The Closet Pessimist

redpessimistFor as long as I can remember I’ve been an optimist, you know, the kind of person who sees the silver lining in every cloud, and who believes that everything will work out for good regardless of how things seem. When people ask me for my opinion I’ll say something like, “The sun’ll come out tomorrow,” or “There’s a light at the end of the tunnel,” something canned like peas and sunshine, and I’ll believe I mean it. That is until I realize I’m holding my breath and I’m about to pass out from the loss of oxygen.

Maybe I really am a closet pessimist, someone who talks a good game, who says all the right things about positivity, but who secretly feels like the world is going to crash down at any second. When someone calls me up out of the blue I think, “What’s wrong?” That’s my first reaction, my gut reaction, whenever someone says, “We should talk.” And I tell myself it’s what I default to because it will soften the blow if I’m at least prepared for it. I tell myself that if it turns out to be good news instead it will be a pleasant surprise.

But what I’m really telling myself is that it’s alright to be a pessimist, to think that everything will turn out horribly so not to anticipate anything good in life. Yet, that’s denying a reality so obvious it screams at me to be optimistic, to read the fine print and see that it doesn’t take anything away from the bright headlines. I thought I would never be happy, but I have an incredible wife, two amazing children, and a lovely home. If that’s not enough reason to come out of the non-gay pessimist closet, then I don’t know what is.

Sam

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