It’s called the “safe route” for a reason. There’s a system in place, and if you follow the rules, your chances of success — whatever that looks like for you — are all but guaranteed. But what if your dream doesn’t fit the norm? What if checking the boxes doesn’t work for you? For everyone out here in pursuit of a nonconventional path, one that makes people question your sanity and decision making, where do you draw the line between optimism and delusion? That’s not a rhetorical question. I honestly don’t know the answer, but I will say, for me at least, I can’t be a skeptic. I refuse to allow any negative experience or collection thereof to dictate my outlook on life.

I will dream big, love hard and believe unapologetically — always.

I will not be a victim of apathy. Instead I choose to trust completely and lean not unto my own understanding. Experience has taught me that provision always meets me there as reward for my faith. So I intentionally elevate my expectations beyond my means to achieve them and build my plans strategically with a dependence on the supernatural to accomplish them.

I will risk delight over doubt every time. I will love like I’ve never known heartbreak and trust as if I’ve never been betrayed. I’ll give in spite of the potential for exploitation, a practice not to be mistaken for naivety, but born of the understanding that the recipient’s objective is none of my business. Malicious intent bares the consequence upon itself.

I will rebel against negative mindsets, allowing no manner of disappointment to rob me of optimism.  I’ll waste no energy on the disdain of the realist or the contempt of the pessimist, because I know that their mocking sarcasm is not without pragmatic justification. It’s just that I understand instinctively that distrust doesn’t protect me from hurt any more than complacency averts disappointment, and the habitual focus on the negative elevates evil above the divine and seems only to manifest the very outcome it seeks to avoid.

So, at the end of the day, I will not be a cynic. I won’t allow any judgment or limiting belief to infiltrate my attitude. Optimistic or delusional? Call it what you want, but I will continue to go hard, dream big and trust completely, cleansing any residue of self-doubt  from my mentality.

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The transition into adulthood isn’t an easy one. Navigating relationships, managing workplace politics, hitting those milestones on schedule— don’t be fooled, no one knows what they’re doing. There will be all kinds of fumbles, blunders and awkward missteps along the way. If you’re constantly wondering to yourself, “Am I doing this right?” Welcome. This is just the place for you.