For the most part, I’m an optimistic person. I see the cup as being half full. I think the grass is pretty green on the side that I’m on. I believe that as bad as things seem at times, everything happens for a reason. Most importantly, things always work out in the end. That’s why I disagree with the philosophy that you should prepare for the worst. This just connotes a negative viewpoint and suggests that you don’t have faith in your life. I recently read a blog post that echoed my feeling: don’t prepare for the worst. Rather, come prepared, and when the worst happens, adapt.
Maybe if I didn’t have the faith in life that I do, I wouldn’t think that everything will work out. However, up until this point, my life has always resolved itself before I’ve had to adapt to the worst. The most pressing example I can think of occurred almost exactly two years ago. I was living at my parent’s house for the month of May, waiting for my apartment lease to start June 1st. My car had just broken down for what I decided was the last time. I was sick and tired of having an unreliable vehicle and I made the decision to not get it fixed. I still didn’t have a job for the summer, and even though I had applied to numerous restaurants, I had yet to hear back from anyone. To top things off, my relationship had recently ended and I still felt like a big part of my life was missing. Needless to say, I was stressed. I no longer saw the glass as being half full. It was almost empty, and the meniscus seemed to be getting lower and lower each day. Then, before I completely broke down, my life miraculously worked itself out.
First, the car situation: I was preparing for a huge investment. I had decided to either buy or lease a car, beginning a payment plan that would rob my bank account for the next 10 years. One hot and sunny late May afternoon, my mom and my younger brother picked me up from a high school track meet that I was working and we went to test drive cars. We didn’t get very far. It had slipped my mind to bring my wallet to the track meet with me, and not having my license on hand, I couldn’t get behind the wheel of any car. My mom wasn’t much help. It turned out she had left her license in another vehicle at home, so she too was unable to legally drive. Although my brother did have his license on him, he was only 17 at the time and since car dealerships require you to be 18 to drive their cars, we were stuck. This unlucky, and idiotic incident, as my dad says –who goes to test drive cars without their license?!– happened to be a blessing in disguise. A few days later, before I had a chance to revisit the dealership, a family friend in New Jersey called up to inform me that he knew of a car, both in my budget and in my price range, that was on the market. I jumped on the deal, and one week and $7500 dollars poorer, my car issue was solved.
Next came the resolution to my job situation. One morning I was home with my mom, soon-to-be jobless, and a few hours later I received phone calls from not one, but FOUR different positions for which I had applied! Honestly, it was a little overwhelming. After scheduling some immediate interviews, I made the two hour drive back to Burlington and accepted two restaurant positions by the end of the week. When I packed up my car and moved into my apartment on May 31st, I was stress-free, satisfied, and the grass looked greener than ever.
I feel like I’m emerging into a scenario quite similar to this one of two years ago. My lease expires at the end of May and I have absolutely no idea where I’m going to live. I could continue waitressing at my part-time job –yes, the same one discussed above–, but the pressing issue is where to live once my apartment is no longer mine. For some people, now would be a great time to begin preparing for the worst. In my case, this would mean moving back to southern Vermont –sorry Mom and Dad, I love you, but I can’t live with you– and doing who knows what –probably nothing immediately– with my life. I’m not making any such preparations. I’m going to have the same faith that proved to be successful two years ago. If things end up not working out, I’ll adapt.