For me, it happened in 2013. I had not dwelled in positivity all that much prior to that year. Now, yesterday I wrote about false optimism. I could say that was my mindset for a good long while before the shift. (optimism, because I knew things would improve at some point. false, because I thought things would improve for me and my friends, but ultimately I would cast them out of my life as part of the improvement process…)

You see, I had been involved pretty intimately with someone for many years who had first introduced me to real life (as in, the real deal, no suburban white-bread coasting; but Real life, full of pain, anguish and drama…). So for many years I interpreted life as real only if it was heavy and somewhat dark.

Then in 2012 I met the gentle and playful spirit who would introduce me to a new way of being. After a slow year of getting to know one another, it was spring 2013 when we finally spent some real time together. We spent hours talking, slowly opening up. Suddenly, one afternoon at the end of a hike in Tent Rocks, NM, a spark jolted me. Within days, a tidal wave of true love had carried me far away from my previous life on a coast of frustration and discontent.

What this woman introduced me to was the idea that happiness is real, joy and lightheartedness are real. One can feel good things and not feel like a faker. For the first time as an adult I felt good, happy. I saw true boundless optimism, and it felt as real as anything.

As they say, ‘you have to go through hell to get to heaven’.