Optimism or pessimism, what side are you on?

I had a weak moment the other day and posted something on Facebook I shouldn’t have. I triggered the wrong kind of attention, but was charmed that I got some of it nonetheless. Which is morally wrong of course. I didn’t mean to beg for attention, but noticed that people who I hardly speak to showed me their concerns. Which makes me think… I did something that was socially incorrect, showing weakness, and I should know better than that. But even though people don’t like the weak, I got a surprising amount of digital affection. As the majority of these nice people can’t even recall my eye colour, I won’t take it too personal. But I don’t blame them either. I think it’s our natural response as social beings to live up to society’s expectations. “Treat people how you want to be treated” and all that bullocks.

But if we want to meet the demands of a social society: who decides what is right, what is wrong, and how do we agree on morals anyway? I think we all disagree so much on these topics that we act nice but avoid getting to actually know each other, and rather stick to “I really like the top that you are wearing”. No judgements here, I tend to do the same. I love having laughs and talks about non-intellectual stuff with strangers. I prefer to save whatever brain capacity I have left for work, no offense. So let’s talk about curvy bums and bad hairstyles instead shall we? “That famous person gained like, so much weight like, I know right?” “Hellloooo, 24 toilet rolls for only 45 rand, that is ámazing!” “My goodies, the last time I got so drunk I totally vomited in the Uber, haha my word!”

But what happens if you have laughed about farts long enough, entertained people that don’t entertain you back, and maintained conversations that leave you feeling brain-damaged? And what happens if you run out of inspiration to babble about the silliness of silly things in life, because you are actually not doing so well? When you aren’t at your best or show signs of discomfort, your company will vanish very quickly I tell you.

So that was an introduction, off we go. Optimism and pessimism: two words we invented and gave meaning to. Optimism is generally perceived as positive and appreciated highly in society, but it can bite you in the ass if you hang on to it too much. Pessimism, on the other hand, is considered negative and we don’t like folks openly executing this. But then, people of the latter category more often win arguments and get to say “I told you so”. They might be less popular, but they are hardy and protect themselves against false promises and fake people. And I kind of admire it.

I often look at my warn-down face in the mirror to convince myself I can become a better person. I should work harder, live healthier, be nicer to people, and grow a bigger bum. A surprising amount of morals and motivation floats to the surface when I speak to myself in the mirror. But this week, when I shared a rare moment of emotional negativity with whomever befriended me on facebook some blurry moment in time, I realized that I shouldn’t be so open about my personal disappointments. I was being too optimistic for too long and it resulted in a mental breakdown. Optimism, I think, is just a means to deny the reality that some things won’t get done, no matter how hard you try. Or it makes us deal with the lack of interest from other parties, who show no sympathy to your work motivation. Or it’s a way to convince ourselves that things will get better and justice will be served, as long as you give it time and keep up them good morals.

I stopped believing in this nonsense and got convinced that the future beholds nothing but pessimism for us. We should be strong and not share moments of despair publicly. After all, facebook is sócial media, and when people go social they don’t want drama. Get a baby, some kittens or a political opinion: otherwise rather keep it to yourself, please. Instead, I decided that I wanna become a pessimist: never too young to convert and change your believes right?! It’s gonna be so awesome, I can just be honest and piss on everything. And even though people might like me less for it, I think I have reached a point where it can’t regress much more anyway. Screw the opinion of other people; I’m a hard-core pessimist now, I shall never be disappointed again! I’m gonna be totally like: “Who cares, I knew you weren’t gonna show up”; “Whatever, I totally guestimated you wouldn’t reply to my email”; “No stress, I presumed you didn’t wanna do that anyway”; “All cool, I expected you were not gonna pay me salary”. It’s great, I am so resilient, I don’t care, about anything, or anyone, it’s all bad. Guess who’ll be laughing last motherfuckersss!

Oh my god, I can’t believe I just said that… it’s so negative. The reality of a pessimist holds so little fun, I don’t think they ever laugh at all. They might often be right, but they don’t laugh. And by nature, I really like laughing… about anything ranging from bad hairstyles to excessive bowel activity. It takes little for me. Perhaps, for this reason, I can’t be a hard-core pessimist after all. I should rather try to stay optimistic while dealing with an endless supply of disappointments, false promises and fake people. And I can learn how to filter the good from the bad, and focus on things that do succeed in the chaos of failures. I can even wright a book about it! If it sells well it might just make some real, tangible money! Or is that too optimistic… I’m working on it, but I’ll get there.


2 thoughts on “Optimism or pessimism, what side are you on?

  1. Pessimists do laugh, I’m definitely one of them, behind a smile. We just laugh at things that are actually funny.

    And no that doesn’t mean laughing at someone else’s expense or lame cat memes on the internet. We laugh at the irony of real things.

    Loved your post though.


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