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February 20, 2010

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!

10 Comments leave one →
  1. February 20, 2010 9:33 pm

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. Those feelings mirror my own. I have struggled all my life with depression. Never very severe, until I let it take over me. I had always allowed others to keep my mind occupied. Then one day I took all that focus and put it directly on me. All my insecurities, imperfections and feelings of failure. That took me into a total downward spiral. These days I am TRYING to take the focus off myself. Stop being so hard on myself and remembering I am not perfect. No one is. And that is ok. The idea of perfection is ridiculous.

    Personally I think flaws add some character. If not we would all be cardboard cutouts. Talk about boring.

    You are doing so amazing!!

    ❤ ❤ ❤

  2. February 20, 2010 11:03 pm

    Also I added you to my blogroll


  3. February 21, 2010 1:23 am

    Oh La, I love this one! Thanks first for your lovely beautiful comment you left me tonite 🙂

    As for this: 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. ”

    Gosh, how true. And in the ‘sphere if one writes about an off day, people dont want to hear about it. And if you dont write about it, it feels a bit fake to your true self. And it’s the same way IRL…we are expected to be joyful and bubbly all the time or else we “must be depressed”. No, some days just suck. And I’m not depressed, just having a doosie of day. I hear you girl!


  4. February 21, 2010 8:11 am

    YOU are amazing. Seriously, this is exactly how I feel @ times. You are right; positivity is a realistic goal–but that does not mean that we have to be PERFECT.

    Seeking “perfection” (with my body, with my life, and with school) are the things that alienated me in the first place.

    It’s really valuable that you stepped back and realized this as well. Recognizing and accepted our challenges to correct them is the first step.

    Hope your Sunday goes better!

  5. February 21, 2010 9:15 am

    This post COULD NOT have come at a better time for me. Seriously. I try to stay positive on my blog because I don’t like to talk about things that bother me, but just the other night I was sitting on the train ride home from Fordham, having the EXACT SAME conversation with myself. You are so amazing for posting this…not to mention you are an incredible writer! Don’t be too hard on yourself, though. We only know what we’re faced with, and beating yourself up for being a perfectionist when that’s largely a personality trait won’t make you feel any better about it. It sounds like you’ve really thought this through and are in a great place to start thinking positively! ‘

    Would you want to do a meet-up sometime? I’m ABSOLUTELY down for Greek food in Astoria, and after reading this I feel like we have SO MUCH in common!

  6. February 21, 2010 12:38 pm

    I love your declaration but I have to say, I don’t think you complain more than anybody else! I feel like I complain nonstop!! I think you are being kind of hard on yourself because nobody can be happy and perfect 100% of the time.

    Still, your goals are great. I am going to take inspiration from you and stop my incessant bitching too.

    Have a great Sunday!

  7. Shelley (findinghappinessandhealth) permalink
    February 21, 2010 9:58 pm

    iam so glad you are choosing to be more positive, it goes a long way. I agree though, negative emotions are incredibly normal and though i have really been working on being positive, i definitely have had my fair share of negativity.
    i’m wondering who your personal blogworld susie sunshine ishaha


    • February 21, 2010 10:04 pm

      Haha I just noticed I forgot to link it! I was so focused on writing I completely forgot to be an editor and go back and link. But I updated this post to link over to none other than SnackFace!

  8. February 22, 2010 2:01 am

    “watch out world” <— i love it! that's how i feel too. i try to keep my blog as positive as possible while still being authentic. sometimes if i'm having a really hard time i feel like i'm not being honest by not posting my innermost thoughts and feelings, but i've realized that by writing positively it helps me think positively, so it's actually a good thing! just don't feel like you ever have to hide your feelings for the sake of your blog, you know?


  1. Downtownnn, everything’s waiting for you! « Love, La

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