- My longest relationship ended this past weekend. I had thought of him as my partner for life.
- My dog’s poop still lays on my neighbor’s yard- I had forgotten to bring a waste bag while walking the dog. I made a mental note to pick one up at the public park and scoop up the poop on the way back to my house, but I forgot.
- When my business partner was staying with us, I snapped at my mother because she asked me a badly timed question, and I transferred my stress into my answer.
- I missed my business partner’s birthday by two days because I was “busy working”
These are just a few circumstances of “negative” things that happened this past week alone. Most were because I fucked up, like the dog poop (sorry neighbor) and missing my business partner’s birthday (sorry Andrew). Some were simply out of my control. But if you had to ask me, this past week was pretty good in general.
It stemmed from a happening on the street of Chicago a few weeks ago. I bumped into an old classmate from university. We are not that close but are Facebook friends. She was on her way to work; I was enjoying the fall weather on my leisure walk from the French Embassy. She asked me why I traveled so much and how I was enjoying it. Before I could answer, she continued, “Because on Facebook, it seems like you are very happy. Like you are enjoying life. You are always so optimistic.”
Her comments made me pause. Not because I am not happy (I’ve never felt more grounded), but because I used to struggle A LOT with being optimistic. Even now, during my creative and brainstorming periods, I swing to the other extreme. I shut myself in my room with the blinds drawn. I barely eat and sleep. I sink into an “emo” trance and I produce. Day and night shed their meanings. The only time I come out is to run and grunt some sort of greetings to my flatmates. I don’t want them to think that I’m decaying in my room. When I was a preteen, I struggled with depression. I got out of it the old fashioned way: fake it till you make it. In my case, it actually worked. But I am still very conscious of my moods. I don’t want to go down that spiral again.
My university classmate, however, would not know that. Because I don’t write that on social media. They don’t appear as my Facebook statuses. There is peer pressure to present our lives as perfect as possible. We pose for flattering pics for the purpose of posting them on Facebook (guilty) while the unflattering genuine ones are stashed multiple swipes away in our smartphones’ memories. Unless it’s a death, serious sickness of a loved one, or national tragedy, such as Sept. 11 and the Boston Marathon bombing, we don’t discuss the everyday hurdles of our lives (guilty). And I get it. Who wants to be Negative Nancy on our friends’ newsfeeds? I get onto Facebook because it serves as my break from work and has interesting articles I want to read. If I wanted to be sad, I would just flip to the news channels, right? Yet, there is something to be said about the fact that the mundane obstacles and happenings are what make us human. They make us relatable. They make us more approachable. Whether we want to admit it or not, we feel more sympathy and better about ourselves when we know that someone else is or has gone through similar roadblocks we are going through.
So, today, here they are. These are the imperfect side of me, and I am proud of it. Because I get up each morning knowing that I will tackle them and be stronger and more courageous for it.