I very much like this Alain de Botton / Anthony Burrill poster which can be bought here.
I have to say I have been guilty of seeing pessimists as deep – those long melancholy conversations over bottles of red wine and marlborough lights at Uni, those friends I longed to meet for hours of complaining and moaning about the world and our lives. We were all cynics, liked drum n’ bass and old man’s pubs, and thought we were incredibly cool. Maybe we were then? Although I had my nose pierced and was known to wear both a bindi and tie dye. Hmmm.
Anyway, this blog has been a lesson for me personally in trying to be positive, to realise that optimism and being nice do not make me dull or naive or stupid. US happiness gurus and self help books have a lot to answer for in expousing an over-the-top optimism (“everything is awesome yeehah!”) that is off-putting to many. Life isn’t really like that, especially for grumpy Londoners who have to get the Northern Line. Life is ups and downs and highs and lows, heartache and grief and mindblowing joy – its all part of the experience, all to be savoured and understood and worked through.
I’ve discovered through this blog that optimism is something you can learn, teach yourself, to shake off the bad shit a bit faster, and appreciate the good stuff more. Its about counting your blessings and accepting the bad things that happen to all of us. Life isn’t fair at times and things can really suck, but there is, most of the time, a silver lining.
Being optimistic seems to make life happier and better, what’s so dumb about that?