I tend to be an optimistic person. I have been oft criticized for this fact. When times are hard, I find it easy to see the bright side of things and to look forward, putting things in their proper perspective. Yet, while this does seem to come naturally to me, and I am clearly a minority, my positive outlook is challenged and shaken no less often than anyone else.
I was at work the other day, following much of my usual routine consisting of browsing lots of news headlines and corresponding with friends and colleagues. It was a rather slow day, and I had little to keep me busy and tear me from the depressing daily reports filled with tales of tragedy and woe. The rain was coming down steadily outside and we seemed to be in the midst of a depression epidemic, as everyone I encountered had a sullen, hopeless expression on their faces and grim attitudes to match. Even I found it difficult to maintain my optimism in the face of such negativity. However, in spite of all this opposition, I continued to persevere and remain stalwart in my happiness.
I must fully admit at this time that those around me who choose to persist in their grouchiness are not entirely to blame. I will not argue with their claims that times have never been harder, that the future never looked quite so dark or that there seems to be little hope and purpose in even trying when just getting by takes all that you have. This is the message, the trumpeted report, I received in constant salvos of gloom throughout the day. Close friends spoke of their hopeless quests for employment and others of the overbearing weight of countless debts and bills. I read a report from “Forbes” that listed Jackson, Michigan as the worst small city in the nation for jobs.
After awhile, these things began to weigh more and more heavily on my mind. I began to ponder the future myself and question whether it really was as bright as I had so firmly upheld. My fiance and I have discussed very seriously whether this was the right place for us to settle and raise a family. We have always felt very strongly that it was and neither of us have felt any inclination to explore anything outside of this county. But reason, it seemed, was pointing somewhere else.