Last we spoke, I mentioned briefly that I found my own apartment. Since everything went pretty well, I’m happy to say that I’m sitting at my own kitchen table, in my very first apartment, writing this. However, I’m at a loss for words to describe what living in my own home has taught me about the world because it all seems like a jumbled mess when I look back on it.
For lack of a better way to put it, the past month and a half have truly been “the best of times” and “the worst of times” all at once (thanks, Dickens). It’s as if I can see all the good and bad moments pieced together overhead, aware that after each dip is a rise and each peak, a fall. And to be totally honest, it’s giving me anxiety just learning how to cope with what “adults” know is normal. It sounds kind of pathetic on “paper” but sometimes I just want life to be consistent so I can categorize it as something, wrap my brain around it for once. If it’s good, be good for a while. If it’s bad, be bad for a while. In life, the rollercoaster is not my cup of tea (which reminds me, I left my now very cold tea in the microwave 🙄) especially since I’m almost certain I’m wired to see the dips and falls a whole lot more clearly than the triumphant peaks.
I wouldn’t say highlighting those falls is a result of me being pessimistic. In fact, I’d argue that I’m fatalistically positive. Like so-positive-that-I-set-myself-up-for-disappointment-positive. Tonight, I realized why that is and as many of you know, writing is what I do when I realize stuff so here it is.
On the spectrum of positivity, I’m more idealistic than I am optimistic. And before you say, uh what, I’d like to point out that there’s a HUGE difference. Stay with me.
The optimist sees the dips and falls but can make peace with them. They elevate them. They put positive twists on everything. They find good fortune in awful situations and more importantly, they know how to COPE.
The idealist, on the other hand, imagines everything as an incredible fantasy before it even unfolds. Big changes in their lives are marked with excessive use of the phrases “this is going to be perfect” and “oh my gosh, this is going to make my life so much easier.” The idealist, is so positive they expect an actual fairytale complete with sunshine and rainbows to spring up in the middle of reality. To the idealist, the world would already be fair, the house would already be perfect, everyone would already know what they want out of life and everything would be fine and dandy.
Being an idealist is tragic because when turmoil surfaces, they panic. They want good so badly that they have no idea how to cope to make real life changes. Eventually, they get so stressed out about it that they run in the opposite direction, convinced that their fairytale is the other way. Everywhere they run, the world doesn’t quite measure up and that’s basically me in a nut shell. I have a hard time seeing the journey for what it is so unhappiness abounds.
You see, I thought my new job and this new apartment would help me figure out who I am but I just feel more lost. Because now, I live in a house with my cat. I spend all of my time cooking, cleaning, sleeping, eating, wishing I didn’t have to go to the grocery store this week. I wake up in the morning, go to work, and come home to do it all over again. In between all that, there’s moments where I feel really inspired to reach my goals and other moments where I have mind numbing anxiety and everything seems terrible. In the thick of it all, who am I?
Looking back on the “best of times” and the “worst of times,” I see how the money couldn’t buy the happiness or the fulfillment I was looking for. The house couldn’t build the friendships I was hoping I’d have. The milestones couldn’t fix what was broken, even though for a moment I felt like they could.
I miss me, happy, lively, and free, no vices. I miss the true fairytale where nothing is perfect but everything is okay. The moments where you breathe deeper and feel gratitude for just being alive. The sun coming through the sunroof on a warm Summer day. The taste of Wawa coffee on a cold day in March. Because the reality is: not everything is going to be perfect but it doesn’t mean it’s all terrible, awful, bad. I’ll find my way to the ending I’m looking for, even if it means coping with the hard parts of the story I don’t like.
What I’m starting to ACTUALLY understand, like in-practice-understand, is that the dark parts are just as much apart of the fairytale as the part in the end where the princess-who-always-looks-flawless marries the slightly questionable prince-guy-who’s-a-little-oblivious-to-the-whole-tragedy-of-the-story. Not that I’m saying my fairytale looks that way (I’d like to think marrying the “prince-guy” won’t be my peak), but it speaks to how often we place emphasis on this glittering ending and forget to live and learn from the terrifying middle.
Just because my fairytale “isn’t working out right now,” doesn’t mean it’s not going to be okay. A few bumps in the road is no reason to stop believing you’ll make it. Adults have to dream too, you know.
All my love,
Follow me on Twitter (@shawna_117) and use #ProductOfTheInformationAge or #ShareWithShawna to tell me what your fairytale ending looks like and how hard you work to get there. While Tweeting, raise your hands (emojis) if you’re an idealist too! Also, follow me on Instagram (@shawna__robertson) because I want to get back into that someway, somehow. Pictures will be coming, I swear.
And as usual, more posts to come but don’t be mad if I don’t post for awhile or you don’t get the content you were hoping to see. I’m still learning how to put my dreams first and I hope, above everything else, that is what this incredibly candid and weird blog inspires you to do.
If you’re new here, check out my About page for more information on my goal to make the world of technology and the lives of the people who use it a more mindful and supportive place. Don’t let technology and our culture of cutthroat comparison steal your sunshine. Let’s learn together, one Instagram post at a time.