Wednesday, September 11, 2013
I'm Getting off This "Positivity" Train
Well, I'm jumping off that "positivity" train. Because I don't really find it to be all that positive.
Positivity blogs, prompts, images, etc. lead to comparisons between our own lives and the seemingly idyllic lives of the writers. They write and tell us to “quit our day job”, “pack a backpack, sell all your shit and globetrot!”, “build your dream home! Who cares how much it costs?” or “make every single moment special.” Most of these, for most of the people I know, just aren’t possible and maybe never have been possible. There are bills to pay, families to raise, work to do, a house to take care of… reasons some of these writers would tell you are inconsequential and are standing in the way of leading your perfect creamy, dreamy (look at that soft focus on all her pictures!) life.
And seriously; EVERY SINGLE MOMENT? No pressure, guys.
I’ve found that reading these writings tend to make me, well, miserable. As I sit at my desk in the office ,with my little potted cactus in the single window behind me, working to pay for my house reading about how “if you aren’t living your wildest dreams you're doing life wrong” makes me feel trapped and ill. It leads me to feel dissatisfied with a life that I know, deep down in my heart, is absolutely as idyllic as I could have dreamed. My family and friends are amazing, I’m surrounded by love, I have a home that I am so proud of and love spending time in, I have time to paint and laugh and do the things that fill my heart with happiness and I have a husband who loves me more than I even feel that I deserve to be loved, more than I ever believed was possible. I have a true partner, true support and more laughter and people in my life than I sometimes can handle.
Yet, am I making this moment, right here at the computer reading this email at work count? No. But do you know why? Because your syrup coated email that reads “you aren’t living up to your life’s potential” is fucking giving me anxiety. Your email makes me wonder, just for a moment, if having a home, a relationship and one day a child will all just be pointless endeavors and roadblocks keeping me from living my SUPER FANTASTIC AMAZEBALLS ALL 86,400 SECONDS IN THE DAY ARE SUPER DUPER SPECIAL life.
So, no. This moment doesn’t count, because I’m content and dare I say, happy, with the life that I have and you’ve managed to steal that away from me for just a moment. So I’m changing something to remedy that; I'm unsubscribing from everything you write and every place I follow you.
I'm unsubscribing in defense of the pleasantries of a normal life. In defense of a simple home in a simple area. In defense of relationships, friends and babies. In defense of the contentedness found in everyday rituals and practices. In defense of rolling with the shitty moments. In defense of contentment and happiness being more than enough; being, in fact, perfect.
Because while I don’t think positivity is a bad thing (in fact, it’s something I’m inviting in to my life along with gratitude), your approach to it is annoying at best and condescending at worst.
And ain’t nobody got time for that in their already fabulous (even if they don’t know it yet) life.
P.S. I'm not knocking all people who write advice or positivity blogs or articles. Some of them are very, very good and filled with reasonable advice. It's the ones that make you feel shitty about your life that I take issue with. So keep on writing, friends!