(I'll say it again incase you didn't read the title slash for emphasis) I'm Happy
This is something in 20.5+ years of my life I have not been able as often as I should have been. I was actually just looking at Timehop (an app where you can see what you tweeted, facebooked, instagrammed years ago on this day) and seeing some of the thing I said and people I hung out with and was reminded of how I filled my time a year ago today or more. I was also reading my old blog that I kept in high school. And yeesh.
When I say I like myself, I'm not talking what you think. This isn't about how skinny or fluffy I am or what shoes I wore today (really great camel colored sandals I got from TJ Maxx for $14!), or what grades I have or how much notoriety I'm getting for whatever I am doing. Because if we are being honest, I am heavier than I want to be, I can't afford to buy cute shoes all the time, I had my worst academic year of my life, and I am not doing much worth mentioning right now, but I still like myself.
The core of it has been eliminating negativity. You are all rolling your eyes at this point and wondering where your sassy Abby went. The Abby who avoided cliches and said it like it is. Bare with me, though. I am still here. Hear me out.
I was having a discussion with a friend (I cannot remember who but I think it might have been my mom, she's full of great advice like this), and we were talking about whatever boy or friend issues I was facing. I typically do not face a lot of these so I was looking for any advice I could get. This friend said something SO IMPORTANT. She/He/They said (something to the effect of):
~~~~~"it's simple. Do you make them a better person? Do they make you a better person? Do you make them happier overall? Do they make you happier overall? If not, it does not matter." ~~~~~
This is so incredibly important for any relationships you form. I am not talking about meeting someone and being "friends" with them. That is called being a good person. You should love everyone and be open to everyone as a classmate, friendly face, favorite bartender, roommate, roommate's boyfriend, store clerk. I am talking about people you decide to spend all your time with. I am talking your partner, boyfriend, girlfriend, best friends. You do know that they say you are a direct reflection of the 3 people you spend the most time with.
Reasons to be friends or form a relationship with someone:
-They make you happy
-You make them happy
-You're better with them than without them
-They're better with you than without you
Not reasons to be friends or form a relationship with someone:
-Time; you've been friends or dating for so long so...
-You're their only friend/they won't find anyone else to date if you leave (Note: this does not mean kick them to the curb and make them have 0 friends. Come on. Be a good person.)
-They're really hot
-The sex is really good
-Everyone says you'd be so cute together
-You NEED them
This is a hard concept for me because I want to be best friends and love everyone. I'm like here come under my wing and mama bird will make you mac and cheese an love you forever hey lets take a gram you pick the filter. But because of this quality, I also get very emotionally invested in people and when you become best friends with or date people because of the reasons on the second list, you're setting yourself up for failure. And heartbreak.
Okay Negativity. So something I've learned about myself is that I get really emotionally invested in people I am around. When the people I am around are negative, I cannot handle it. I do not understand constant negativity at all and when I am around it, I find myself thinking negatively and it is like this mind F thing where I hate myself and shut down. You feel me?
Examples of negativity I cannot handle:
-Posting articles on FB titled "Why Our Generation Doesn't Know How to Love"
-spinning someone else's positive news to be negative and about you. ie: "guys, I'm finally so happy. ______ is so different. He makes me laugh and sends me encouraging texts when I'm about to take a test and doesn't get annoyed with me and I'm just so happy!" "Well I'm glad SOMEONE is happy and in a relationship. Meanwhile, I am forever alone!"
-refusing to go with the flow of a common group consensus (read my Spring Break blog post, OY).
-Hating on every person on the planet
-tweeting on Mother's or Father's Day angry things about how your feed is clogged with posts that the parents probably won't even see. (EMBRACE THAT YOU HAVE FRIENDS WITH GREAT MOMS)
-General Eeyore behavior
I'm not dealing with it! If you are so negative all the time, it is so exhausting for me and everyone and I cannot be around it! I won't. You aren't enriching to my life and if you love negativity so much, I am probably not enriching to yours.
Something I have come to learn and love and embrace as one of my truths is LIVE AND LET LIVE. In case no one has ever told you, you are not the world's judge! It is not your role to tell people what to do and what not to do, who to be and who not to be. Stop complaining about everything. Stop dragging your feet and finding something wrong with everything. Your friends want to go to dinner and are choosing the place that isn't your number one choice, know when to just go and not fight it. Your sorority announces the venue for formal and it's at the zoo but you suggested Belterra casino so you immediately turn to your friend and say "what the heck the zoo? It's going to smell that's so stupid." NO. Stop that!
I'm not talking about real issues. If you find an article about...I don't know, say LGBTQ rights. Post it, friend! Slay them! That isn't what I'm talking about. Your friend wants to eat at BDubs and you're a vegetarian so you say you don't want to go there! Tell her! We all know there isn't anything good besides chicken there! See the difference between negativity and standing up for your beliefs. The same way being easy going isn't the same as being a wet noodle. Being positive isn't the same thing as having no beliefs. They're different.
Try it. Next time you're tempted to post an article bashing cat people on Facebook, or to tweet "stop making Instagrams about your dog's birthday omg", or to pout about which campus Starbucks at which your friend wants to meet, try to not. It feels great!
So you're wondering, Abby, did you just dump all of your negative friends? No. No I did not. But I do fill my time with people from that first list and less from that second list. If I do hang out with negative people, I now how to handle it. How to put up a force field to block it out. Kind of like Bella Swan in the last Breaking Dawn book. She puts up a force field and blocks herself and her friends from the bad stuff. TERRIBLE MOVIE. TERRIBLE BOOK. TERRIBLE STORY. TERRIBLE METAPHOR. But you get what I am saying. I'm not even close to perfect and I definitely slip up from time to time, but I really try to prioritize it. Here is the thing. It takes what...7 days to make a habit and 21 days to break it? Try eliminating negativity---from yourself and from others---for 7 or 21 days. It's huge, y'all.
This is how you are enriching your life.
This is how you become a happier person.
Mmhm. Okay. Blessed. Happy Summer!