Embracing the Positive
This past month is turning out to be one of favorite months of college thus far. I’ve spent my time crafting amazing moments and milestones: I turned in my thesis, entered my final three weeks of school, saw Lorde perform (and as a result died and went to Heaven), and made some beautiful memories with my loved ones. Oh, and how could I forget the fact that the sun has been shining, the birds singing, and the flowers blooming? Plus, on top of all of that, I’ve been getting in great workouts, feeling less bloated, and feeling great in my own skin. To be honest, I feel like a princess in a fairytale, except an updated twenty-first century version. Picture Isla Fisher’s happiness at the start of Enchanted before the prince rescues her and her step-mom tries to kill her. Oh and before the whole part of her turning human and roaming the streets of New York with rats as her sidekicks. That’s where I am right about now.
But, just like when I watch the beginning of Enchanted, I can’t help feeling like something is about to go terribly wrong. I keep questioning areas of my life, almost as if I am trying to create problems. There is no way all the flowers can be this pretty- it definitely will start raining any second now. Or, tomorrow I am going to wake up feeling more bloated than ever, so physically uncomfortable that it will be hard for me to get through the day without feeling self-conscious.
Why do I do this? Why do we do this? Why is it instinctual to try and “protect” ourselves from all the good by conjuring up the bad?
I believe in being prepared for difficult moments, that is why I have spent a lot of time over the past few years figuring out how to best manage my stress and anxiety. That is why I practice positive affirmations- so anytime I feel upset with my appearance, I have a mantra to return to, which will make me feel a little bit stronger. And this is definitely why every time a friend and I get into an argument, I have learned to take a step back and gather my thoughts before responding. I have prepared for all of these moments through trial and error in order to minimize the damage and pain they cause.
But preparing is hugely different than expecting. Prepared means you have tools in your garage downstairs ready if you need to replace a door. The tools are in the back of your mind, ready if you need them, but not so prevailing that you are worried the door is going to fall. Expecting means you have those tools in your pocket at all times, a hard hat on your head, and your hands outstretched ready to catch every single door you walk through, as if they are going to fall at any moment. You are constantly paranoid something is going to happen, so much to the point that you can’t enjoy the moment.
In my mind, it’s okay to be prepared, but I am going to work harder on not expecting. I want to try and embrace the positive, all of this good that is in my life. Because we all deserve to be happy and blissful and sometimes this comes in waves, so why not now? Why do I have to question it? And yeah, I know things won’t be peachy keen forever, but I don’t want to miss out on anything because I anticipate the worst. I want to build memories, especially during this time of my life when everything is about to start changing. Now, I’m not saying that we should ignore the negative emotions and pretend everything is always okay- embracing your emotions and expressing them can be quite healthy. Rather, when things are good, I want to try and just let things be good.
So that’s my current goal, and every day I am going to work on it, bit by bit! Maybe it will come through journaling, posting, or even just taking a moment at the end of the day to reflect and think about the beauty in the world.
What are your current goals? Do you try and embrace the positive or does it make you anxious?