Feeling Blah

There is a pretty pervasive lie that almost everyone believes and that lie is that we should aim for happiness all the time. It sounds amazing and there are many people who make a lot of money on this lie, there are books, articles, videos, and a ton of influencers on social media that make it their “brand.” The reality is, being happy all the time is exhausting. That is not to say we are advocating to be sad, depressed, anxious and overwhelmed all the time either, but there is a time and place to feel hard things.

In our society there is a need to show others you are just fine, that your job is fine, your marriage is amazing, your kids are brilliant, your travels are out of this world and so your social media paints a rosy picture of bliss. We all know we do it, we only share the highlight reel with others and so another generation will grow up thinking that is what is expected of them. Don’t talk about health or mental health issues, don’t talk about disappointments, confusion over where we fit in the LGBTQIA rainbow, don’t talk about feeling overwhelmed…everything that doesn’t fall under the title “happy” or “put together” needs to be hidden. NO, NO, NO! Life isn’t a highlight reel, it is honestly more of a blooper reel if anything.

It is the moments where:
•Your kitchen is a mess, but dinner is amazing.
•Your child starts telling you enthusiastically about the latest book or movie they are interested in and even though you have no idea what they are talking about, you nod along because you share in their joy of discovery.
•You walk away from a relationship that isn’t healthy or simply isn’t working anymore.
•You decide that regardless of your issues conceiving a child, you will become a parent and through tears in your eyes and snot running down your face, you look into all possible ways to make that happen.

I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.
-Maya Angelou

Life is bound to have disappointments and if we live our life in a way that makes the less than sunny times seem abnormal, we are literally setting ourselves up for failure. Instead we have to lower our standards that we have created based on a false reality, mainly social media and reality television. Neither are evil or bad, but we have to remember that they are highly edited, planned, filtered and scripted. Real life is none of those things, it is messy, it is unfiltered, it will contain tears, anger and sadness, but none of those things should make us ashamed. Our feelings are valid, our stories are valid, our health and mental issues are valid and our abilities and on the flip side, our different abilities, are very valid.

Share your weaknesses. Share your hard moments. Share your real side. It'll either scare away every fake person in your life or it will inspire them to finally let go of that mirage called "perfection," which will open the doors to the most important relationships you'll ever be a part of. -Dan Pearce

So how do you apply this advice to your life?
•Share your truth when asked how you are
•Don’t cover up what you are feeling and going through in life in order to make others more comfortable
•Talk about mental health, take your mental health seriously, vote for leaders that take mental health seriously
•Make a post online when you go for your bi yearly and yearly exams, tell your kids that you are getting them, take the embarrassment out of mammograms and monthly checks, prostate exams, pap smears, STI panels, etc. we all have to get them, so why not talk about them
•Instead of feeling like a failure when you feel down and life frankly isn’t going your way, let the feeling settle, think about what is causing the feeling, don’t dismiss it, explore it
•Work on being okay, not perfect

We live in a society that tells us to do yoga to heal our anxiety, to just workout a little more so we can be thin, eat a little healthier, put down the cookies, sit up straight, suck in our gut, don’t do or be outside the norm (which still seems to be thin, blond, straight and white) and it has to stop. We need to change the narrative! Here is your reminder that you don’t have to look like anything other than who you are, we should celebrate the many colors of skin we proudly sport, everything from pale and freckly peach to a gorgeous obsidian and everything in between. We come in packages from short to really tall, some of us have 20 fingers and toes and some have less, some of us have 2 arms and 2 legs and some of us don’t, some of us walk, some of us wheel, some of us use walking assistance devices, some of us talk, sign, or use voice assistant devices and we are all incredibly amazing.

Life is sometimes blah and less than perfect, but work on finding your perfect within the imperfection and chaos, because that is where the real joy and real life happen. Don’t miss out on real life because you are so busy trying to work towards an unattainable goal. In the end, most of us would rather be a part of the blooper reel than the highlight reel anyway.

Wishing you all nothing but the very best.
Team SG