There are these two extremes I’ve noticed existing in my life via other people. They’re not the only two, but two nevertheless: extremely positive and extremely negative. There’s always a middle of the road person, but because the extremes are just that, extreme, I notice them more.
Seeing the extremely negative person day in and day out is exhausting. It’s everyday, all day, only seeing the bad and not understanding why these terrible circumstances keep attracting into your life. It’s the person you know who is always miserable, always looking at the unfortunate angle of life, who just makes you want to blow a fog horn in their face when they deny there might be an alternative. It’s the person in your Facebook feed who posts, “I can’t remember the last time I had a day this bad,” and you want to respond with, “Look at your last 12 status updates…”
I’ve never been an incredibly negative person. I’m usually looking on the bright side or trying to help other people see the bright side. Some attempts are more fruitful than others and at a certain point, I have to yell, “Uncle,” because I can’t be in charge of making you happy. I can’t cut off my nose to spite my face.
On the other hand, I’m not extremely positive. Not to a point of inaccessibility. Just as quickly as you can think of the person you know who is always negative, you can think of the person who is so teeth-grindingly positive you want to throw bologna at their face for the satisfying slap sound and subsequent humiliation you hope they feel when it sticks. But they don’t feel humiliated. They chuckle, raise their shoulders up in sync with their eyebrows, and remark, “Ce la vie!” And then you throw yourself into a shelf of books.
I believe that people CAN be so happy that little to nothing bothers them. I also believe these people have reached a level of enlightenment that doesn’t include updating their Facebook status with why they’re happy and, “How you can, too!” every 45 minutes. Just as you don’t have to tell me how many degrees you have to prove you’re intelligent if you REALLY are, you don’t have to tell me how happy you are to prove you’re happy if you REALLY are. You can just be happy and share it where applicable, no ego involved. And I don’t mean applicable like apps, Instagram and Twitter. I mean applicable to those you encounter in life say, in the grocery store or in traffic. I remember the older gentleman who said, “Excuse me, beautiful young lady,” in the gluten-free aisle on Sunday far better than I remember the 700 affirmations a day someone emails, tweets, or updates. I remember the way I felt after he said that silly little phrase for hours, and how I smiled my way through the rest of my shopping trip because a guy who could be my grandpa shared a little drop of joy with me for nothing in return other than moving my shopping cart a few inches to the left.
So as I am writing my book and asking myself lately what I want this blog to be, my answer is this: I want it to be honest. I want to fairly offer the image of a life that is authentic, some days extremely positive, some days extremely negative, but always striving to grow. I want to be a truthful enough voice that you can remember it later in a way that inspires you to share your drops of joy and also your moments of sorrow honestly. (And somehow I have to accomplish all of this while still being funny…Yeesh.) But most of all, I have to continue doing it because I like it, not because I worry what the reaction will be. And I do still worry about what the reactions will be. (I mean, my mom, my husband, my Auntie Donna, they all read this.) But I’ll never be able to label it an “extremely positive” or “extremely pessimistic” blog. I’ll only be able to say, “It’s honest.”