Some people are natural optimists. I’m glad there are people born this way. I on the other hand was born with a vivid imagination that goes to all the wrong that could happen. You want to warn me of all the problems that could possibily happen – I’ve probably already thought of all of them.
I do like encouraging others. But this is way more fun than trying to see the good in the midst of my own life.
Now I realize that we are nearing November and people start listing all the things they are grateful for. (Which isn’t bad…but when the day after we are supposed to be thankful is followed by mass commercialism I start to question the sincerity. And sometimes our lists are irritating - such as the beautiful image tagged with #blessed... which makes me want to post a picture of my series of flat tires with #blessed - because being blessed has nothing to do with life going well...)
About a month ago I was in the car driving to work and talking to my sister and sharing with her a list of things that had gone wrong. We started laughing and saying, “Imagine if we were optimists?” We started listing all the crazy ways we could find the silver lining in life. Going way over the top to find the 'bright' side.
Here’s the difficulty. Suffering is real. Pain is real. I don’t think that there is always a silver lining. (These two articles have been helpful for me in the midst of thinking through this. J.S. Park - "Not Every Pain Has a Lesson" and Tim Lawrence "Everything Doesn't Happen for a Reason")
And when we trivialize and try to push people to be ‘grateful’ or ‘happy’ we are missing the importance of grieving with others. And the realization that there is some suffering in the world that is just that, suffering. I wrestled with suffering and our response while writing The Heart of Shahrazad.
"Stories matter. Never forget that. The stories we tell and the stories we write with our lives...
Dear one, there is some pain and suffering in this world we can not stop. But we can choose how we answer it, with life or more death.
I must remind myself. Healing takes time. Longer than I think. And it is never a straight path. No it ebbs and flows like the ocean waves." The Heart of Shahrazad
I don’t always know what to do when bad things happen. Either the tragic or the irksome daily frustrations of living. But art is a place where I can take the parts of my life that I don’t have answers for – that there aren’t answers for.
My first thought was our silly ideas would be a great cartoon. I’ve really enjoyed MyKoreanHusband slife of life and imagination and Sarah's Scribbles. But I can't even draw stick figures...as you can see in the image. So I'll just have to keep enjoying these artists' work and stick to acting.
Instead this is my 15second video version/comic called - If I Was an Optimist. Imaginings on how to look on the bright side when life doesn’t go the way you imagined. Based on Real/Exaggerated/But mostly true events of my life.
I tend to swing between the love of the intense and silly. From Romeo and Juliet to the Minions. Because life feels that way. A wild swing between the tragic and ridiculous. I don't think we have to find the silver lining all the time. But sometimes its nice to take my scars and pain and at least create something from them. And laughter is good for my heart.
Here is Episode #1 of If I Was an Optimist.
Click on this link to view the video - Episode #1