I'd consider myself an optimistic person, even during our current shifts in power. Although, recently when I heard Chimamanda speak, she described that activism in this moment should be realism mixed with pessimism. I still have grand visions to live in a better world that almost feels like a utopia and create opportunities for my future kid(s), and understandably so, often times it feels that's a heavy burden to carry.
What keeps me sane and hopeful, yet confronted with reality, is putting myself in positions that challenge my thinking and the way I see the world. This means if I want to work with kids, I have to understand how the education system works, by getting involved with local schools. If I want to bridge gaps I see from a public health lens, I have to understand who the policy makers are and the communities that they are looking to serve. If I want to create a business that has yet to exist, I have to educate myself on how to monetize this idea.
Digging deep into these areas isn't pretty, but it's necessary. And some of this work won't be published or noticed or praised, but that's not the point.