I feel as though I have spent, or rather, wasted, a great deal of time preparing for the worst. Girding myself for disappointment has become a past time, practically a hobby at this point. And like any hobby, the more time you spend at it, the better you get. I have always feared becoming truly cynical, and I believe that it has started to actually happen as I mature and grow older. Too many people in my life have instilled a relationship between maturity and despondency that I feel a need to actively combat whenever I realize the path that I am on. There is still room for hope in my life, and the idea of surrendering to pessimism at such a young age frightens me.
Lately, I've been making more thorough steps to advance my career as an actor. In this line of work, you are confronted with a lot of failure and more often than not, need to learn how to deal with rejection a great deal more than success. Bracing yourself against that is healthy, but expecting to be let down is a very easy trap to fall into. Accepting defeat before you even set foot on the path gets you nowhere.
Very recently, I had an excellent opportunity to advance my career, an audition, as usual. I felt good giving my performance and when I walked away, I felt a rare spark of confidence after months of wasted energy stewing in my own insecurities. Deciding to hold on to it, I took comfort and assurance in the work I had done and the future that it might present for me. And I was happy. It was refreshing after so many miles of bad road to actually have something to look forward to.
I didn't get the part, or the position. But doorways opened where there were originally none, and even now, I can remember the hope and warmth of those moments when I could think about what was to come and free myself of the ever present ticking clock that plagues my mind.
Optimism and the idea of hoping for the best has gotten a bad rap in my generation. Between loss of faith in government bodies, the changing climate and the evaporation of the middle class, it's not easy for people my age to look at the future and feel anything but dread. But there is stock in finding things to reach for, to expect the best from. There is a vast difference between bracing yourself for difficulty or setback, and being able to trust in your own resources and capabilities. And when disappointment comes, one only has to feel it once, as opposed to the dozens of times that cynicism and pessimism will put you through.
I choose to be an optimist, and I will continue to work on how I see the world and myself.