Yep, just when you think I couldn’t come up with a more provocative way to introduce a post than my allusions to racism and abortion, I go ahead and type that. But it’s true: Apparently, I’m an optimist.

Admittedly, I’ve never used that o-word to describe myself, although I’ve been known to use other o-words, such as “odd,” “old,” and “occasionally irregular” (by the way I had beans last night for the first time all month and nearly j*zzed in my pants). But in my defense, I didn’t bestow this new label on myself. Nope, instead, it was another person who first called me optimistic. And not one of the several personalities who just live in my head, mind you. Seriously, I’m talking about a real-life, actual homo sapien here. He said, “Marissa, you’re an optimist. I wish I could be that happy.”

Of course, being the asshole that I am — or osshole, rather (you know, to keep with the “o” theme) — I, of course, answered with a sarcastic “thanks” and added a “you dick” for good measure. (Just because someone is an optimist doesn’t mean they’re necessarily nice…)

But when he repeated his statement again without using the same bitchy voice inflections that I usually opt for, I realized he was serious. Somehow, I had fooled this kid into thinking I was an optimistic, happy person.

Needless to say, I was intrigued. “Really?” I asked. “What makes you think so?”

“It’s just your energy, the way you talk about stuff. It’s bright.”

“Well, I’ll be damned,” I thought to myself, realizing that maybe he was actually right. Could this person who I met just moments ago know me better than I know myself? Maybe I am an optimist! But just when I was about to convince myself, I started thinking maybe this dude was just trying to get in my pants. And then he actually told me he just wanted to get in my pants, which made me puke en mi boca a little, shrug my gringa shoulders and think, “Yeah. Optimism can go f*ck itself.”

But then today happened.

I found out that a package my mom had sent me from the States via FedEx is being held in Chilean customs for inspection due to a mislabeled invoice. After being forced to walk an extra 45 minutes because the FedEx office location had inexplicably changed according to a sign on the door, the woman behind the counter told me that I’ll have to wait for FedEx to send me the required paperwork, which I will then have to physically take to the Department of Health, where I will have to wait for a stamp and pay some fines. After that, I’ll have to take that paperwork all the way out to the airport where my package is being held so that I can pay more fines. And only then will I possibly receive my sh*t. Of course, the chances of this being all done by the time I originally planned to start traveling (Sunday) is now highly unlikely. Indeed, all this nonsense has put a damper on my day. Or has it? According to my Spanish professor, that’s not true. According to her, I’m “a person who is able to see the positive side in any situation. Que bueno!”

Wait what? Was she trying to get in my pants too? Luckily no (although she was better looking than the aforementioned dude…). And moreover, I was able to figure out pretty easily why she would assume I’m an optimist. After explaining the entire situation to her ad nauseum I ended with this short series of phrases, “Por el otro lado, esta problema es muy bueno porqué estoy aprendiendo muchas palabras nuevos. Tambien, necesito hablar mas en español, y ahora puedo practicar!” (On the other hand, this problem is good because I’m learning a lot of new words. Also, I need to speak more Spanish and now I can practice!)

And unlike most of the verbal poo that escapes my mouth in English, I don’t yet have the ability to be a sarcastic osshole in Spanish, so I realized I must have meant every single word of those two short sentences. And that’s when it hit me: Uh, did I just see the proverbial plata lining? Is my vaso half-full? ¡Ay, Dios mio! I am an optimist, after all!

When did this happen? I mean, it was only just over a couple of months ago that I held the self-appointed position of Resident Hater in DC. But looking back (which I like to do because, well, I’m my favorite writer), I’ve realized that most of my hatred for DC was superficial. It was a love-to-hate relationship, which actually brought me a lot of joy at times, although maybe that’s because I knew I’d eventually escape at some point…

Which brings us back to the present moment. I am happy. Sure, several aspects of my life can be better, as I’m a believer that the second you stop wanting to improve yourself whether it be through learning, trying new things, finding deep connections with others, reaching for new goals, making someone else’s day better, etc., is the day you might as well die. But overall, I’m happy. Life really is beautiful in all its incarnations, well, unless you’re getting murdered, raped, tortured or being forced to watch a Two-and-a-Half Men marathon. But if you’re not being forced to do something against your will, such as believe Charlie Sheen is legitimate actor, I’m convinced there’s no reason not to be at least a little bit optimistic.


“Hey, osshole!” someone yells from the depths of the Internet. “What about war and genocide and famine?”

Um, OK. Yes, I hear you, e-person, and you have a point. But rest assured that, of course, I’ve thought about those things. A little. You know, like, just now….um…but hey! At least I can say those things in Spanish! La guerra, el genocidio, y la hambruna! Oh my, life is grand. 🙂