Monday, April 26, 2010
The Audacity of Hope
Dare I dream? Dare I?
My life is pretty damned good. Awesome girlfriend. Awesome hobby. Great family. Great friends. I just about have everything a guy could wish for... Just about.
Now I'm on the precipice of completing the picture.
For all of my life I've felt like every time I've gotten to this point where things are falling into place, the rug has been swiped out from under me. That may seem dramatic, but I can't help how I feel. I start loving college and suddenly I'm displaced. I start loving my job as a teacher and the hours and salary become impossible. I start finding the perfect balance between my job, my hobby, and my personal life and within months I lose my job, my girlfriend, and my home.
Don't get me wrong... I'm not for a second suggesting that I didn't have a hand in both my fortune AND my misfortune. I let my weight get out of hand my freshman year, and wasn't quite the versatile actor Wright State would have wanted. I CHOSE to leave the teaching job for no real good reason. I got complacent in all facets of my life, creating an unsustainable lifestyle... If that hadn't happened, I wouldn't have fallen so hard after losing my job back in '06. I get it. I take responsibility.
Well... Now I am back at a place I could get used to. I WANT to get used to it. There's only one single thing missing, and I'm right at the cusp of placing the final piece into the puzzle...
'm remaining guarded.
Why do I feel filled with dread? Why am I waiting for the other shoe to drop at any second? I don't have an answer. I'm going about reaching my goal in the right way. I am being proactive. I'm being aggressive. At the same time, I won't allow myself to over-reach.
I've started thinking about The Secret. You know The Secret right? Focused Positive thinking manifests positive results. Believing hard enough can tilt the pinball down the right chute.
I read a blog recently where a woman was having issues, and she sent herself text messages that her issues were going to be resolved and both times "within 30 minutes" she got the news she was wanting.
Sounds awesome right? It also sounds a bit suspect to me...
Far be it from me to question fate, or the power of positive thinking (I mean, hell... my grandpa had crystals and a copper meditation pyramid to concentrate his positive energy), but I'm also a natural skeptic. I'm a pessimist (I have the mug to prove it). I would love to fully believe that all it takes to nudge fate my way is some focused good thoughts.
For a cynic, would the opposite will work just as well? Maybe I need to behave as though I expect the worst. Set my expectations to "zero". Work on my back-up plans as though they are the front men. Just assume that all of my efforts couldn't possibly make a difference. Text myself things like "Don't get your hopes up. You have it good enough already. Stop being greedy." Only then, free of expectations, can the best things happen.
Or maybe the negative thoughts will simply manifest themselves, just as the positive ones would.
Clearly it's complicated. So... how bout this...
From now on I'll send myself those positive thoughts... I'll even text myself right now. (texting... texting... texting...) (Um... Is it odd that I got this surge of happy thoughts when I read the message I literally JUST sent?) From now on, I'll be positive. A guarded positive. I can't get too high (on hope). I have to be prepared for Plan B. It's the whole eggs in basket thing. The whole chicken counting thing I guess...
All that said... I want to have hope. It's a nice feeling. Even though there's no official headcount of those aforementioned chickens, there's a definite estimate.
To quote a great moment in a great movie:
"Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."
So, I hope.
Wish me luck.
(I wonder how many people will find this post because of the title... shamelessly stolen from our President Obama)