I'm frequently told that I am an idealist, and a hopeless romantic to an extent. After reading this, one might assume that not only am I those things, but that I also have a way of looking at life through rose-colored glasses and not staying in touch with reality. Perhaps that's true, and perhaps it isn't.
Everywhere I look, it's as though every media avenue is filled with some kind of anger, bitterness, pessimism, or a combination of the three. I understand that news outlets have to report the facts and at times, the facts are not always pretty. I understand that gossip magazines, TV shows and movies have to sensationalize unfortunate events or concepts in order to have a good story, and therefore make money.
But what pains me and frustrates me the most is not current events, but what I encounter on Facebook, Twitter and even personal conversations. It's as though every status or update has to do with something negative; sometimes it pertains to relationships and other times it's another way of saying "my life just sucks!"
And it causes me to ask, why do people so often choose to focus on the good as opposed to the bad? Is it because that most of the time, it's the easier thing to do? Is it about wanting to get a reaction out of friends and/or family? Or does one genuinely see the internet as some sort of diary that's safe enough to broadcast the most intimate details and feelings to the world?
I really shouldn't be one to talk about this particular subject. It wasn't too long ago that I could have called myself a "Debbie Downer" of sorts. I was angry and upset, and I didn't know how to properly deal with it. As a result, I had extremely distant relationships with several family members and had trouble with making genuine friendships. It was not the way to live, but I didn't know of any other way.
While everybody goes through rough patches, many where one must take the time to grieve and process what happened, there is a point where the self-pity must end. I absolutely hate it when someone says that they'll never be happy because of so and so or such and such; there comes a point where the only reason you aren't happy is because you're not letting yourself be happy.
If there's one defining lesson I have learned, particularly this year, is that it's not simply about being happy or not being happy. It's about the energy that one projects as a result of those emotions. Regardless if it's positive or negative, the kind of energy that you emit around other people and in the world will eventually come back to you.
There are definitely people in my life that have some kind of aura, where being around them automatically makes me smile, both on the inside and out. Their attitude is almost contagious, where it motivates me not to imitate them exactly, but to certainly be a better person. They're the kind of people with hearts of gold, and they will someday change the world.
On the other side, there are also people whom I have never seen actually smile, laugh or act like they have joy in their life. They're always down about something and are frequently quick to chime in with a negative or sarcastic comment. I do believe in being realistic, especially in situations involving life or death, I will not allow myself to be consumed by the worst that could possibly happen.
Again, there is not one person out there who doesn't struggle or fight a hard battle. But when one chooses to sit and wallow in their pain instead of trying to move forward, it can become self-destructive. That self-destruction will affect whomever is involved, whether it be that the outsiders are desperate to help that person, or they just feel like they're being dragged down to the bottom as well.
It wasn't until recently that I began to understand the gravity of that type of situation; that when you find yourself in the middle of it, sometimes it's best to try and distance yourself from that person, at least emotionally. There is only so much you can do to help someone, especially if they don't want to change. There is no use trying to better somebody if you lose yourself in the process.
I made a vow to myself this year that I wasn't going to take anything or anyone for granted. I may come off as happy-go-lucky a lot of the time, but you know what? I am a sentimental person. Some will understand that, and some won't. Yet, if I'm being the best person that I possibly can be, then why worry about it?