Those who know me would likely not describe me as overtly optimistic. In fact, I think many think of me as cranky, curmudgeonly, and pessimistic. And honestly, I probably wouldn’t contradict them. I’m definitely not one overflowing with positivity.
I have a friend who is one of the most positive people I know. I don’t see her much anymore, but I’m often reminded of her and was again just yesterday.
Spirituality and Divining What You Want From Life
This friend of mine is… spiritual. She talks to her dead mother and the spirits of her ancestors. Not believing in any of that mumbo-jumbo myself, I always thought it strange. But acknowledging the beliefs of others without judging is something I really strive for, so I never really gave her a hard time about it.
But here’s the thing; it worked for her. I don’t mean she was content and it made her feel at ease. I mean she’d ask for things and they’d come true.
There was a time when I would spend Christmas with her, her family and some friends at a beach house in Mokuleia. One of my favorite places in the whole world, I never missed an opportunity to spend time there. I recall one year the forecasts predicted rain storms the whole week and we talked about not going. My friend made a “request” of her family ancestors, her mother, for a “puka in the sky” and told me the beach house was a go.
It may seem like a silly story and I was certainly skeptical at the time, but it turned out we had great weather the whole week. Do I believe her “request” is the reason? I’m not sure.
And way back when I was still trying to find my own way, a path and career I was passionate about, she used to tell me to just picture it in my head. Ask for it. Believe it and it’ll happen.
My Own Experience with “Luck”
After that, I began to think about it and reflect on my own life. And you know what? There may be something to her approach.
Despite more than my fair share of adversity, I’ve been incredibly lucky. Most recently, I gave up a secure and easy job with the Governor to take on the new challenge of managing a statewide political campaign. I knew the odds were slim we’d actually win, but I believed in the candidate and was ready to move my career in a new direction.
After we lost, I spent the next several months unemployed while I finished my Master’s Degree. As money grew tight, I thought maybe I’d been rash in leaving the Governor’s Office, but I eventually found some work and continued to do work I so enjoy.
Then the legislative session ended and I was, once again, unemployed. While I worked to brand my consulting business and search for clients cash again began to dwindle and credit card debt skyrocket. The months passed and I resisted the idea of finding “another job” or (ack) drive for Lyft or Uber.
I kept telling myself something would come along. As it always has. I’ve always managed to somehow land on my feet.
Stick to Your Guns in Life
A few days ago desperation grew as I started to wonder how I would pay next month’s rent, I reached out to an old friend for a loan. Sick to do it, I told him anything would help, but that I couldn’t promise when I’d be able to pay him back.
While he talked to his wife and I waited to hear from him, I got a call. A firm I’ve done some work for previously called me, out of the blue (kind of) and asked if I wanted to do some campaign work on the mainland.
Whew! Just hours later my friend regretted to tell me he couldn’t help at this particular moment.
Though desperation was taking hold, I stuck to my guns knowing (hoping) something would come through before I was forced to do something that would move me in the wrong direction. And just like nearly every time before, luck kept me on the path I wanted.
In 48-hours I fly to Mississippi and Louisiana to help coordinate field operations in the last stretch before this year’s elections. I’ll get to do what I so enjoy doing and I’ll be getting paid pretty well to do it.
My money problems will continue as I work to dig out from under a mountain of credit card debt, but I’ll be level for a while. And I expect more work upon my return as the next legislative session approaches.
A Pessimistic Optimist
I’ve never been one for faith (spiritual or godly). Given all the terrible shit in the world, it’s hard for me to believe in any kind of God. Nonetheless, I didn’t know when or how, but I was never really worried something wouldn’t come along. Sure, I wish something would have come along much, much sooner. But I didn’t give up the fight for exactly the kind of work I want to do.
So here I am, scrambling to be read to step on a plane for new places, new experiences, and new people. I’m excited and grateful for the opportunity.
When I forget what can happen when you wait for what you really want, I’m reminded how life can somehow work out. It’s just not always how you want.