I’m not sure whether I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ve essentially been documenting my life (or at least, parts of it) on the internet for nearly a decade, despite the fact that my blog is only 2 years old. I started writing an online diary aged 18 - in fact, it was on my birthday that I wrote my first entry - and although that website no longer exists, I stuck by it until it shut down, and the end of my writing on a similar platform overlapped with the beginning of this blog. Before that, I had been keeping paper diaries since I was 14, all of which I threw away a few years ago.
One of the biggest challenges I find with blogging here at Wander to Wonder, is that I often feel the urge to write about more “personal” things (nothing too explicit or dramatic, just thoughts and musings, really), but I’m always aware of how public the internet is. I feel the need to censor myself, not because I have a huge readership (though certainly bigger than I ever expected!), but because I remind myself all the time that absolutely anyone could stumble upon anything that I publish. My number one rule that I’ve been sticking to since starting WTW, is to never write or post anything that I would be worried or embarrassed of anyone finding. I also wouldn’t want any of my current or future employers to find any inappropriate content authored by me!
The thing is, I love to write, and have always loved to write. Nothing in particular; although I’ve enjoyed writing poetry and even started a novel (that was slightly short lived…), just putting thoughts on paper (and screen) is what has always felt most natural to me. I miss that part of journaling, and I just want to allow myself a little more freedom on here to open up and let in a few such posts from time to time.
With that said, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about positivity, and how important it is. You know when you were young, and you used to chat with your girlfriends about the most important qualities you want in a future partner? I remember the most common ones, like loyal, respectful, hard-working, funny, kind… but if I’m remembering correctly, I don’t think “positive” or “optimist” came up very often. Maybe it was because we were in our invincible teenage years, when it was inconceivable that our lives wouldn’t unfold just the way we planned them to, and so the idea of needing to be positive when those inevitable curveballs come, wasn’t quite on our radar?
I used to be a horribly, cripplingly negative person. In any situation, in any relationship, I would always expect the worst and pound myself with guilt for not doing “well enough” at anything. I was under the impression that this was the way to go, in order to improve myself, to control any expectations I had of anyone or anything and avoid disappointment, and honestly believed that I had to be negative to be “happy in the end”. As if all my negativity would pay off, because I worked so hard at being dissatisfied at myself and how others viewed me.
It actually exhausts me, just thinking about it now! Because I am unrecognisable from how I was back then. I’m not saying that I’m a happy-go-lucky humming my way through life kind of person, not at all (E can attest to that…!) - but in general, I’ve learnt that having a positive mindset and outlook, both towards yourself and others, is the best and most productive tool you can have in your arsenal. I’m someone who likes to set goals and meet them, in any area of life (apart from cleaning, maybe, and other household chores. Sorry E.) - hence why being self-employed suits me - but I try my best not to beat myself up if I “fail” at them. Because truly, nothing good comes out of that.
I think it is so important to surround yourself with people who have a positive impact on your life, and who are positive in themselves, too. I don’t mean that they don’t have their own worries or bad days (or weeks, or months), but people who know how to pick themselves up are the ones I look up to. I choose not to spend time with anyone who enjoys spreading negativity (whether they actually do, or they don’t realise that they’re doing it), because life is too short. Simple as that.
I’m not entirely sure why I’ve been thinking about this so much recently - it’s certainly not because I am in need of picking up. In fact, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been and although I am so fortunate with everything that I have, it’s nothing in particular that makes me so. I think it’s just about accepting and being grateful for all of those things, as well as the knowledge that you can do better and you will do better.
I’ve spent so much of my earlier years looking ahead to the future, worrying, expecting, planning, without being present in the current moment and thinking about what I was actually running towards. Sometimes, you need to stand still to see clearly.