I’ve recently come to the realization that I’m a very negative person. To be totally honest, I don’t know that I’ve ever had a very bubbly personality to begin with. It may seem so on the outside, but I don’t remember the last time I haven’t had some thought or worry persistently gnawing at the back of my mind. I’m not a confident person. My hair is frizzy and I can never get the back to straighten or curl the way I’d like for it to (maybe in the future, I’ll need to marry a hairdresser so that I have one less thing to worry about). I’ve gained a lot of weight, especially in my face. So now, I don’t even like being in pictures because I feel awful about my eyes disappearing behind my chubby cheeks. I never do my fingernails, so every speck of dirt that gets caught under them is all too visible. My calves and knees are almost as thick as my thighs, so my legs have basically no shape to them. I have bags under my eyes that won’t go away no matter what I do. Let’s also not forget about my incredibly loud and obnoxious laugh, because oh my god, it’s terrible.
These are some of the things that I find myself stressing about at various moments throughout the day. But recently, my world has gotten a little rocked. And this has helped me realize, I am a very negative person. I never realized it before because I had someone who I loved very much and who loved me back. And I was so happy with this person, that I never even noticed the constant negative things I would say. I was happy on the inside, but I didn’t portray that on the outside. I was so distracted by my own happiness that I didn’t realize what I looked like to others. Now that I’m alone with my own thoughts more often, I realize how hard I beat myself up over things I can’t change. I’ve noticed that one small thing will happen, and I’ll dwell on it all day, sometimes longer. That’s not healthy, especially not for someone who is about to have to learn to be on her own for the first time in her adult life. It’s dark, and honestly, that’s terrifying.
So I told myself that I might have the potential to change this.
One of the little things I look forward to every day is Facebook Memories. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I like thinking back to the day my ex took that picture of me playing my guitar on the hood of my car in the Temple Mall parking lot because I heard a song and just HAD to learn it immediately. Or maybe I like it because of the laughs I get at all the cringe-y things I said 8 years ago.I’m a huge fan of memories, and when I was in high school, I used to take a Post-It note every day (this didn’t last but a couple of months, because I eventually forgot about it) and write something that happened, good or bad. My plan was to go back and look at every day the next year and remember “oh yeah, one year ago today I made over $70 in tips in a 3 hour shift.” Little things, but I just like remembering everything.
I keep a daily journal of all the sales I make per day. I set a goal to hit each day, and I usually have plenty of space left on each page (I’m not a very organized person, but I like each day to have its own page, it’s just easier for me to find when I’m trying to look back). So since I have so much space left on each page, I decided to try something. I told myself that every time something good happens, I want to write it down. I thought about going back to my high school routine and writing one thing per day, good or bad. But I wanted to make it different this time. So I’ve gotten in the habit of writing every single tiny good thing that happens. Someone laughed at my joke. I hit my sales goal before lunch today. The lady ringing me up at HEB told me I was pretty. Someone liked my dress and someone else liked my shoes. Tiny things, but still things.
Y’all, I can’t fathom how much better I feel at the end of the day when I do this. I find myself not even being able to remember the little thing that someone did to piss me off that morning. But you know what? My boss said she liked my hair in braids. My best friend told me he was proud of me. I got to have dinner with an old high school friend. I laughed. I go to bed happy and wake up looking forward to the day’s possibilities.
All that being said, some people just can’t stand people who want to help themselves.
Recently, the office where I work changed our hours from 8-5 to 9-5. That’s 5 hours less pay per week. BUT this new way of thinking has me seeing that that’s 5 hours of extra sleep, and really, I’ll take all the sleep I can get. So the day our hours change, I’m talking to my “best friend” and he asks how I’m doing. I say I’m great, because I feel well rested because our hours got cut down a little and I got to sleep a little extra. His response? “That’s not good!” Huh? So he starts going in on how there could be several reasons as to why our hours got cut. Basically implying that it was something that my coworkers and I were doing wrong and that it was our fault. Essentially, turning it into a negative thing. This is just the kind of person he is. He over-analyzes like crazy and sometimes that’s fine. But this particular day, I’d had enough. I asked him to look at it from a positive side with me, a task that has never been easy for me to do. At least I got more sleep, and I feel better! I told him he’s looking at it negatively. And then he responds with “That’s just how you choose to perceive it.”
That’s when I got irritated. I explained the whole situation. I reminded him once again that I’m going through a kind of difficult phase at the moment. So when I try to look at things from a positive perspective, which is hard for me, I would appreciate some help in it. I’m naturally negative, and if I surround myself with negative people, what the hell else is going to happen? Let’s be real. So I let it be known that I was frustrated about that. Because I’m trying so hard. And I don’t want someone else’s negativity dragging me down and making me overthink the wrong sides of situations again. I didn’t-and quite frankly, I still don’t-think I was in the wrong for wanting my “best friend” to be supportive when I explained that I was in a dark place and needed to be surrounded with positive attitudes so that I can work my way up to living on my own comfortably and being with myself all the time, and overall bettering myself. That’s what friends are for, right? I don’t ask for much. I don’t have many days where I have to go to someone and break down on them. I’ll ask someone if they wanna grab dinner or a drink. And if a sore subject comes up, I’ll talk about it. But my main focus is to laugh and to have a good time with the people I love, and forget about all my crap. Because in those moments, none of that stuff matters. The last thing I want to be to anybody is a burden. And I don’t think that asking someone to refrain from trying to convince me that there’s a negative side to every situation is too much to ask, and I don’t think that really even makes me a burden. I’m not asking you to drive 30 minutes to see me and making you feel bad when you can’t, which you’ve already done to me several times since finding out what I’m going through. I’m not asking you to help me financially. I’m not asking you to help me move my things to a new place. I’m just asking you to try to keep a more positive mindset while I work on myself, so that I can be an even better friend. And what was his response to my message?
He opened my message and never responded, a tiny thing that he freaks out on me all the time for, not taking into consideration that I have work and school and I’m going through some emotional issues, and I’m having to work on moving, and getting my crap together. And he leaves me on “read” because I asked him to not drag me down. And every time I’ve messaged him since then, he’s opened it and not responded.
It’s been almost two weeks.
I want to feel bad. I want to look at myself in the mirror and say “Now on top of everything else, you’re a bad friend.” I want to want to apologize.
But I don’t feel bad. I don’t feel guilty. I don’t think I’m a bad friend. I’m the friend that’ll tell you I love you, but still call you out on your crap. I don’t want to apologize. I said those things for me. I was not going to benefit from that negativity, and I realized that and caught it early. And I’m so beyond proud of myself for recognizing toxicity and cutting it off before letting it get to me. If I lost a friend over that, maybe he wasn’t a good one to begin with. I have to come first in my world, especially now. And I’m proud of myself for finally realizing that. And if others can’t accept that, and they can’t understand or cooperate with me when I’m trying to make myself into an even better person, then byeeee.
I’ll still be negative for a while. Like I said, I’m not a confident person. My hair is frizzy and I can never get the back to straighten or curl the way I’d like for it to. But I’m making attempts to fix my hair, and that’s a little step of self-care. I’ve gained weight, especially in my face. But I don’t look so sick anymore. I don’t paint my fingernails, so you can always see dirt under them. But I keep them short and unpainted because of my guitar, and look at that, that’s a talent and a hobby all in one. My calves and knees are almost as thick as my thighs. But they look awesome in heels and a knee-length dress. I have bags under my eyes. And maybe they’re there because I’m always tired. But maybe I’m always tired because I’m a hard worker. And that laugh, blech. But it’s a laugh. And every time I want to cringe at the decibel and the timbre of it, I think of the fact that someone somewhere was able to temporarily make me forget about all the bad things happening, and they made me laugh. Even if it only takes that negativity away for a moment, somebody had that power (sometimes it’s me, because let’s be real, I can be funny as hell every now and again). And they might have even done it on purpose because they cared and they wanted to see a smile or hear a laugh out of me. So every negative thought I have, I want it to be accompanied by a positive attitude from now on. And if anyone out there is not willing to accept a better me (or a better you, to whoever is reading this), who needs them?