Lately social media is reminding me that you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t so you might as well do the things that make you happy (as long as you’re not intentionally hurting anyone, that is).
I’m reminded that social media allows everyone to express any opinion they might have and often times those opinions are expressed as if they are facts instead of opinions.
I mean, in the last week, I’ve seen posts from a commercial promoting exercise equipment (which I view as promoting health and commitment) being labeled sexist and tone deaf to a celebrity paying for holiday gifts for those who might be able to afford is being told she should go pay for people’s medical bills instead, it’s just proof that in this day and age, you really can’t do anything without someone telling you you’re doing it wrong.
Which leads me to this picture. This was taken on our year-long cross-country road trip #LIATD , of which 90% of the time I felt like I was doing wrong, after I finally let myself be who I really am and had talked with a complete stranger (something I LOVE to do and one of the main reasons I wanted to take the trip). It was such a fun conversation where we connected in a fun and meaningful way. I was feeling amazing and he had offered to take a picture of us when this guy in a pickup drove by, stuck his head out the window and called me a weirdo for having a flower in my hair. Literally, that’s what he said right before he told me to go back to wherever I came from.
So, my being myself and being happy and being (what I viewed as positive) irked him so much that he just had to say something that made me feel like shit. I seriously went on a spiral because it just felt like for the past couple of years, any time I did or said anything from a positive light was “tone deaf” or “unrealistic” or fill in the blank with something negative.
All of this tone policing and knocking people down for doing something they see as positive stopped me from posting about my trip and just posting in general, really.
It was a major factor in my starting the #aggressiveoptimism podcast because then I had to overcome this desire to just hide because I HAD to post. And as I have decided to take this month off from posting new episodes, I’m noticing that I’m really wanting to hide again because I definitely feel like the optimism/positive point of view is being crushed often.
I wanted to post this mainly to say: Listen, life can be tough. None of us can deny that. And, there are many many ways to view a situation. If I had my dream, we would all stop bashing people for trying to do good and positive things (I mean bashing someone for buying a store full of shoppers holiday gifts. Really???) but, I know that’s just my dream and just as there’s a million ways to accomplish those dreams, there are a million different dreams so I’m not holding my breath that my dream for the world is everyone else’s dream for the world.
All I can do is work on my dream for MY life. Because I believe hurt people hurt other people and if we all work on our own life, the world will be a better place. Again, a million ways to accomplish anything and that’s the way I’m choosing to accomplish my big dream of the world being a better place.
Sorry for the long, rant-y post, but it makes me feel better to write these types of goals down. It’s almost like a reminder of my commitment.
So, thanks for reading and if you are currently frustrated about things in life, I hope this gives you a little perspective shift. We can only control our own thoughts. So, where are you committing to focus those thoughts? (asking myself as I write this, not calling you out).
I’m choosing to focus my thoughts on being the weirdo in this picture with a big old goofy smile on her face, a flower in her hair and the sun in her heart because that’s who I want to be in the world and when I show up as that person, I get to have amazing experiences.
From this weirdo to you, I want to see YOUR light shine ❤️