Wednesday, August 31, 2011


It was a full auditorium at a large state university in Colorado which was a HUGE change for this recently transferred student.  She came from a small, private, Christian college from the west coast where class sizes hardly ever got above 30.  She sat near the door and got out her college ruled notebook, and rainbow pens ready to take notes during her psych lecture.  The professor stepped in and began.  A few times during class he offered up some questions that no one was willing to answer.  So, she raised her hand.  To this day she can't remember what he asked, or even what she said, but she will never forget what his response was.  With a laugh in his voice he said, "What, are you some kind of Pollyanna?  Just seeing the world through your rosy little glasses?"  The entire class began to pay attention and everyone stopped what they were doing and turned to look at her.  Her cheeks turned red and began to burn as if she had just been slapped.  She slumped slightly in her chair.  She could tell he was putting her down but she didn't understand what was so bad about what he said.  So, under her breath she said just that, "Is that such a bad thing?"  Giggles rose up from the auditorium and she thought "Toto, I have a feeling we aren't in Point Loma anymore."

She went home and talked to her very wise uncle about the encounter, and how embarrassed she was.  She told him what the teacher said and he replied "Well, they call people who are overly optimistic Pollyanna."  She said "I know what he meant, I just don't understand why that's a bad thing?"

And I still don't!

Throughout my life I've had people look at me like - "Oh, there's perfect little Charmian!  She doesn't know what ______ is like.  Nothing bad has ever happened to her."  First off, I just want to grab those people and shake them because clearly they haven't cared enough about me to really stop and talk to me.  They have looked at my smiling face and bubbly personality and have assumed that I must have lived this perfect little life to be so happy all the time.  Well, HA!!!! that's what you get for not giving me a chance, for not taking a moment to really see me and to hear my story.

Here's the truth.  I am optimistic, a Pollyanna some would say.  I don't wallow in the negative stuff from my past but that doesn't take it away.  It's there.  What I have and hopefully will continue to say is this "I love this moment that I'm living in, and without all of the good and bad things from my past I wouldn't be the person I am today living this life I could have only dreamed of."  (It's a paraphrase but you get the idea.)  I have tried to live my life without regret but people have hurt me, and I have hurt people.  I have been on top of the world and I've seen the sewers.  I have laughed and God knows I have cried.  But through it all I try and see the silver lining.  My name means Little Joy, my Mom loves telling everyone that and when I was younger it would always embarrass me but it's what I am, it's what I've been and hopefully I'll continue to stay just that, a Little Joy.

So, I say all of that to say this.  Yes, I am an optimistic.  My glass is half full but my life is not perfect.

Let me show you what I mean in three ways.

The Good:  I got so much done today.  I was able to get a lot of things done around the house and found some time to check my email and facebook.  It makes my heart hurt a bit to see all the pictures and stories from my friends back home, knowing how much I'm missing.  But I did get to spend the day with my girl and I wouldn't have been able to do that if we were in The States.  Speaking of Alessandra, she is such a strong willed little toot.  She cracks me up how she is so determined to do it all herself, her way, in her time.  I want to hurry and get this post done so I can grab a few minutes to exercise and shower before Jon gets home.  I miss him so much some time but I can see how hard he's working to provide for us and I love him so much for that.

The Bad:  I feel like all I did today was clean.  I was finally able to check my email and facebook.  I am so lonely and I miss my friends.  Alessandra can be so hard to handle sometimes.  If I try and help her while we're playing she'll throw herself on the floor and start screaming, and she's only 9 months old.  UUGGHH!!!  What is she going to be like in twelve years?  My day is slipping away and I can already see that I'm not going to get a chance to exercise before Jon gets home and he's just going to think I've been lying in bed all day eating chocolates and watching movies.  That is if he even makes it home before the party he has at school tonight.

The Truth:  Today was quiet.  I'm a little lonely.  I mostly did housework, play with Alessandra, and surf the web.  I'm hoping I get a chance to exercise today.  Jon has a get together tonight for school.

So you see, it's not all good but it's not all bad either.  I guess I've just decided to live my life as a Pollyanna!


  1. I love you.

  2. I love you too - and am missing you like crazy!

  3. I guess we'll be Pollyanna together!! Its definitely easier to have a positive, optimistic attitude when dealing with stressful situations!

  4. You are a JOY and I'm so happy you are who you are.  I would be really disappointed if my son had married a whiny, unhappy brat.  We love you and your 1/2 full (actually you are more 3/4) glass!  Hugs

  5. I totally agree, and it's more fun too!

  6. Thanks MK - I appreciate it!  Sending hugs back your way too.

  7. Thank you for inspiring me once again my friend :-)  I too am Pollyanna and I am 100% okay with that.  We live in a world with far more ugliness for my liking and the one and only thing I have complete control over is my attitude.  And like you...I have my "under optomistic" days but for the most part...we don't see the dark clouds because we are walking above them. And...if you ask me...I don't understand why thats a bad thing :)  I miss you!! xoxo

  8. Of course you're a Pollyanna - you are my twin after all!  :o)