This is going to be an odd post. I’m going to mention some blog posts that I have read recently, but what I am writing about is not these posts, but my REACTION to these posts. Right off the back, I want to make sure you know that I don’t think these bloggers are doing anything “wrong” in my eyes. In fact, I think they are touching me in an unique way. These posts all exude positive energy — inspiration, gratitude, giving thanks. They also make me feel somewhat uncomfortable when I read them. This bothers me. Is the “negative side” of my personality so strong that I rebel against a loving way of looking at the world. I am far from a Scrooge or a Grinch. I actually see myself as a positive person. So why do some of your posts confuse me? Why do I find it so difficult — in my own writing — conveying something containing 100% positive energy? Why don’t I want to inspire anyone? Is this another case of me looking outward rather than within myself?
Schmutzie just started writing 365 Days of Grace in Small Things. I told her that I might try doing this on my own blog, but just sitting down at my desk to come up with an “I am grateful for” list gave me an anxiety attack. It seemed soooo phony. Am I really grateful for that slice of pizza I had for lunch?
Last week, was the birthday of Kyran from Notes to Self. Here is the beginning of her birthday post —
My birthday gift to myself this year was to celebrate over brunch with a few of my favorite people, who each went home with a little symbol of the sparkle they bring to my life.
It’s a wonderful thing to look around a room, and realize you can die anytime with the certainty that you will have a splendid funeral with charming guests, plenty of food, an abundance of kindness and wit, and buckets of flowers. Everything after that is icing and sprinkles.
Wow, she is such a good writer. And what a lovely expression of love for her friends! So why do I feel like writing a dirty joke in her comments? My mind does not know how to respond to such pretty words. I feel like the boy who only knows how to pull the hair of the cute girl in the second grade.
I remember Sophia used to complain that I was portraying myself as too “nice” on my blog.
“You’re not that nice,” she would say.
I think she’s right. I’m noticing that I have an argumentative side. Or at least I am acknowledging it as a part of my personality.
A few days ago, I wrote a post about “Buy Nothing Day,” on Black Friday. I made fun of the idea, calling it performance art over substance. I first heard about “Buy Nothing Day” from the blogger Gwen Bell on Twitter. Now, Gwen seems to be a super-nice, caring person, but the minute I saw her mention this on Twitter, I immediately started to argue with her, saying it was bad for the economy. I don’t think I debated with her in a mean way, but I’m not sure she expected someone to grill her over something that seems — to most people — to be a good cause. Just look at what happened in that Walmart on Long Island, where an employee was trampled by customers out to get some cheap TVs. Who likes rampant consumerism? But I just felt like addressing the other side of the story — the economy. And I like when people disagree with me. I sometimes argue the other side, just for the fun of it. That’s how you learn things. Remember, I married a Republican wife. I hope I didn’t come off as aggressive to her. I’m still relatively “nice.” I just come from a talkative family. I have family members who can argue for hours over which deli makes the better corned beef sandwich.
Doobleh-vey is running a series called “Inspire Me,” where she talks with other bloggers about their inspirations. It occurred to me that I rarely use the word, “inspiration,” and that’s sort of sad. “Tale of Two Cities” inspired me. “It’s a Wonderful Life” inspires me. My mother inspires me. There are many blogs that I love, but I’m not sure I have found one that truly inspires me. Am I afraid of “letting myself go,” so I can be inspired by another writer online?
I hope I don’t want to come off as a grouchy stick-in-the-mud. Like most of you, I struggle with marriage, work, money, family health issues — the typical stuff. I try to stay positive and have a sense of humor about life, but how far should I go in focusing on the good and inspirational?
Yesterday, I came across this post, written by a blogger/entrepreneur named Patricia, expressing her thankfulness during the Holiday season. I hope she doesn’t mind me showing you what she wrote. My intention is not to make fun of it, but to soak in her inspiration.
My life is honestly wonderful. I have an incredible family that loves the daylights out of me, who I get along with so well as a group or individually – each person is like a best friend, a mentor, and a role model. Our holidays are full of kids running around, traditions and good times, and every single person is giving and caring. I live in an amazing life in Los Angeles – I couldn’t ask for better, cooler friends. They are driven, smart, classy and charitable, among some of the best people I know. My apartment is warm and has everything I need. My work and social life are full of things that some people only dream to experience, and believe me, every time I speak on a panel, walk across the lot at a studio, or meet with a CEO or VP I admire, I am so incredibly thankful. My dating life has been nothing short of awesome in the past three years I’ve been single, full of strong, smart, and successful guys I admire so much (including one I’ve never stopped being grateful for). Then, this week, I reconnected with one of the single most important people in my world. If I were to somehow die tomorrow, I would have absolutely no complaints. I am truly, honestly, insanely blessed in every way. It’s incredible.
My mom once said, “Patricia, every time God blesses you, you give it away.” I answered, “It’s because I have so much.” I mean it. If you want to know why I’ve dedicated my life to trying to make the world a better place, this is why. Maybe this is what holidays are all about, to remind you of what you have. Without question, I am so incredibly thankful.
This post really blew me away. I had to read it twice, just to make sure it wasn’t a parody. Several thoughts crossed my mind at that time. “Good for her.” “What an idiot.” “I could never write this post in a million years.” “Why is my life so lame compared to hers?” “Does she really believe this or is she trying to present a positive face for business reasons (she is an entrepreneur)?” “Does this inspire me or piss me off?” “What would my readers think if I wrote this post?” “Why am I so negative?” “Could I inspire others?” “Should I inspire others?” “What the hell would I inspire them to do?”
Patricia, if you come to this blog, I would love to hear how you came to this point in your life. Was it always like this for you? Or did you need to focus your energy on positive, inspiring things to get here?
I’ll probably be back on Monday with something sarcastic. Sigh.