I Went to Camp Optimist But It Didn’t Take


I was recently lauded for my optimism, and I am wondering if I’ve fallen into the Bizarro universe.

Of course, I know I haven’t. Bizarro congress would be functional. The bank would pay me every month to keep living in my house. Sewage would come from the taps and we’d drink out of toilets.

Okay, now I’ve grossed myself out.

But really, optimistic? Me?!

Call me a cynic or a pessimist, and I’d see your point. What I really am is anxious and a bit paranoid. I can’t help but leap straight to the most likely disastrous outcomes, and if I weren’t on pills for it I’d lie awake all night obsessing on them. If I could breath I might even get a good night’s sleep one day.

(Note to self: schedule that sleep study. For real this time!)

What I’ve usually come across as, in polite terms, is an angry Chicken Little — or a raving Cassandra, if you prefer mythological references. Everyone would be trucking along — maybe grumbling but doing their work — and there I’d be screaming about impending doom. It’s a tendency that’s won me plenty of invitations to discuss my charms with management.

So, yeah. Now that I have something of a leadership position I’ve been trying hard to keep my natural state of panic from leaking out all over the team. I smile, and I work in calm phrases like “if I have one concern” and “I do wonder”, and all the while my stomach clenches into knots.

Optimistic? Nope. Just internalizing the dread, thanks.

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3 thoughts on “I Went to Camp Optimist But It Didn’t Take

  1. “If I have once concern…” reminds me of the ex-Apple store employee horror stories about no matter what idiotic thing the customer has done to their product, the only allowed response is “that’s not recommended.”

    “Oh, your MacBook won’t power up because you thought it would be a good idea to screw wheels into the casing and use it as a makeshift skateboard into the creek?

    …That’s not recommended.”

  2. And yet, this is a man who I personally witnessed mount a ‘One Man Bay of Pigs’ against a movie screen armed only with a shoe. Sure, it ended in catastrophe. But the commitment was totall there. Perhaps if you treated all of life like SUPERBABIES: BABY GENIUSES II?

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