i never can just answer a question

Right, I said I was writing more. So, hi. From The Daily Post today:

Are you an optimist, a pessimist, or something else?

I am something else. At least that’s what I hear. “That Jamelah,” they say, “she is something else.”


In the case of being an optimist or a pessimist, I am both and neither. I doubt that “optimist” is a word that people would use to describe me, because I tend to be a bit dark. I can’t help it. (I remember someone telling me I was so bubbly once and later I sat in my car and laughed for five whole minutes, because obviously this person didn’t know me at all.) I’m wry, perhaps a bit sardonic, and if there is absurdity to be found, you can bet I’ll find it. It’s how I am. I don’t look at the bright side, not because I don’t believe there is a bright side, but because I am more interested in what hides in the shadows. But I know there’s a duality: you can’t have one without the other.

So maybe I’m a pessimist. I don’t know. One thing I know for sure, though, is that I’m not a cynic. I don’t believe that there’s a reason for everything, because sometimes things just happen and there’s no reason for them at all, but I do believe that things have a way of working themselves out. So maybe I’m an optimist.

A long time ago I defined myself as a possibility junkie. I am endlessly hooked on possibility. I believe anything is possible. That doesn’t always mean good, but it always means something. I may take awhile to make decisions, but once I make up my mind I jump into things, and they can turn out to be wonderful or they can be total fucking disasters or they can be some combination thereof, and it’s the unknown, the possibility — what’s going to happen now? — that’s exciting. And besides which, good or bad, everything is temporary anyway. I take things for what they are and I try to experience them as that and nothing more, but every morning when I wake up I know that anything is possible, and if nothing else, that’s enough, it’s always enough to keep me interested, to keep me moving on and on and on.

But one of my lifelong favorite songs is “Blackbird” by The Beatles, and no matter what, there’s always hope. It may hurt sometimes, just the act of hoping, but I never give up.

So what does that make me? I don’t know. Something. Definitely something.


3 thoughts on “i never can just answer a question

  1. You are definitely a whole lotta something-something. Perhaps well-balanced?

    Also? That Mumford & Sons album over there > on your last.fm doohickey pretty much rocks my world. I’ve had it on perpetual repeat for an embarrassing number of months.


  2. I’ve always found those optimist/pessimist words a bit problematic. They refer both to what you expect will happen and to how you deal with the things that actually do happen. It’s perfectly possible to not expect the best, but to make the best of what comes along, or to expect the best and be dismal when it (almost invariably) doesn’t show up as requested.


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