Some people think I’m a pessimist. I prefer to consider myself a realist. A low expectations kind of gal. That way it’s a nice surprise when things turn out better than I expected. Although, by that logic, I’m often expecting the worse and bumming people out.
I’ve stopped doing #100happydays on Instagram (didn’t take long, I know), for a few reasons.
First, Instagram might be the heralding of the apocalypse. Even as a Twitter and Facebook user, I have never felt so self-centered as I do using Instagram. I am now the worst. Halting my morning walk to take a photo of a field or a ‘so New England’ rock wall, taking random pictures of my cat or my ice cream. It’s obnoxious. Plus, I feel stupid doing it. And I only post one or two photos a day (we can’t all be Kim Kardashian). I’m mostly happy about small things that don’t make for good photos. After a few days, no one wants to see pictures of my cat or the back yard or my food anymore.
Second, I’ve never really been one for pictures. Typically freshman girls show up to college with several of those cute quilted photo boards bursting with pictures from graduation and proms and Our Last Summer Together! I don’t have photo albums or scrapbooks of field trips or vacations. Maybe I should make more of an effort. Maybe posting a picture a day would be good for me, some kind of progress. Unfortunately, I unintentionally forgot to post for two days and thought I should call it quits. I wasn’t really that committed to it anyway. It was a thing I thought I should do on the path to making positive changes in my life and living my BEST LIFE EVER! I want to be happy, not prove that I am, or force myself to be, or make others believe that I am. It’s the falsehood of social media, promoting self-centered behavior, jealously, depression, competition, unhappiness with a forced facade of happiness. Yes, it’s good to find the beauty in every day, I agree. And I probably should do something each day to remind myself of that. But my daily reminders or affirmations don’t have any business being on social media. Sunday dinners with my family make me happy, but they’re for me and my family, not for Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or Tumblr or Snapchat or YouTube or DEAR GOD AREN’T WE SICK OF OURSELVES YET? . . .I should talk; I have a blog. . .
Third, I don’t even think I want to be happy for 100 days in a row. That’s madness, or a sign of mental illness, or you’re just a better person than I am. Frankly, that much happiness is boring. Yes, It’s probably nice to float along the surface and feel so even-keeled. I, on the other hand, enjoy a good melancholy or sad nostalgia or outrage – no, I revel in outrage. It’s great! Even fear – or, not fear, but the huge relief that coms afterward when you realize there’s nothing to be afraid of. Which you can’t have without the initial fear.
If it weren’t for the pessimists we wouldn’t appreciate the optimists. And there wouldn’t be such a huge market for self-help and self-improvement books and self-proclaimed gurus of healthy, happy living. I like to think the world needs my dark little thundercloud.