Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Year for Positivity

I haven’t written any recaps of 2015 yet, partly because I already took a stroll down memory lane and wrote out my resolutions and goals for blogging during my blogoversary back in November, and partly because I don’t want to dwell on this past year. It wasn’t… great. It was full of a few really good ups, but a lot of low downs. And my ability to blog suffered because of it, and because I was focusing so much on the negative. I’ve always done this. I’ve always focused on the bad; on the negative; on the parts of my life that hurt or brought me despair. I’ve always been a pessimist, but I’d like to think I wasn’t one as a child, when I was still ignorant of the outside world, when I was sure that nothing bad would ever happen and I’d always be happy. I think we all have this sort of innocence at that age. But it’s what we choose after we lose that naive blindness of the uglier side of life that matters the most. And to be quite honest with you, I’ve chosen horribly all the years of my life.

This pessimism, this need to dwell on the negative has affected so much of who I’ve been, my life, how I treat those around me. I’m not proud of this, but I’m working on it. I’m trying to get better, focusing more on the good than the bad, especially when it comes to my interpersonal relationships with family and friends. I almost let a really good, close friendship fail because I couldn’t be honest, and I couldn’t let go of the hurt and anger she’d caused me in the past. I had a really big crisis because of that in the beginning of December, and through no part or honesty of mine, we were able to discuss sophomore year of college and move on, and I was able to open up the doors I’d shut her out of since I left the dorms a long time ago. It’s not fair to the people in my life, and it’s not fair to myself to do this, but it’s hard for me to let go of what I’ve used as a defense mechanism against life for as long as I can remember.

This was never more apparent to me than in 2015, because of how my blog suffered because of it. When I talked about quitting back in August (and I had been *so close* to quitting), I mentioned that it was at least 90% personal, and only about 10% the state of the community. When I became more active on Twitter, and started connecting with people, I also let those around me affect what I said, how I said it, and why I said it. A lot of that was in a good way, as I’ve learned some valuable lessons about life, and I listened to discussions that made me realize I was a true feminist, but some of it wasn’t. Some of it, looking back, makes me cringe, especially from the past year. 2015 was so full of downs for me as a blogger, more than it had EVER been. And it took me a long time to realize that, if I didn’t at least distance myself a little bit, that I’d keep ruining this wonderful hobby.

And not only ruin a hobby, but make my Twitter and my blog a negative space that people won’t want to follow or visit. That saddens me, that I’ve used this outlet, but most especially Twitter, as a way to ignore my problems in the real world and let them follow me on here. By ranting and tossing out negative comments like they’re candy. So many times I’ve looked back and thought: was this really necessary? Was it necessary to tweet about how you quit Gilmore Girls after 5 episodes because everyone else was excited about the reboot? (In retrospect, I had been trying to say it in a more positive way, but I didn’t think before I tweeted). Was it necessary to subtweet about blogging shit I didn’t like, when it actually had no effect on ME whatsoever? So many moments I wish I could take back, so many I wish I could change. But I didn’t want to delete them, because I accept those moments as they are, so I can do better in the future.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m a terrible gossip, and boy that might be true, but I also like being informed of what’s going on because it helps me decide who I should be following, and who I should be staying away from (this doesn’t just apply to bloggers/readers, but authors as well). But you know what, I don’t NEED to seek out the negativity and drama. I don’t NEED to talk about every single thing or person in this community with friends (okay, not EVERYTHING OR EVERYONE, I’m not that ridiculous :p). Sure, there are those I dislike, but the best part of social media is that I choose who I follow. So I don’t have to see their tweets if I don’t want to; don’t have to go to their blog if I don’t want to. And I CAN inform myself without dwelling on it all for hours or even days. I especially don’t need to dwell on it if there is not one aspect of it that is truly affecting my blog or myself.

I’m still learning; I’m still trying. I’m not perfect, nor will I ever pretend to be. There will be days where I will rant about stupid shit, and I’ll probably tweet comments I wish I could take back. I’ll gossip, as I’ve done since my high school days; I’ll hunt down information like a bloodhound. There are moments where I WILL let the negativity affect me, especially if it’s coming from my real life and not the actual community. But I do NOT want a repeat of 2015. I refuse to have a repeat. Just these past few days, I haven’t spent as much time on social media, didn’t focus on the slight drama (I hate that word in relation to the catfish case, though, as that was something that NEEDED to be shared, and it wasn’t for any negativity-seeking attention) and let it roll over me. That is something that makes me hopeful for future cases, where I might want to let my pessimistic side come out and play. But I’m done letting the bad and the awful rule my life.

I want to focus on the positive. I want to be more optimistic of the future. I want my blog and my Twitter to remain a positive, safe space for people. I want to have a more happy and peaceful life, and more fulfilling relationships with people, both on here and IRL. There is a quote, somewhere, about focusing on the things you love instead of the things you hate. And I want to do that! This doesn’t mean I won’t post negative reviews or that I won’t rant if I find something I passionately dislike, not at all. But it means I want to spend more time on the stuff I enjoy, the books I love, the people I adore, the bloggers I can’t imagine not following, the outside activities I’ve let go of in the past few years, the friendships that could be better built if I breathe more life into them. 2016 is the year for some serious change, and it’s the year for positivity, and I cannot wait to see who I am at the end of it all. I hope she’s the best person she’s ever been.

This is, quite, simply, the only resolution I have for 2016. Because, at its core, it is the one thing that will help me actually make changes, not only for myself but for my life. And here's to trying! I don't have to be a saint or a sickeningly positive optimist by the end of the year, but I can try to do better. And as long as I'm giving it my all, putting in 100% effort, I can be proud of what I'm doing. :)