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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Optimistically Challenged

The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised. ~George F. Will, The Leveling Wind

There are the unsubstantiated fears that everyone has. Maria is afraid of flying because of the miniscule chance of a plane crash. I reply with “you have a better chance of getting hit while walking across the street”. I doubt she jaywalks either.
I personally have had enough of being afraid of things that may or may not happen, thus my decision to go straight pessimistic and cynical. Don’t even touch on being pragmatic. The worst will always happen, no matter the situation. It’s to the point where I’ve begun to just not think about the good, always expect the bad and be prepared for it.

I’m pessimistic about relationships, to the point where I don’t even try anymore. I’ve resigned to the fact that I won’t ever get married.

Thinking that you’re always going to fuck up or get in trouble becomes taxing after awhile. It’s like congenital heart failure. My chest tightens up when there’s something I really want to happen, but I think may not happen. I think about it at night, keeping myself awake from the hours-who knew I was so anxiety ridden..? I shake when I have to do public speaking, or when I have to talk to someone important (until three weeks ago I had a problem forming a sentence in front of my boss) or playing my clarinet, alone, in front of a judge NYSSMA style. The point is that I have an anxiety problem due to my pessimism-I doubt there’s a name for it yet, until then let’s call it HB disease.

I asked for my first raise today, by way of anxious nail biting for the past week. I love what I do. I love where I work and I’ve been very fortunate that I was able to have my first job be exactly where I wanted. Either way, when I have to ask for something important like a raise or for my rent (oh this happens with my parents as well), my voice shakes and the tears well up.
Even though I love it, I feel like I’m doing shit and that no one likes me. Pesky pessimism. I don’t even say to myself, “You’ve been getting your shit done and going beyond what you need to do”. I think about the one day I was slightly reprimanded, although it was proved later to not be my fault.
My supervisor said yes. He said that I am awesome and that he would hate to lose me. I’m a freak. So not only did I ask for my first raise today, but you’ll be happy to know that I got one.

Pessimism takes work and dedication to fear failure, but then it so happens that I’m right or pleasantly surprised.


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