I took an online quiz to determine "What One Word Describes You?" (It was on the internet, so you know the results are very scientific.) My result was "Hopeful", and that really does describe me.
There have definitely been a lot of dark days over the years, but I always had hope that things would get better. Actually, I was certain they would get better, I knew things would not always seem so bleak. I was positive that one day, life would be easier. Sometimes things get better on their own, and sometimes it takes action to bring about that change. A lot of marriages end because people lose hope. Although I hate to hear about couples getting a divorce, it's not always a bad thing. Some relationships are toxic and should end. Unhappy couples might hope for years that things will get better, but without action, that hope disappears. And once you lose hope, it's over. Sadly, a lot of lives end because people lose hope, too.
It's particularly sad when that happens, because there is always hope. Always. No matter how bad things are, they will get better. You just have to hang on ... sometimes by your fingernails ... but eventually, things will get better. Life may take you down a road you don't want to go, but it never leaves you on a cliff with no place to go but down. When you find yourself on the edge of a precipice, you can blindly jump or you can turn around and take a different path. The path you choose may be fraught with pitfalls or lead you in circles or is a steep uphill climb, but there is always another path along the way. The other paths may be just as bad ... or worse ... but you always have a choice. The direction you take is yours. You can turn around and go back to the path you know or look for another path that isn't quite so hard ... or you can step off the beaten path and forge your own. With a little perseverance, you just might find yourself at the summit, surrounded by views that make your heart soar.
The point is, where life takes you is your choice. The circumstances you were born into don't determine your outcome. You do. Those lucky enough to be raised by supportive, loving parents might have an easier time making good decisions, but there are plenty of people with extremely difficult childhoods who grow up to be happy and successful. And by the way, success isn't defined by wealth ... it's defined by happiness. It doesn't matter how much money you have if you are unhappy. Money can buy moments of pleasure, but it cannot buy happiness ... that comes from inside. You can't blame your future on your past. You can make your life as easy or as difficult as you choose. You can allow the bad to propel you towards something better, or you can let them drag you down the path that brought you there. The choice is yours.
Even though the quiz was actually little more than entertainment and is hardly the kind of personality test that would hold up in court, there is probably a kernel of truth in the results. Had they told me the one word that describes me was "Hateful" or "Selfish" or "Arrogant" or "Lazy", this blog post would have been written from an altogether different perspective! But, it didn't. It told me I was "Hopeful" ... and I am.