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A form of rebirth that everyone should recognize

By John Michael F. OdtohanPublished 21 days ago 4 min read

I have always been the optimistic one. It is as if I am a chatty Cathy doll that when the string is pulled, I oppressively spew plethora motivational quotes. It became a macabre disposition, perhaps almost a fetish—that in difficulty there is an opportunity, and in every downfall, there is a silver lining.

Growing up, I realized how kids are concocted mainly with a dose of optimism. As I blossomed with it, I always had an excuse to make up for something. When I got my first wound, I accepted it as a punishment for my unwary behavior. Regardless of the torment caused by every form of pamalo inside a traditional household, I would explicitly claim that this is how my parents show their love for me. Even death has abode to my idea of optimism. For instance, since I grew up in the province, I witnessed a lot of sacramental-like butchering of pigs to be cooked for igado or menudo. At most, I would cry, but the realization hit me that at least we got something to eat.

I carried this thinking while traversing throughout my academic and social career. My bookshelf became a safe haven for numerous self-help books I bought and borrowed. It helped me recalibrate my mind on how I perceived things. I may not have won the championship title in the competition, for example, but I knew for sure this would redirect me into a new experience. Classmates, friends, and professors equated my optimism as a form of great leadership. It became an attachment to the identity I was slowly molding, yet it took me long time to grasp that my optimism became bogus and forced—that I was soaring too close to the sun.

This disposition did not lead me to the perpetual being that people assumed I was going to be, rather it made me callous especially to the struggles of the people around me. My life exploring in the field of journalism had exposed the opportunities I neglected for wanting to be optimistic all-around. I deprived myself to taste the variety of emotions and thinking and denied the symbiotic relationship among them. I fully let myself get intoxicated with the toxicity of my optimism to the point of showing insensitivity and avoiding the real dilemmas that need immediate resolution. I romanticized life too much, although there is no denying how important being optimistic is for a person. Perhaps, it is not the idea's fault to be born that way, but more on how imbalances on its end could create an impact towards us.

As it continues, my mind became a melting pot of ideas that ushered me to deeper insights on how I should embrace the differences among these emotions and ways of thinking. Although I had diminished my optimism, it is still in here penetrating in every chamber of my heart. I just had to recollect myself and balance it with how reality works actually, rather than looking at it only on the bright side. My affair in college made me realize that at most, it is challenging to be optimistic.

You will have to go against humongous authorities that may censor your materials. Despite the enthusiasm to finish a project, you may encounter people who neglect their responsibilities, and it creates a domino effect of burden on others too. Choosing to be optimistic will only amplify the lack of accountability, but at the same time, not address the issue, its causes, and consequences. We only look at life and the decision we make based on the beauty we can see, but we disregard the fact that the world is grotesque, to begin with.

It may sound odd or "too woke" but optimism solely cannot make a good foundation for the decisions we create. Optimism is only affectionate on softness and positivity, yet not on logic and facts. It is difficult to exist when we distort what we can see based on the outcome we only desire. And I have to admit that it looked easy portraying the optimistic hat, but for some reason, why do I say that it is only good for quite a few reasons. It has to go along with logic, creativity, emotion, pessimism, philosophy, and such, but it has to create its boundaries.

In the end, optimism has always been a familiar stitch woven into my being, but my relationship with the extensive spectrum of emotions has become more intimate. This is obvious, especially in the time I have been writing stories of different faces of people. I cannot always be happy and mask it as a silver lining despite the suffering. I cannot always look at the bright side when it is a clear abuse, misuse, and deprivation towards them. There has to be a balance between optimism and pessimism, although the latter carries a stigma of always seeing the negative in everything. I vowed to continue portraying life the way it should be, especially stories that reverberate the pangs of grief.

There is nothing wrong with it, really. People must shelter these feelings, thoughts, and emotions as if they are house guest. It is just a form of rebirth that everyone should recognize.


About the Creator

John Michael F. Odtohan

A writer, student journalist, advocate for queer rights, and aspires to work in film and TV production. Fly high, Trans Pinay!

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  • Esala Gunathilake21 days ago

    Hats off for your optimism.

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