with a hurricane and we always say, “No, we always have had beautiful weather and that is how it will be this year.”
Looking into the future means that I want to finish college and get a good job, which means I need to be optimistic to figure out what college I want to go to. If you are a pessimistic person then when you don’t get accepted, you will get upset and that is why when you do things like that, you need to use your optimistic side.
The people in this country, mainly our leaders, need to use some optimism also. When our leaders get on TV and tell us about a bomb threat that our country just got, then they should look to the good side of that. No, I am not saying that I’m so upbeat when we get a threat, it is just that the scientists and other people will be able to try out whatever device they have made.
Do you think that it is better to have an optimistic person around instead of a pessimistic person? An optimistic person looks at a glass and says that it is half full, when on the other hand, a pessimistic person would say the glass is half empty. Do you really want a bunch of complaining or would you like someone that makes good of a bad situation?
What kind of a person do you think that you are? Do you look at the glass and say, “I’m so thirsty. I’m glad there is something to drink.” Or do you look at the same glass and say, “Man, I’m thirsty! I wish I had more to drink. Why is the glass always empty when I want something to drink?” So, what do you do?
Hardly anyone can be optimistic about every little thing in their life, but always try to make it like that. And also try to be a fun person to be around. I’m sure most people would rather be around an optimistic person instead of a pessimistic one.
There you have it – deep thoughts from my 13 year old self.
So why a bag on coins to represent? Some things are hidden behind emotions, some are hidden behind the heaviness of a situation. Money is money. No matter how heavy you may feel weighted down (imagine carrying $100 silver dollar coins in your bag…), it all spends the same. You can spend it wherever you want and buy whatever you want with it. So keep your head up and spend those $1 coins 😉