There are too many new sad stories every day. Shootings and terrorism and cancer and what the fuck is happening to our world? “Are we on the brink of a revolution?” my husband said the other day and I didn’t answer him because I didn’t want to go there in my head. I try to stay local, stay present, stay in the now, but these tragedies creep into my life through the cracks; I cannot live with a blindfold and noise-blocking headphones.
Some people lead with their problems while others prefer to focus on their blessings. There are psychological explanations behind both characteristics and I’m not judging either, just making observations. I love to find typos in signs and menus; I love to walk into a hotel room and think about all the ways they could have designed it better (I’m not an interior decorator or anything, I just think I know better). In fact, I am by default more likely to see something wrong with something before I see how great it can be. Whether I inherited this trait through genetics or imitation from my parents is up for debate, but I have diligently tried to reconstruct the way I view a situation.
I do my best to focus on the positive, at least when it comes to my life – and to the broadcast of its stories. I have written about my alcoholic mother and my infidelious father. I’ve recounted stories of my divorce and getting fired (twice). In one year, I had thyroid surgery, broke my foot, got audited, had someone fall on me and break my knee, and got fired. (I got me some stories that year!) Instead of wallowing in a “woe is me” circular thought process, I try to find the reason for things – or at the very least, learn from the experiences. I understand you have to jump over hurdles to get where I am: Happy (at least right now) and Grateful (always).
With the over saturation of catastrophic stories, I feel a sense of guilt sharing good news. But that’s bullshit, right? Both of my children were precocious, intelligent, early readers and talkers and yet whenever they reached a milestone ahead of standard prediction, I kept those announcements secret, sharing them only with immediate family. I would certainly never share the news with a friend who had a child of the same age. I’m not sure how or why our culture has evolved into one so predominantly competitive, but that’s where we are. Ideally, one person’s successes would cause another’s inspiration, not insecurity.
I was brought up not to air dirty laundry, yet my mother and grandmother gossiped about everyone and anyone, speculating and judging even strangers. Another constant growing up – and this could be linked to our Soviet immigrant mentality, being superstitious, we were taught never tell anyone of your good fortune in fear they will jinx you and cause you to lose it.
When I started my blog eight years ago, my voice emerged, and I didn’t want to only write about the shit which was happening to me; I never thought of myself as a victim. Instead, I wanted to proclaim gratitude for where I arrived despite challenges. I got divorced, but I found love again. I had thyroid surgery but didn’t have cancer. I got fired but began pursuing my dreams instead.
Call it latent immigrations or plain paranoia, it’s hard for me to share the joys in my life with friends. I don’t want to risk rousing jealous thoughts. On my blog, I feel freer. Online I have an invisible shield only penetrable through the comments section.