I’m an Optimist, not an Idiot

Author’s Note:  This is a bit of a rant.  Proceed with caution.  I am not making any barbed statements at anyone and this is not an attack against anyone.  

Yup.  That’s right.  I’m an optimist.  Sure, I’m sarcastic and a bit caustic and a bit mean at times.  But, in the end, I am a happy optimist.

I love being happy.  I love the fact that it doesn’t take a lot to grab my attention (undiagnosed adult-ADD here…remember?) and make me grin.  I love laughter.  I love the way it feels to throw back my head and laugh uproariously.  I love the crescent of other people’s smiles when I have said something that is funny or kind or just nice.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Happiness is in the crescent of the Boy’s first real smile.

This is happiness.  Being with The Girl.

This is happiness. Being with The Girl.

But, somehow, I have also seen that my happiness has made people think I’m either stupid or untrustworthy, like I can’t take things seriously.

In those individuals’ defense, I am a bit emotional/over-sensitive.  Okay.  That is absolutely accurate.  I take things a bit [come on…I’m trying to be nice here..allow me to keep my dignity] personally or too seriously.  But I really am trying to apply logic as opposed to emotions when I react to various situations and incidents that occur in my life.

Regardless, I’m happy.  I also like to read serious literature that makes me learn about the world around me.  I love watching documentaries that give me insight into other cultures, significant historic events, and…well…life.  I know that the life I lead is completely different from the lives of the world’s citizens.

Does that make me stupid?

Whew…that felt good.  Sorry.  Stream of consciousness going here.

About five years ago, my mom said something that I know she didn’t mean to sound ugly or mean….but boy it still smarts to think about.

Heather, when did you get so smart?

Yup.  Thanks Mom.  Again, I know Mom wasn’t trying to be mean.  Mom is one of my absolute best friends.  I love talking to her daily.  Yes, daily.  When I am going through terrible trauma (yes, that has happened to me and, no, I am not going to write about it so don’t ask), Mom is the first one I call.  Even before anyone else, it’s Mom’s phone number that I’m dialing because I want comfort and her love.

Maybe it’s because, as a child, teenager, and young adult, I didn’t push myself.  Learning didn’t come naturally to me like my big brother.  I didn’t make the straight A’s and I wasn’t committed to my education.

So, for the last fifteen years, I have been teaching myself about everything that I didn’t care about when I was paying to go to school.  I’ve immersed myself in the words of writers from around the world.  But my self-education is dis-jointed at best as I fill in gaps that I didn’t know exist.  I feel like I’m constantly scrambling to keep one step ahead of my ignorance.

Maybe I’m being too honest here.  This is getting posted to my Facebook account.  At the same time, I’m committed to learning.  I love learning.  I just wish I could go back in time by 25 years or more and smack my younger self.

Oh well.  Sucks to be me.

At the same time, I’m happy.  Again, I love learning which naturally incites my joy-complex.  It’s fun to put information together like a puzzle and suddenly see a much bigger picture than the narrow, out of focus, image I was originally supposed to see.

Most of all, I just love happiness and joy.  Once, I counted rainbows while driving from my friend Lori’s house back to my own.  We had just gone through an exhausting weekend (long story…not mine to tell…but exhausting is just the easiest word I can use) and I was literally searching for hope.  And God answered.  For over ninety minutes, I followed spectrum after spectrum as they knitted the sky together and gave me a path of color to follow home.  I can’t remember, but I know that I saw at least two dozen bits and pieces of rainbows stretching through chunks of the sky.

Meeting Tim O'Brien, writer of one of my favorite books, The Things They Carried.

Meeting Tim O’Brien, writer of one of my favorite books, The Things They Carried.

I understood the gravity of the situation that still hung in the contrails of my days.  I also chose to find happiness and joy because focusing exclusively on the sadness that lived in the rooms of Lori’s house wasn’t going to help with the healing process. But claiming the victory of happiness from the Lord was more powerful than grief or trauma.

I know pain exists.  I teach the stories of child soldiers, victims of the Holocaust, men and women who lived in deprecating poverty.  Daily, I read more stories of men, women, and children who are living in pain or are growing out of their pain.

Meeting Dave Eggers, who wrote one of my many favorite books, What is the What.

Meeting Dave Eggers, who wrote one of my many favorite books, What is the What.

But I’m still happy.  And I’m not going to stop being happy.  Because, through my joy, I will choose to rebuild my corner of the world which is constantly threatened by the evils that exist in the world.  And in my little corner of happy inhabitance, I will offer solace, peace, and love to those who need it.

I’m happy.  And I’m not ashamed.  And I’m not stupid.

Yeah!

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