Optimism is Easy… Real is Hard

Writing optimistically is easy. Saying you’re going to embrace the fear and be your biggest cheerleader is easy. Doing it is another story.

It’s harder to say that you’re struggling. Struggling with getting up in the morning. Struggling to put on a smile. Struggling to stay positive, or hell, even neutral in your life.

We all want to be optimistic in our own lives – we want to believe what we write (or what we say). But the majority of us really are struggling. Maybe we’re going through a break up. Maybe we’re trying to figure out how to live with someone. Maybe we’re about to go through a major life change and have no clue what our future holds.

We force ourselves to be optimistic in the hope that it will stop being fake. In the hope that it will transition into the real optimism – genuine happiness. If we fake laugh, it’ll turn into real laughter. If we fake happiness and positivity, it’ll turn into real happiness.

I’m very conflicted about this idea though.

On one hand, I think it’s a useful method to getting over things. But avoiding your feelings and not admitting struggle doesn’t seem fair. If we really are struggling, why shouldn’t we talk about it? Why shouldn’t we tell our own stories – even our bad stories – so that others may know that they aren’t alone? And if we really are struggling, won’t talking about it or writing about it somehow make it easier to move on?

Yeah, it’s uncomfortable and difficult to admit to people. It’s hard to say you’re not okay. It’s uncomfortable for other to people to know you’re struggling. But it’s important.

Maybe it’s deciding whether to be selfish or selfless. We selflessly write about optimism to inspire others that everything will eventually be okay – even if we don’t feel okay ourselves. We write about it to help others get through their own difficult times. But we selfishly write about our own struggles to help ourselves get over it – and hopefully it leads to clarity for both the reader and the writer.

So which is better?

Being selfish and fixing ourselves – at the same time making people either uncomfortable or making them feel less alone? Or being selfless and inspiring others – and tricking ourselves into being okay?

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