Being a idealistic realist is hard. Because the phrase in itself it a total contradiction. The romantic side of me loves to take life and turn it into a rose coloured lens of “everything is beautiful, will be beautiful or is aspiring to be beautiful, I just have to see it.”. The realistic side of me is constantly at war with that side saying “Uh, no, shut up, you flower smelling nerd.”
Finding a balance where both sides are happy is taking a healthy dose of reality with a tall drink of idealism every morning. How? Meditation. Retraining my brain to ignore the negative aspects of my day and focus on the positive, yet not ignoring the negative to the point that I am avoiding my problems.
This is exhausting. This is enough to cause a daily meltdown, but somehow, after 28 years of existing with this crazy, I think I may have found a way to actually LIVE and not just exist.
My biggest challenge was to understand that the two extremes in which I lived in, had a happy medium. The happy medium was keeping busy. Having a thousand different hobbies. Exercising. Reading until I was tired enough to sleep. Basically giving my brain as little time as possible to fixate on anything too negative and getting overconfident in the too positive. And finally learning how to harness it to my benefit. When I found myself drowning in the negatives of a day (like when I was fired from a job I loved or when my relationship fell apart brutally), I blindly clutched at the positives in my life. Small little things that no one else but a idealist would notice. The new book I was reading, a small kindness from a friend, a new dish I’ve been wanted to make forever and finally managed to make it. Heck, even an extra cuddle from my cats!
And on the days when I find myself overtly confident about something, to the point that if something goes wrong it will devastate me, I slowly remind myself that things go wrong all the time, that I need to have a plan B, and then busy myself thinking of a plan B. Once a plan B is at hand, I feel like I’ve found my balance and I’m finally grounded enough to tend to what is ahead of me.
So if you have a personality as confusing as I find my own, please please try and harness the good from it. Try your very best not to fight any aspect of yourself and find a way to make both contradictory aspects work for you. You are human and humans are supposed to be confusing. It’s kind of a designated part of our species. Conflict within yourself will only hurt you. Learn and grow from it instead.
My mom always says, “prepare yourself for the worst and the best will always surprise you.” Well, my best qualities are the two extremes of my personality. And it has taken a really long time, but I am finally proud to call myself a idealistic realist.