Look on the Bright Side

Everyone copes with life in some way or another. Some embrace the grisly details with spine-tingling excitement like Harry. Others, like Sally, blithely turn their heads to see a more chipper scenario. I’m a lot like Sally. I call myself an optimist.

My idealist switch flipped on sometime when I was a child and I’m really unsure how to turn it off. This Walter Mittyish tendency of mine often leaves me stuck at the corner of Surprised and Disenchanted. When it comes to My List, I frequently imagine grander-than-life adventures complete with Instagram filters and super cool slow motion effects. (My favorite is Brooklyn, but that’s an entirely different post.) Maybe it’s because I’m a Generation Y Yuppy, but regardless of the cause of my perky imagination, I’m grateful for it. The List, and ensuing fantasies, keep me moving, expecting, discovering, and propelling me into new excursions. It opens my mind, my palate, and my heart, and however picture-perfect—albeit imaginary—my expectations can be, I feel like a better person for it.

For laughs, because, after all, laughing is good for you, I’ve compiled a group of some events I dreamed would go one way, but actually turned out less wondrous. Enjoy.

I imagined kayaking like this:

kayaking-full

But in Florida, sans rapids, it looks more like this:

kayaking

In my head, meeting the President would be like this:

jibjab9-crop-low1

But sometimes you have to settle in life.

president

Paddleboarding? You probably already read my post about it, but in my perfect world:

Paddleboarding-Surfing-La-001

Instead,…

paddleboarding

Do you have any experiences that you imagined to be spectacular, but they fell a little short of that dream? Were you able to enjoy it anyway?

A few years ago, a movie came out called The Bucket List in which a couple guys set out to accomplish some dreams before they kicked the bucket. Even before that movie, I always had a mental list of risks to take, places to travel, people to meet, foods to taste, and so on. When the movie gained popularity, I thought it would be a nice idea to actually write my dreams down somewhere. Writing them down makes me feel committed to my dreams, and since then I’ve crossed several items off the list. When I accomplish one, I feel the need to add at least one more. When I experience something wonderful about this world and the people in it, I usually discover there is more for me to try.

My current list is below.

  • white water rafting
  • zip lining
  • run a 5K
  • be a model for a day
  • take a bubble bath in a clawfoot tub
  • eat caviar
  • eat foie gras
  • write a book
  • write my initials in wet cement
  • ride a gondola in Italy
  • ride in a hot air balloon
  • stand underneath a waterfall
  • slow dance with someone I love

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