What is the BEST that will happen?
It mocks me, it teases me, it inspires me, it frustrates me, this ‘what is the BEST that will happen' poster I bought and framed. It sits on a mantle across from my desk where I sit and try to write. It eggs me on, it makes me wonder, it lures me with possibility.
Seriously, what the fuck was I thinking when I purchased THAT? I am not a positive possibility chick. I am not a glass is half full person, I am the person who believes that the glass has a hole in the bottom and fools keep trying to fill it in vain. Truth be told, I may have drilled a couple holes in a couple of glasses.
I have always felt a little sorry for those Polly Anna types - shaking my head in pity for them when they look for the positive in everything. Silly beings, don't they know that it is a dog eat dog world and that you must watch your back 24/7?
That is the world that I know, the world I grew up in and the world that resulted in my ‘attitude’. I have an anxiety driven need to plan for the WORST. ALWAYS plan for the WORST, that way anything that happens that does not result in the worst is a bonus. Yes, that is right, it is a bonus to come just shy of sheer disaster. Ok, as the words appear on the page I see the absurdity but still at least I am ready for an attack by the HUNS.
I came by this honestly, I grew up in some chaos, some darkness and a lot of addiction. I grew up being taught I could not trust, anyone. I know that there are people that grew up in the same and choose to see the glass full or half full but that is not me. I also know that there are people who grew up in chaos much more severe than what I experienced but chaos cannot be about comparison, we all internalize and interpret differently, chaos is chaos and it damages people.
I handled, managed, survived my chaos by developing a coping mechanism that involved planning, preparing and rehearsing for the worst. This also resulted in me being a control enthusiast (read: fucking control freak) ensuring I had all my bases covered and if I were to be attacked, physically or psychologically I was prepared, I was ready and armed for battle.
It was not just my immediate surroundings that enforced that, it came at me from all over and it still does. You know, empowering, adorable sayings like’ there is a special place in hell for bad little girls’, or the ever popular ‘God is watching and will strike you down,’ Jesus (pun intended) that is comforting, no pressure there.
We are all told you better save for a rainy day, save in case the market crashes. Sure the market may crash and probably a good call to be diversified but the subliminal message is there……disaster is a coming! How about people that are building bunkers for the pending end of the world, that is not based on the BEST that will happen. If the end of the word comes is a bunker going to help, do you really want to pop your head out of your bunker like a turtle when there is nothing? Where will you get your groceries for crying out loud, bet you did not plan for that.
I perpetuated my upbringing pessimism by career choices that were and are dark, heavy and sometimes dangerous, choices that insisted I continue to plan for the worst, that I be prepared. I used to train to ensure I could handle the worst, that I would not crack under the pressure, the responsibility, the weight and while that worst preparation was beneficial in my career choices I wonder if it has served me well in the rest of my life. Granted, my distrust and worst case planning has kept me from placing myself in some precarious positions but it has also shut me off from possibility and spontaneity that may have led to amazing adventures. I chose controlled safety and that came at a cost.
The seemingly unimportant decision to pick up a poster that posits ‘what is the BEST that will happen?’ has certainly shaken things up around here.
What IS the best that will happen. Huh, never really thought about that before, the best you say. You mean like what is the best that will happen? Let me get this, you are not asking for what I will do in the case of absolute disaster, like live in a cardboard box and eat kibble, you mean what is the BEST that will happen.
The best, the best could see my dreams come to fruition, writing a best selling book, owning and operating my own studio, rescuing animals on a grand scale, living in financial freedom, comfort and security, and doing it all with great love, laughter, joy and friends! Thinking that, writing that, imagining that makes my body feels light, happy and free, quite the contrast from the braced, hyper-vigilant place I usually reside it.
Well, slap my ass and call me Dixie (not my real name), I think the glass half full people might be onto something.
I sure could use less pessimism, more optimism and a soft place to land in realism along side a glass full of possibility.
While I am not about to put on a frilly dress, put my hair in pigtails and skip through the wildflowers, I am open to spending less time in negativity and more time in possibility. I have spent so much time living in, ‘what is the worst that will happen?’ and while I will likely always prepare for the negative possibilities, I am going to spend just as much time in the positive possibilities, in the ‘what is the BEST that will happen’, perhaps over time that pendulum will shift more and more.
Now, if you will excuse me, I have some glasses to buy, they won’t be rose coloured, but they also won’t have holes in the bottom.