I used to be a “cup’s nearly empty” person.
If I received flowers–they were going to die soon.
If it was a beautiful day–it was going to rain soon.
When I passed my driver’s test on the first try–something would happen to take it away.
And when I had to give up my right to drive (due to medical reasons)–I told you so!
There wasn’t a single aspect of my life where I was choosing to be happy. Not one.
I hadn’t realized that not everyone faced the world that way. It didn’t change until someone challenged me on it. He was a music professor and I had arrived late to a key rehearsal. I had all sorts of excuses, excuses he saw for what they were. And though I was furious about what he had to say, I couldn’t shake the words:
“People would like you if you would just let them see who you are. You don’t have to do anything to make them like you, or to try to get attention. You’re better than that.”
I fumed about it for several weeks, until I finally realized I didn’t want to be that person anymore.
I’ve now lived as much of my life past that event as I did before it, and I can say with absolute certainty–I am a new person. Older, certainly. Wiser, perhaps.
Still, I have a tendency–as we all do–to avoid those things that may be painful. This is problematic at times because I pull away, pull into myself, make it difficult for people to reach me. And that can cause me to doubt they care, as though it was their fault I was hiding within myself.
It makes for lonely days.
I have to reach for the cup half full again. It’s a choice, some days, picking happiness, recognizing the joy that is deep within melancholy me. Today I choose to live this life I’ve been given. And I have to remember, the people who really know me faults and all, and love me still, are liking the real me. There’s many of them for me, if I just let them.
There’s a lot to be grateful for in that.