Reader QUIT: (Pity) Partying (by Abby Heugel)
Well, I should say that I used to be peer pressured into attending a lot of parties—pity parties, that is. And while there was time when I enjoyed them and even threw a few crazy ones myself, they’ve lost their appeal.
Aside from the emotional hangovers, the headaches, the time that they take—it’s because I’m tired of happiness being the minority emotion. I’m not talking about the annoyingly perky people that you want to slap after five minutes, but rather people who are actually content with many of the things in their lives that are often the source of such discontent for others.
These people are in the minority.
You can be happy, but not too happy.
This has become increasingly clear to me these past few months when I have made a much more conscious effort to stay mindful of my feelings, to make more decisions based on what brings me a sense of peace instead of pleasing an outside influence.
And I’ve quit thinking I have to make apologies for not shifting with the crowd.
Everyone has things in their lives and some are dealt a much tougher hand than others, but I find it’s often the people presented with the most difficult challenges that have the most positive outlook. They seek solutions, not sympathy, and take control of their own happiness.
But most people complain, and as soon as you don’t join in the gossip or the communal complaints—the pity parties—it’s right back to being in elementary school and hiding your secret love for books (because reading wasn’t cool. Nerd).
Maybe being positive about things that others are continually negative about is perceived as a threat against their argument that they have it right, they have it worse, or that no one understands. Throwing positive perception into their bag of excuses is most often not welcomed, at least not openly (see gossip rule above).
If happiness is a choice, then so is unhappiness.
That freaks people out.
Heck, that can freak me out at times and it’s not like I don’t understand.
I’ve had really low points. I still struggle each day. Being positive doesn’t come naturally to me in that I have to make an effort to stay positive—I do yoga, I medidate, I medicate (and I still want to slap someone most of the time). But for the most part, I work hard at it and like being happy. I vow not to question why I am at any point ever again.
And I can also accept that I can’t be happy all the time. That sometimes I don’t want to be happy, and I’ll drive the bitch wagon myself.
That’s okay, too. That’s life.
But if I’m happy and I know it, I refuse to never show it.
You shouldn’t either.
Abby is the author of Abby Has Issues, where she documents her brilliant insights about everything from manic meteorologists and a love of not camping to the pursuit of both personal and professional peace. By day she writes/edits for employment, but mostly she looks forward to the nights and weekends when she can write for enjoyment, do yoga, watch baseball, play outside in the dirt and plan how to either get Daniel Tosh to marry her or get “discovered” so she can do all those things instead of work for “the man.”
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