I actually typed up this post about an hour ago and it became so negative I had a massive cry. Which was rather cathartic – I think I needed it. But for all our sakes I’ve revised it and tried to focus on the positives, so here goes:
I came across this text a couple of weeks ago and thought it was fantastic advice. Since then I’ve been paying attention to how the people and the events in my life make me feel and it’s wonderful to come away from spending time with somebody and acknowledging a feeling of contentment, or even excitement (and to actually mean it when you say “let’s do this again some time!”). But it goes the other way too. Sometimes I notice that somebody who maybe used to make me feel good, now leaves me feeling drained and pessimistic. It’s times like that I’d rather just bury my head in the sand…
Since taking note of the people and places that make me happier, it’s easier to actively make plans with them and set aside a bit of time and money to spend doing the things that put a genuine smile on my face – you know, one that lasts for a while even after you’ve gone home. But what to do about the people that don’t leave you feeling so good?
I’m turning 25 next month, with most of my friends around the same age. As we’re all trying to find a balance between our job, social life, family, relationships and some alone time too, it takes a lot of effort for us all to keep in contact with each other. Also, with our lives all going in different directions, we sometimes don’t have as much in common as we used to. One thing though. that every single one of us is experiencing, is the doubt, the uncertainty, the fear and the melancholy that comes with your twenties. As comforting as it is to know that we’re not alone in this, it can be a problem when it too often becomes the only easy conversation to have with one another.
Sure, smetimes we can laugh about it and walk away feeling a little lighter, but sometimes we don’t have the energy to laugh at the world. Sometimes we’re just tired and emotional and can’t say all of the things that we’re feeling – just acknowledge that life isn’t always easy and we’re not really all that happy a lot of the time. Now I have no problem with anybody pouring their heart out to me – I couldn’t possibly, because (as you may have noticed) I’m a fountain of negativity myself – but on days when it takes almost all of your energy to put a smile on your own face, it’s hard to find enough to put a smile on somebody else’s too. So, I am incredibly conscious right now of the impact I’m having on the people in my life. How do I make them feel? What can I do to repay the people that build me up? How can I make it up to the people who I deflate? I find myself carrying around a lot of guilt and putting off my atonement until tomorrow, or the weekend, or next week… Then in the blink of an eye (and whine of morning-alarm-clock) another week has passed and I’ve done nothing to improve on anything.
As I type it occurs to me that these things I’m worrying about would never cross the minds of some. We all concern ourselves with different things… Sometimes I look at people fretting over stuff that I couldn’t possibly ever bring myself to give two shits about. I wonder how they can care. How they can waste the energy on it. They would probably wonder the same about me if they read the shite I post on here, about the things that plague my mind. And that’s part of the problem – we’re all so different. It can take a hell of a lot of effort to figure out how to deal with each other and I just don’t have the energy right now, as I find myself spending time with people who leave me feeling tired and irritated.
For example, I have a friend who’s going through a tough time and her attitude to this makes her difficult to be around right now. The things that I would usually do to help (be a shoulder to cry on, talk things over, try to make sense of things, a night in with junk food, a night out for drinks), aren’t working. I do want to be there for her and be supportive but the selfish side of me struggles to make the effort when she doesn’t recognise what I, or anybody else, are trying to do for her. But I can’t be one of those assholes who only bothers with people who can offer them something. My friends are worth the effort and I’m lucky to have them so I just gotta suck it up. I’ll keep trying to cheer her up, or at least just remind her that I’m here to listen to her tale of woe over a cup of tea and family sized bar of chocolate.
Ultimately, I guess we are responsible for our own happiness (boke – such a cheesy quote and I hate it (but true fs)). If I do my best to be good to the people I care about, I won’t carry this guilt. If I get off my ass and get out to the places I love, I’ll be more energised. If I make the effort to see the people who get me, I’ll not hate myself so much of the time. And if I continue to call out the assholes in work who think they can land me in trouble, they’ll think twice before trying to use me as a scapegoat.
*This is where I cut out a bunch of super depressing stuff so I’m gonna throw in a bit of positivity instead, for my mental well-being*
The things lately that have left me feeling fabulous are:
- Dressing up with a friend to attend a fashion show at the Galgorm
- Taking a walk in the sun in a park full of squirrels
- Seeing the leaves turn orange
- Listening to new music (especially in the mornings on the way to work)
- Finding a new show on Netflix (Hot Wet American Summer or something? Hilarious!)
- Booking a night in The Merchant Hotel for my birthday in a few weeks
- Buying a fucking fantastic pair of shoes on my credit card. I may be poor but damn I’m stylish.
- Eating sweet potato fries
- Taking time off work to go for walks in parks full of trees that are raining little crisp orange leaves
- Going to Co Couture in Belfast for the most delicious hot chocolate and reading Anna Karenina. The most blissful alone time in a long time
- Calling out the grown men in work who act like little bitches and watching them shit their pants and start being super nice to me
- Wearing new lipstick (dark purple, ofc)
- A Michelin star lunch date in Ox, Belfast, followed my shoe shopping with my most fashionable friend
- Trying out a new hipster coffee shop with my mum
- Seeing improvements every week at Muay Thai. I fucking love kicking stuff.
- Meeting new people
- Planning a trip to Paris
- Going to the very first showing I could find of the new Guillermo del Toro movie cause I’ve been waiting on it for months! (It did not disappoint)
- Taking the time to stop and look around, even take some pictures of the places I usually take for granted
Now I’m going to continue wasting my Sunday in bed, because it’s warm and quiet in here and I have WiFi.