Every now and then I do an Instagram questionnaire to engage with my followers and answer any questions that they have regarding my blog pots, business, or just life in general. If you’ve been following my blog for the past two years, you know that these “life” posts are far and few between, because I don’t like to force it. But one of the questions in particular sparked my interest, and really made me think.
“U seem like u stay so positive no matter what! any tips?”
I’m reading this like “wow that’s crazy, because I really be going through it”, and the people closest to me can attest to this.
One of my main focuses in this whole realm of social media is to always be my authentic self. To never deviate away from the things that make me who I am. To not conform to all the things that we see and consume on a daily basis. BECAUSE IT ISN’T REAL.
We all fall victim to it, and I probably do more than I should.
This idea that people have it all together, and everything is going well for them, and they’re winning. It’s comparison. It’s what makes this whole shit so toxic. Because people don’t show you their struggles. People don’t talk about their failures. People don’t give you what makes them real.
And that’s hard to connect to. Which brings me back to why this question had me so shook.
I never want to paint that picture of perfection for anyone. Because things aren’t always so positive. Because I struggle, and I sulk, and I beat myself up like everybody else. Probably more.
That’s probably been my biggest setback so far with this whole blogging thing. Because for a long time I’ve felt like I’m not what these major bloggers or influencers are. When the reality of the whole thing is that I am “most people” and your favs are just carbon copies who never let you in on who they really are.
But I don’t mind letting anyone know who I am.
Now don’t get me wrong... I don’t believe in overshare or letting strangers on the internet know my whole life, because that’s just weird, but I do know that not sharing enough leads people to thinking things like "you’re always positive", or happy, or life is just great. And it isn't always, so here we are.
My family always tells me, “you don’t have to look like what you’re going through”, and now I understand those sentiments more than ever — in ways that mean different things at this point in my life. This was exactly what I thought back to when I read this question.
Just like the way you “look” is a choice, positivity is a choice. One that’s easier to make in theory — I know — but nonetheless, that’s what it is. You really don't have to look like what you’re going through. You don’t have to wear your pain on your sleeve. You don't have to broadcast your problems to the world. You don't have to let your struggles consume you.
I don’t mean pretend they're not there, fake it to the world, or that they're any less real. To make a long story short — just own them.
I think this is what I had to learn to be really good at — accepting my negative feelings, thoughts, and emotions. The whole “be positive” or “good vibes only” thing can be a slippery slope, because we’re human first and foremost, and nobody in their right mind is positive all the time. It denies us our true feelings and makes us think we’re out of whack for feeling anything other than that.
So allow yourself to go through the motions. Laugh it away, cry it out, do whatever you’re moved to do in response to how you feel, but don’t stay there. And when you’re not there anymore, be real about where you’ve been. Accepting how you feel is empowering, and that’s how you make the first step towards positivity. Persisting through the pain. Carrying on in spite of. Recognizing that you were or are in a really bad head space and making the conscious effort to correct yourself because you know it’s not where you should be.
Secondly, positivity is nothing more than perspective. Instead of being a victim to your circumstances, change the way you view your problems. Look for the lesson or the reason and take what you need from it. Dwelling on the mishaps of life is what creates negative energy. Move forward by picking those bad circumstances apart, realizing the things you can take away from them. It’s not “why is this happening to me?”, but rather, “what is this situation trying to teach me?”
“The greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.” - Martha Washington
To make it plain — it is what it is. Whatever happened already happened. The only thing you can control is how you move forward, so take it in stride and move on. I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason, and there is no better teacher than life. So it’s your best bet to get good at moving on too. Imagine being so stuck and caught up on something that happened to you last week. Now you can’t deal with today’s issue because you haven’t taken what you needed from last week’s problems. Look at you, just stuck. And mad. And bitter.
Regardless of what happened, that’s no one’s responsibility but your own. So don’t be that, sis. Cause I’ve been that, sis. And it ain’t cute, sis.
I still get stuck to be honest, and that’s okay too, because I always wiggle myself out of it. That’s the mindset you have to have. That’s the only thing that really matters here. Don’t think that I or anyone else is some walking beam of sunshine, because on any given day I can be the furthest thing from it.
P.S. This post is something that I’m sharing in hopes of connecting with or helping whoever is reading it, but more than anything it’s a reminder to myself too. If you take nothing else from all of this, just know that.