It’s been a while since my last post. I’ve been regrouping myself and trying to get back into the groove of things even with a lot of setbacks. But here I am. I’ve been forging ahead and trying to wake up remembering that (1) you only have one life, so don’t sweat the little things, (2) the important things in life are your family and friends, and (3) do what will make you happy.
Sometimes, when you’re going about your day in the midst of something that is overwhelming (like your job, maybe it’s studying, moving, helping a family or friend in need), you forget what you wake up thinking about: “I’m going to have a good day. Keep things in perspective. Etc.” Well, today is one of those days. I woke up having a go-getter mindset. Then I began to get slowly overwhelmed over the day: sluggish, annoyed, and defeated. Nothing really terrible happened. I was just beginning to get frustrated with what I was doing in the moment despite my best efforts; I wasn’t happy with where I was going.
All of a sudden, I just felt stuck in life.
I thought my mindset would change when I got home—change of scenery, a place I was comfortable with. But no, I was even more frustrated. Then I came across a blog entry from a southern blogger who talked about why we go to the default saying, “I’m fine” whenever we’re asked how we’re doing. I’ve seen so many articles on this topic, and each one has felt the same. They’ve all combed through so much on this particular topic that I felt there was nothing more for anyone to talk about, really. But her perspective was interesting: the reason she would say, “I’m fine” was (1) because it was a southern way of life and (2) because, in part, social media and, in some ways, women, are a part of this. (By that, she means, we say we are fine in real life and on social media, because if we say otherwise once or more than once, we get the, “It’s okay. We all have those days,” response and then behind our backs, they say something else.) The blogger goes on to discuss that she’s tired of hearing, “I’m fine,” and that if she were really friends with someone, that someone should lay it all out there honestly because she would want someone to listen to her if she were to have a bad day as well.
Firstly, I don’t think it’s just a southern thing. (Now this is just my opinion.) I think it pertains to anywhere we live. I can’t speak because I haven’t lived all over the country or all over the world. But from where I grew up, to states I’ve visited, as well as other countries, it’s all been the same response. Furthermore, I could say that’s how I feel the culture is in San Diego, as well. I don’t know—I could be wrong. Perhaps being in the law field, I feel that you have to be professional and not let emotions get the best of you to your partner, firm, company, clients, anyone. Maybe other professions in San Diego are laid back and you can just talk about how you’re feeling with your co-workers. (Thoughts, anyone?)
Now as to her latter reason, in theory, that sounds great. I’ve always thought this growing up: that friends should be able to tell friends anything. But let’s be honest. She’s right about women being a part of the problem. I’ll also say what some are really afraid to say, and that I have been afraid to say for a while, as well. Some girls just don’t play like that. I have friends that I feel like I can tell anything to but then feel bad afterwards thinking they’re judging me for complaining, for having a bad day, for feeling crummy over something small (maybe once or maybe often). I’ve seen them talk about their other friends and say, “she complains too much,” “I just don’t have time for that, etc.” (I’ve been guilty of this before, too. Don’t worry. I make conscious efforts to stop doing things like this.) I’ve seen some of them gradually change not only in person but in social media; they don’t tell me about tiny things that bother them when they used to. I understand that we tend to do these things as we grow up, but the extent that some people put these walls up for the sake of “adulting,”– it really catches me off guard and a lot of me finds it unnecessary. Do you really need to do that with friends? Am I the only one that doesn’t mind when a close friend, no matter where they are in life or what circumstances they’re now in, just calls me up and says, “Hey, I want to talk. My life just sucks right now”? Shouldn’t we keep part of that aspect in our lives to stay a little sane and healthy? It’s a strange and sort of insane balance of being a friend, or so I’ve found. We like to appear to have it all together, we’re mature, we’re adults now.
Fortunately, I’m incredibly lucky to have a friend now, after basically my entire life, who I can call up or text any time, any day, and just complain to about anything and everything. I don’t feel bad about it afterwards. And I don’t feel like she’s judging me. (Sure, I say sorry for complaining, but she gets it.) And the relationship works vice versa. (I should also mention that my husband is this exact sort of friend, too, but a girl needs another girl sometimes!) That kind of friendship keeps me sane and feeling healthy. The point is in a man’s world where we women are still trying to fight our way to the top and earn our fair share that men earn, we should support each other at the most basic level — being mentally, emotionally, and physically– if possible,there. There are enough men to judge us when we’re feeling vulnerable, emotional, or even when we’re just going about our day feeling fine as a peach. Ideally, we shouldn’t have to figure out which girlfriend is on our side and will listen to us. Ideally.
But back to my having a downer day and reading that blog post: in a strange way, reading her blog and that particular topic made me feel better. I may not have agreed with her post 100% but I really appreciated her raw and honest perspective on the whole “I’m feeling fine, today” projection to others. It made me think that on days like today, it’s okay to feel down in the dumps. I always knew it was okay to feel that way. I just hate it. I hate acknowledging it. Who likes feeling down? It makes me lose productivity. But today, I’m not feeling fine, and that’s okay. Today, my friend is on the other side of the world in a different time zone, but she’d still listen no matter what the time zone. Today, my husband will tell me it’s okay to feel down because in my position, he has felt the same exact way. So it’s okay. Tomorrow will be another day. Tomorrow, maybe I’ll feel differently and genuinely say, “I’m fine.”