The other day, I unsubscribed from reading a popular blogger because I finally couldn’t stomach his writing anymore. It’s nothing personal against the guy. He’s a decent enough writer and has written some good pieces and in general, I don’t think he’s so terrible. However, after months of reading his posts, I had to quit for my own good. I realized that the majority of his posts were rants and screeds against things that he was angry about or things that were wrong with America/the world/atheists. After reading them, I’d feel angry, too – either at the writer, which is silly because these are his opinions and he’s free to have them, or about the situation in general.
So I quit.
I admit, I took a peek at the site just now just to make sure he was still ranty (yes, he is), and got sucked in for fifteen minutes or so.
At any rate, I get why he rants. There are lots of things in the world to be upset about, particularly if you are a human and are wont to be annoyed at things that run counter to your personal worldview. I am a ranter. I get angry and hold long grudges. (Just ask Hapa Papa. Poor, poor man.)
But I don’t want to be that way.
It’s EASY to rant and be angry. There is plenty of fodder for that. In fact, I’m sure my own writing has its fair share of screeds (dripping with sarcasm, to boot).
I want to be defined by the things I love and find hilarious and life-giving versus by things that I hate and find annoying and infuriating. Even in this space, this blog, I know I’ve had some depressing, angry, or frustrated posts – and I think those deserve to be here because that’s life, right? But I don’t want to ONLY write sad posts about my father or overwhelmed posts about my kids (though these do tend to be popular).
I want to be Real – in whatever moment I happen to be in – whether positive or negative. However, I hope to focus more on the positive. I firmly believe that what we highlight and repeat to ourselves colors everything we see. When I am in a rut of frustration, I tend to see only the annoying habits of Hapa Papa, my mother, or my kids. (Obviously, I would never see my OWN annoying habits – that’s just crazy because they don’t exist!) But when I force myself to stop being such an asshat and focus on gratefulness, those annoyances fade (they’re still there, mind you, but not so heavy and oppressive) and the whimsy and fun and beauty of my life come to the forefront.
I want my writing to be a witness to some of the pain but mostly, to the delight and joy of my life.
Earlier, I mentioned that venting was easy, somewhat implying that exuding happiness was difficult. That is a lie. A false dichotomy.
Choosing joy and hope and love and all the good things in life is no easier or harder than choosing sadness and despair and hate. I know because it is far easier for me to choose joy and hope and love than sadness and despair and hate than it used to be. I just had to re-train my brain to look for the good rather than the bad.
May you all have an easier time choosing joy and hope and love.