The Real Deal

The Real Deal

My articles are usually pretty optimistic. That’s because lately, I’ve been cruising on this vibe of positivity. Unfortunately, not everyone around me seems to like or understand it. When I say things like, “it’s not a problem but a challenge” or “it’s all about the perspective”, I either get a rolling eye look or comments like “you’re not being realistic” or “you’re not being real”. It is saddening to me to think that people can see optimism as something fake. Because optimism is very real. It is as real as pessimism is real. Because that’s life. That’s the contrast in humanity. There are clouds and there is sun. It’s not always rainbows and unicorns. You have your occasional rainbow and that’s it. But aren’t the cloudy days exactly what makes us appreciate the rainbows?

Honestly, I’m pretty optimistic these days, but it hasn’t always been that way. My default mode is pessimist. And at times, I can be an incredibly negative person. Glass half empty and not even good whisky kind of person. And that’s okay because I don’t think we should have to be happy all the time. You don’t always have to put a positive spin on it. Grieve, hurt, hate things. But love more because you know hate. Be thankful because you’ve seen adversity. Appreciate the good because of the bad.

No one can tell you when to feel happy and when to feel sad. Don’t neglect your negative emotions. There is no such thing. Emotions are emotions. Cry, be angry, be sad if that’s how you feel. Feelings are there to be felt and to do something with. Having said that, don’t neglect your feelings of happiness either just because people around you don’t accept or recognize it. You should be able to express yourself. Don’t dim your light for anyone.

Life is a landscape full of crests, hillslopes and valleys. If your life is on a crest right now, that’s great, enjoy. But you will probably go through some valleys in the future. When you do, don’t put a veil on your unhappy feelings. On the other hand, please don’t get stuck in a rot either. Sometimes it’s hard to let go of what’s making you sad, because it used to be the thing that made you happy. That rainbow could be gone now, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be more sunny days. Everyone experiences highs and lows, some more extreme than others. But without the lows there are no highs and vice versa. Feelings are a heterogeneous landscape with an extent of emotions that are all there for a reason. Lean into those emotions, be conscious of them. Be happy, be sad, but most importantly, be you.

I don’t want to be a pessimist. Nor do I want to be an optimist. I want to be real, authentic. But also, not hide my happiness because some people don’t understand what terrain type I am on in life. Maybe we should judge people, emotions and feelings a little less. Just feel the feels.

Photography by LYD.