I am, admittedly, not always a positive person. I tend to think that pessimism is synonymous with realism (which should be a sign that I need to change my outlook) or see happiness as something I don't deserve, or as purposefully choosing to ignore all of the awful in the world. I think, why should I be happy when there are people who are completely miserable? How can I feel good, when there is so much bad? And finally--if happiness is such a great thing, then why do we have to put so much effort into it?
I write a lot about my anxiety, and I hope it's relate-able, but I also don't want to be a dark cloud with a scrunched up face when I could be a really cute cloud that is in the shape of a dolphin or something. I want to be happy, and I am constantly putting effort into feeling joy and fulfillment in many ways. There are small, pleasant things that give us the glimpse of hope we need. And after feeling so many lows, the highs are that much sweeter.
My mom works as a teacher's aid in various classrooms throughout my old school district. The other day, she sent me a picture of some papers hanging in a teacher's classroom (that I artfully laid out in three different images for easier digestion---oh, and they spelled Charles' last name wrong twice so ignore that):
I read through what I am assuming was a chain email that the teacher printed out (and decided to white out partially?), and smiled. I could hardly name enough people to pass the first part of the little test, and if any of you did, please let me know when you're going to be on Jeopardy. The second part was, unsurprisingly easy. I thought of all of the wonderful people who have influenced me and continue to be a positive force in my life. And you know what? While thinking of these people and how we have met and interacted, I felt ~happiness~.
I understand that this is like, layers and layers of cheese. A cheese buffet, if you will. But sometimes we need something simple to remind us that people caring about us has impacted us the most. It also got me thinking that I am most likely on someone else's Charles Schulz Chain-Email list of people they enjoy spending time with or have been taught by, and so are you!
While we strive to reach our goals, or may not feel like enough, just remember that you have made a difference in someone's life. You have brought someone happiness, which for some people, is often a difficult thing to feel. You have pushed mountains and painted stars just by showing someone that you care.
So, what are three things that I feel happy about, right now?
1. I could easily name people to fill in those categories, meaning that I am lucky to have such awesome and supportive people in my life.
2. Tonight, I am hanging out with some of those people and playing a really cool new RPG that my housemate will GM. Two of these friends have never played an RPG before, so I'm pumped to experience this with them (plus, our characters are witches which is super spooky and perfect).
3. Tomorrow is the weekend. After some obligations in the morning, I am taking some time off work to love myself (and clean my car because dear God does it need it). This weekend, I'll go apple picking and probably watch horror films. There is always something to look forward to.
So, I won't say "Forward this on to 10 people or suffer bad luck and no love forever", but think of who those ten people would be. Let them know what they mean to you, and relish in the fact that you mean something to somebody too. See, I can be positive. All it took was a cartoon picture of the back of Charlie Brown's head to get my attention.
Have a great weekend, everyone.