Have you ever had a moment where you were positive something was going to happen, and then it didn't?
It's a scenario that can work for the best or the worst, but it usually works in the extreme.
It's like if you spend a whole bunch of time dreading something, and then it finally happens, and you realize it wasn't so bad at all. This yields relief and usually happiness, and can help you shape a more positive outlook for your future.
Or, you spend time planning on something to be amazing, and you have a perfect mental image of the things to come, and then it doesn't happen remotely how you thought. This results in overwhelming disappointment, and disappointment is a rough emotion. It can originate from a number of causes, but ultimately disappointment is a cocktail of sadness, anger, and sometimes regret.
It's funny though, because when you dread something, or fear something, you are often being pessimistic in doing so, but when it/whatever happens, and it isn't so bad, you often gain optimism in some way/shape/form from the experience. It's the exact opposite when you are disappointed by the outcome of previously positive expectations; your prior optimism turns into pessimism.
This method of gaining either positive or negative experience, and how we deal with it, I think shapes us as individuals.
If someone can deal with failure and rejection, and are positive, they can continue to be positive and happy, because when they are shot down from their goals, they are alright with just getting back up and trying again.
If someone can't or doesn't know how to deal with those things, when they are played the shit hand life gives them, they don't see the point in trying again, and it turns them pessimistic.
Ultimately, I think it cycles for many people (like myself). (I also think it stops for people, which is why some people are always upbeat, or downers.)
I used to have high expectations for myself, and I used to be happy and positive about everything (to the point it was annoying), but in high school I was bullied a bit, and realized that none of the things I thought would happen (like love) were going to, and because I have trouble dealing with failure and rejection, I stopped my positive attitude and became more cautious and pessimistic for a bit, which spiraled down for a while, but once I had been negative long enough, I started seeing things were easier to deal with, and things were turning out better than expected, so I started letting my guard down, and starting becoming more emotionally available, which lead to optimism again.
Right now I think I'm somewhere in between (it started off as a year of let downs and disappointment), but I think it's important to help the people who are having difficulty recognizing positive things, or people who are letting themselves down, because the bottom of the pessimism pit is a rough one to get yourself out of.
I start work this Thursday. I'll be just another normal working joe' with dorky straight-person khakis and a tie. I'm nervous about being in that kind of environment, but we persevere, right? I'm keeping my eye on the prize(s): one beautiful 500 or 600mm lens, and some crazy adventuring this summer, which honestly, right now, are two of the maybe four or five things I actually care about.
I hope everyone is having a beautiful and productive spring, and I hope everyone has a great night or day or week or whatever.