Thursday Thoughts: Problematic Positivity




"Don't worry. Be happy"

I've lost count the amount of times people have said that to me as my mind reels off into a whirlwind of anxiety and worry. I take a deep breath and stretch a smile across my face. Keep positive and everything will be okay. That's the mantra that I took on for the past couple of years. I found myself wholly happy for the first time and wanted to keep that feeling forever. I avoided anything that could knock me back and tried to rise above any obstacle with my strong, overly positive attitude. That worked out...for a bit.
Until something happened last year that hurt. A break up. My first "heart break" if you want to be dramatic and stuff, I suppose. I tried to avoid the crushing feeling, to just get on with life as it is, because the world doesn't stop turning does it? And I, point blank, refused to let anyone dictate how I feel on their idiotic actions. So on I went, smile in tact, distracting myself from that lurking sadness in the back of my mind.

Fast forward 2 months and I visit my Grandparents in Ireland, the middle of nowhere, where there's not much to do but to the watch the tv and think. Cue realisation of those damn feelings and about 2 days of straight crying. Like the really horrible snotty, hyperventilating type of cry. Don't think my Nana expected that when she asked, "Are you okay, Katie?" I bit my bottom lips and the flood gates opened.

I have taken to twitter on more than one occasion to rant about "boy problems", because why not? I could be sad, angry or confused, and is the internet not the place to be able to express yourself? To not express your emotions is a dangerous cycle. Later, I'd find myself apologising for being negative. I try to be as positive and motivating as possible online and on this blog, but I know now that it is impossible to be positive every second of everyday. How can we be? Yes, we can help ourselves stay motivated as the world around us is going down the pan, but to say we're not going to let events or situations effect us is...a bit naive. I was naive to think I could any sad feelings for the rest of myself, but hey, I gave it an attempt. It doesn't mean I'm any less of a positive person, it just means that I can feel the other human emotions and express them whether it is a rant online or to my flatmate. It is okay to feel angry and sad, and your emotions are valid, even if people class them as 'negative'. They're not negative. They're real. And wasn't there a debate online about people being 'fake'? #Justsaying

There has been a lot of talk online about there being "a lot of negativity" but the internet is a place we come to rant, to vent and to express. Rhianna from Robowecop talks about it here which got me thinking of this, and then a conversation with my flatmate about fakeness. Sure, we can look to it as a solace to escape the stresses of our own lives but the internet is just an extension of our lives so if you want the internet to just be one fluffy glittery ball of happiness all the time...follow the positive only blogs and go and look at funny cat memes. Anywhere that is open to the public will capture the emotions of the people behind the facebook status's and tweets and I will no longer apologise for being negative. Nor will I apologise for being positive. I might apologise for swearing...but only if my nana is present.

If you want to appreciate the good things in life, like the real good things, you must acknowledge the bad. Even if that is something like "the blogging community isn't what it use to be", don't be offended, maybe take time to reflect. Can you change it? Or can can you embrace it when you see the supportive comments and replies. When things in life feel really shit, you feel it, but then start to get better (because they will), thrive off it. Let that push you forward and learn from it.

I will always try to see the positive side of a situation because it works for me but sometimes, life just doesn't work out that way and can't be covered in glitter. The glitter should be saved for the real good moments where the smiles aren't carved on by someone saying, "Don't worry, be happy".