I’ve been doing some cleaning up around the blog lately. When I first opened up shop I was deep in the throes of one of my “moody” periods. Looking for somewhere to unload my angst, and this blog reflected that. But guess what? It didn’t really work. It was only at the beginning of this month when I decided to use this blog as a tool to target positivity and continually introduce it into my life that I started to truly feel better.
So here I am, declaring loud and clear for all the internet to read: I AM TIRED OF MY OWN NEGATIVITY. It’s just exhausting. Twenty-two years is long enough! I am a lot stronger than I give myself credit for, and I can overcome it if I try.
Listen, I’m not Susie Sunshine, but I don’t have to be Debbie Downer anymore either. The other day, my personal blogworld Susie Sunshine wrote about choosing positivity, and it’s something I’ve been thinking about since. One thing I will not compromise on is the fact that I think it is healthy and natural to feel all of your emotions, in order to understand them. I really think that our society places intense focus on continual positivity, and not only is it unrealistic, but for those of us who are not naturally predisposed to happiness and sunshine, it’s incredibly alienating. For most of my life, I really felt completely alone in my depression. Even though I knew many of my other friends dealt with similar issues, it was never something I felt like I could open up about to anyone (still isn’t, usually), and I often felt like I was sinking. Lately I’ve been feeling the downward tugs and this time I decided to firmly halt it in its path. No, you don’t, I told myself. There is no reason to slip into blackness again. I don’t have to do it. I don’t have to go that way. I can find a way to make myself happy.
I don’t expect to be perfect with this all the time. I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about this and I noticed that a lot of my anxiety stems from my fixation on perfection. I focus so hard on wanting everything to be just so that I am capable of paralyzing myself because it seems overwhelmingly beyond my capacity to achieve. My trouble with eating and my obsessive over-achieving in school that ultimately causes me to fail all stem from my skewed perception of what is ideal. I always maintain that these things make me happy but I’m not making myself happy anymore, I’m making myself crazy! I have to let go of the obsession with perfection so I can breathe, because right now I’m suffocating myself and it’s silly.
So, it’s everything in moderation: If one day I’m sad and can’t pull myself up, I don’t have to allow it to spiral downward into the abyss. If one day I eat too many bowls of cereal and not enough vegetables, well, big freakin’ deal, it’s a bowl of cereal, and I’ll just remember to eat more vegetables tomorrow. I gotta remember to tell myself that. During midterms when I inevitably begin to panic about fine-tuning the grammar and syntax, I should remind myself that nine times out of ten, my knowledge of grammatical structure probably exceeds the professor’s, that my paper is likely better than nearly everyone else’s in the class (not being cocky, just being positive), and that a three-page assignment isn’t an open door to write an extra ten pages on the topic just because I found it “interesting.” I do things in EXTREMES now and, while it makes me sound totally hardcore when I tell someone about being a vegetarian for ten years or how many hours I spend in the library researching and writing (hahahahahaha seriously…vegetarian in the library? hardcore? did I really just write that??) the behemoth papers I have been known to churn out during finals week, well, the pace I run at and the expectations I set for myself sometimes seem so astronomical that I will turn myself inside out just to get there, and I come out on the other side exhausted and not at all satisfied.
From now on, I will try to set goals with the intention of making myself a happier, healthier, more whole person with the built in caveat that I don’t expect to always succeed. This is a new thing for me – when I was younger, I was really great at certain things (singing, writing papers, public speaking), and the things I wasn’t so great at (math class, physical activity..) kind of sailed under the radar. I rarely had to challenge myself to come out on top. Lately, though, I’m in a place where I got bored of always doing well at the things I’ve just always been good at, and I need a challenge in my life – something I can build up to, grow to. It’s very difficult for me to face a challenge because I’m not used to failing, but how can I ever grow if I don’t try to do things that are hard for me, and fail, and try again, better next time?
So, smiling, I accept the challenge I have presented myself. I will correct my eating. I will become good at yoga and running. I will find a job that makes me happy and satisfied. I have the control, even if I feel like I don’t sometimes. I am powerful, intelligent, and incredibly strong, and I have no excuses anymore.
Watch out, world.
That said, I’m having a pretty shitty day right now so I’m getting ready to go play with my friends and turn my head around. Hope everyone’s weekend is going faaaaaaabulous and I’ll be back tomorrow with a Shabbat recap and then some! While I love love the peace and relaxation Shabbat usually brings, I miss reading everyone’s blogs! I feel like I miss major weekend stuff and rush to catch up all Sunday. Haha. Can’t wait to see what ya’ll have been up to!