Sometimes a change in circumstances brings about a change in perspective. It may have been unclear from this blog, because I was quite aware of how I was acting and censored it on the blog, but recently I have been rather cranky. In my usual cranky way, which is picking on things that can be improved, not totally picking just to pick. More like, "I can't believe how rude that person just was to that cashier! People are terrible! [and perhaps a spiral into how terrible people are to each other, with examples, and analysis of the examples, which would carry me through the checkout lane, to my car, and then my entire way home until I walked up the stairs to my front door]" than "Ugh, why is yet another Portlander wearing brown boots with black leggings? Brown with black, take it back! What an assault on my eyes!"
Anyway, I was aware of how negative my outlook was, and I kept trying to change it, kept trying to focus on positive things. Except it would go like this.
"This traffic isn't TOO bad!"
"That tree over there sure is pretty!"
"I may be stuck in traffic, but I get to sit in a warm car and then go home, not like that guy over there with the cardboard sign asking for change! Unless he is lying, a guy who actually has a home who is just dressing up and trying to make money by emotionally manipulating people instead of GETTING A JOB! It's so sad that people live like this, sleeping under bridges when it is so cold and damp! Why is the world so cruel???? I want to change it and I'm going to school to change the world, but it is so hopeless! I am just one person!"
Being optimistic just became another thing I was failing at in my obsession with Being Perfect.
I wouldn't recommend being a pessimist, but sometimes there is a reason things are the way they are; now I see that I was unhappy and felt stretched thin. Unhappiness is exhausting; it makes everyday tasks seem insurmountably time-consuming. Sometimes, outlook is everything; sometimes, circumstances really are important. So, with a change in circumstances, my outlook has changed. I made a list in the side of my notes during Grant Writing class yesterday of happy things, and it got really really long. I will type it up later - not now, since I'm on my way out.
The final thing for the list is that my first project for the class, my letter proposal, got a positive reception from everyone who read it, and I feel a renewed sense of optimism, enthusiasm, and ambition. I can change the world. I have the talent and the drive and I am going to do it.