“I think one must always be in love. To be in love with a person is of course ideal, but you can be in love with a flower, a tree, an idea. Just waking up in the morning, you know. It’s an attitude, an attitude of romantic readiness.” – Gloria Vanderbilt
I’m known as an optimist, a person holding a positive outlook whenever possible. But there came a point where I began to falter. I don’t believe it was very obvious to anyone except me.
It wasn’t obvious because on the outside, nothing bad had happened. And really, nothing did. But I felt like something was missing. My optimism bar was running low and I couldn’t find anything to refill it. Things just… didn’t seem quite right to me. I didn’t know how to explain that.
Being completely open is something I already struggle with. When it came to this, I thought nobody would take me seriously because “she’s always so positive so she’ll be alright.” In fact, I believed it too. That it was just a phase. That I would be alright eventually.
Part of me thought maybe they didn’t need to know. I don’t want them to worry, after all.
Part of me didn’t want to or really know how to talk about it… so I never did.
Eventually, I turned to my blog instead. I started writing thoughts. Posts that I hoped would give out a positive energy. Even if only a few, I hoped others could relate to them. Also… I wrote them to cheer myself up.
There was even a time I thought about starting a new blog – an opposite blog – called “The Falling Optimist.” The idea was I would write about my struggles, doubts and sad feelings. One day I registered the WordPress URL but couldn’t bring myself to post anything. I promptly deleted the site afterwards.
I had also returned to drawing and eventually writing – things I used to love doing but stopped, believing that “I’m not really an artist/writer. That’s something that other, more talented people do” – and truthfully, I think this was why I never posted anything under “The Falling Optimist.” Everything I wanted to say, I’d already written out – in the scripts of DHG.
The few people who know about DHG have heard me say it’s my “heart and soul” project. One asked why I didn’t find another artist to help, since it takes me a long time to draw it myself. The answer was, this project was just too personal to me – every feeling and thought I had went into DHG. And working on it made me feel a lot better. My optimism bar was slowly re-filling.
It’s been quite a journey from there. I’ve since started another graphic novel script – another story I love, still holding elements of myself in it (as I believe every story will) – but this is one I would not mind giving to another artist. With this, I attended a writing workshop – one of the most insightful experiences I’ve ever had. The workshop itself was so inspiring and I left feeling like I was actually a writer, not just someone who writes. I was also happy I survived it without – I think – making an idiot out of myself when socialising. 😛
But most of all, it was the people there who made the experience a memorable one. Even the ones I didn’t get to talk to much, it was really fun to hear everyone share their ideas and have fun. We probably won’t see each other again, but I’d really like to tell them how incredibly happy I felt sharing the atmosphere with them. I hope they go on to do great things.
… I mean, it’d be a bit hard to actually say that without sounding a little weird, but I hope you get my point. 🙂
And that further re-filled my optimism bar. It was completely magnificently overflowing.
I came across the quote at the top of this post after it was shared on Susan Cain‘s Facebook page. I believe it to be very important and true. I know how it feels to be in love with a moment, a story or with the world – and the long-lasting positive effect it can have on you. During the times you feel lost, all it takes is one little spark to re-ignite the fire inside of you.
This journey isn’t finished. I know there are more sparks to find. But I’m looking forward to more magical moments on my way there 🙂
If you endured my barrage of thoughts, I hope you enjoyed reading it! This post delves a little deeper than usual and was something I’ve wanted to write for a long time but only now did it feel ‘right’ 🙂
I take courage knowing that even my hero Tohru has had her down moments – yet she still comes out of it strong and bright!