Doesn’t it seem like every time we get through some huge obstacle in our lives, some new gigantic wall stands in the way of our new successes?
“Don’t worry, what’s done is done”
“You learn from your mistakes and move on”
“It does not matter, it is in the past”
“You need to get up and keep on fighting”
Sound familiar? Chances are that we have all heard pretty much every script given when things aren’t necessarily going our way. It seems like every few weeks, we all hit a spell of bad days where we are forced to evaluate the way in which we live our life and begin to wonder if bad karma is really the root cause of all our troubles. Well, take it from me, an expert on those classic bad weeks (yes, I said weeks) and a compulsive worrier, the cycle never stops; this is life.
I have been called an optimist for most of my life. I take full responsibility for my outgoing personality and my borderline obnoxious printed smile. Since high school, I decided that whether I was having a great or awful day, I would be that one person radiating positivity to all of my peers. Recently, I learned that my behavior had a more ‘official’ term: “Fake it until you make it”. Now this is true art. Granted, sometimes is hard to stay inside the lines and always keep your game face on for others, but after mastering the technique, you can paint every room any color you would like.
My #1 Advice: SMILE–> I don’t know why, but most people I encounter out in the world do not smile often enough. Strangers, shopping clerks, Starbucks employees, random people you bump into at the mall—none of them wear a single smile sometimes and it truly concerns me, which brings me to my big point.
In one of my earlier blogs, I mentioned that I was stuck in the failed internship frenzy that led me right back to my old job—a summer camp for kids with disabilities. I cannot say that I was not extremely disappointed in my job search failure (we can count that into one of my ‘bad day’ streaks), and my return to good ol’ summer camp. I can say, however, that it was meant to be.
I work with a very special population. They are those kids that tend to make others uncomfortable at first because of their appearances and behaviors. I still remember my first summer volunteering; I wasn’t sure how to react to all the commotion in the school, but I couldn’t help but to feel bad for their situations until….
“Do you want to go to Prom with me?”, one of the teenagers asked after 10 minutes of me being in the room. No shame, full swag, no problem. Ben handed me a flower made of construction paper and hugged me after my reassuring ‘yes’. I think that’s when I realized how big the power of positivity can be in this world.
If these kids, the ones who have to live everyday of their lives looked at differently and overcome constant challenges, can find joy and an optimistic outlook on their lives with just a summer camp dance, then what’s stopping the rest of the world?
We have every crayon in the box, yet we are hesitant to look at things in their uttermost positive light. Hey, don’t get me wrong, I understand things can’t be perfect all the time and we can’t paint every room bright yellow, but after the inevitable ‘breakdown’, it is crucial for us to reconsider what is good in our lives. It is not karma or bad luck, it is a way to show us that we are human and that life does go on. So turn that frown upside down and bring on the positive living!