September has been the most emotional month of this year for me (as it seems to be most years), from highs to lows to happiness to anxiety and sadness. Transparency and authenticity are objectives I will always strive for in this space I’ve created here. But I am a private person—as much as any blogger can actually be—so I struggle with how much to say!
So I’ll start with this: It feels lately as if I’m having a kind of emotional mini-crisis, unless crisis is too strong a word for what this is (jury’s still out). I hear Bjork singing in my head today, “There’s more to life than this.” There must be more to life than looking forward to bedtime in the hope you actually sleep well that night. There must be more to life than doing the same job, day in and day out, and hoping for a decent pay increase that’s better than last year’s, because we all know money solves everything. There must be more to life than finding enjoyment in drinking a glass of wine with dinner because it helps you relax, and you really need to relax. There must be more to life than shopping, than keeping busy and distracted by chores, than list-making. There must be more to life than telling yourself that if you just make it to “X” month or day, things will get better.
I am a cynic and a pessimist, and I don’t want to be anymore. I am exhausted by my constant negative thoughts (about myself and my life, not about others). I have plenty of things for which to be grateful and insanely happy! Yes, I have had some sadness, but no more than anyone else I know (I think). Overall, there has been more to celebrate than to grieve. But I still find myself unsatisfied.
There’s a very loud voice in my head that says, “You ungrateful bitch, you don’t even have a challenging existence! Who do you think you are?! Why are you so miserable? Why can’t you just be happy?” And the voice wins, most days, and I am awash in guilt over all my “venting” and whining and general anxiety and moodiness. I worry that my friends find me annoying and pathetic. I worry, even, that my Twitter followers will unfollow me if I keep it up. I try to contain my negativity, yet somehow it spills out anyway. My biggest fear in life is abandonment (and I have years of therapy under my belt to back this up).
I know I’m probably being too hard on myself, that some of this is just human nature and I should cut myself some slack, especially since this time of year always has the potential to turn me into a slobbering mess. But the other side of the equation, for me, is that I don’t want Jax to do this to himself when he’s older. Nor do I want him to think of me as a total downer. I want to be better for him, if not first for myself.
So I’m embarking on something new this week in the realm of personal development. I’m trying to suspend my disbelief and take a friend’s advice that may help me let go of some of my negativity. I’m silencing the mockery I hear in my own head, and I’m concentrating on philosophies that seem far out but also soothing. I’m reading about how to fall in love with myself, because I don’t have a freaking clue how to do this (do you know?) but I do know, from what I’ve been reading so far, it’s apparently quite important to do. I read that good things will come to me if I can just learn how to love myself.
I need good things to come to me–so shut up, cynical self!
This morning, my day began (well before my alarm clock) with some YouTube videos my friend emailed to me. And from there, I caught up on some recent blog posts by Brene Brown. I have decided to read her books, and soon. I googled—don’t laugh—”positivity.” I revisited one of my favorite, and often forgotten, websites, Marc and Angel Hack Life. I stayed off Twitter most of the day, until I retweeted the hell out of Marc and Angel’s tweets because so many of them resonated with me.
I’m trying. It isn’t easy, but it is necessary.
Tonight I’m going to stop at a drugstore and buy a notebook. Having been a writer for 25 of my 35 years, buying a new notebook is meaningful and sometimes life-changing for me. It signifies a brand new start, and every notebook I’ve ever begun has always begun positively, full of energy and hope. And so in the spirit of a fresh start, and because there’s no denying how much I love to write and how introspective I am, I’m going to fill this new notebook with snippets of all the things I’m reading and learning–but without any pressure to make it pretty. The objective is simple–writing things down or taping them into a central location will help me remember them and keep them handy for the bad days, when I’m going to flip through the notebook and find comfort there, I hope.
Do you keep a “positivity notebook,” for lack of a better term? Or, can you recommend some uplifting, positive, personal development-but-not-in-a-cheesy-way websites or books I shouldn’t miss?