I’m trying to write a post about why happy people annoy me (isn’t it awful?), and I’ve been describing myself as a pessimist.
I’ve been rethinking that. True, I default to depression and a glass-is-half-full mindset. I’m the girl who said, as an objective fact during a class discussion, that this world was a messed up, horrible place. My professor’s jaw dropped. “For someone who’s just about to get married,” he said, “that’s a surprising thing to say.”
I suppose I did say it with a bitterness too intense for a twenty-one-year-old to feel.
But at the same time, I think, deep down, that I am a hopeful person. Eventually, I pick myself up again and keep fighting, even if I don’t think it’ll make a difference. I get really passionate about truth and goodness and beauty, and really upset when they seem to be losing traction in this, quote, “messed up, horrible place.”
It occurred to me that maybe my melancholy doesn’t come from pessimism, but from idealism. I hope for the best, work for perfection, demand the ideal, and end up crushed when I, life, or my fellow human beings fail to deliver. Just because something has always been and always will be has never stopped me from raging against it to my reflection in the bathroom mirror.
That idealism, combined with a joy-sucking empathy of others’ pain, makes for one gloomy Bailey — but that’s not technically pessimism.
What about you? Would you describe yourself as a pessimist, an optimist, or something off the spectrum?