Anyone’s who’s been following me long enough would know that I started off as a writer who wrote about raw emotions and lived for emotional writing. I majored in literature and studied words the way most people would never. I wrote proses and poems about dreams, love and sadness. You’d never have seen me write a practical piece of work on being antifragile and living a portfolio life. If I did, it would likely have been written from a romanticised angle. I was known as the dreamer, the idealist, and pretty much a Luna Lovegood in real life.
But that side of me dissolved over the years. These days, I cringe at love poems and hipster feel-good quotes, and I can no longer find any patience for fiction and dramas. I have become more cynical about life than I was ever before. But that doesn’t mean I no longer believe in my dreams, love and embracing my emotions.
I simply became more aware that reading about sadness only makes you feel worse because they validate your feelings. Listening to sad songs builds up the misery. And the pretentious quotes that try to lift you up only seeks to invalidate your feelings. No one should be told how they should or should not feel.
And that’s why I stopped writing about emotions. I don’t want to be adding on to your misery. Neither do I want to be invalidating your feelings, whether you are feeling happy or sad.
Rather, I now prefer to focus on the practical aspects of life. The external factors that we could work on to perhaps help us feel better. Thoughts and feelings are intangible things that we cannot touch and that makes it all the more difficult to change, so work on the tangible things we have control over. Workout like crazy, even when your mind says no. Listen to upbeat music, even when your heart yearns for melancholy. Go out for walks in the day and let the exposure to sunlight boost your mood, even when your body wants to be in bed. Remove the elements that add to your sorrow rather than surrounding yourself with sadness and wallowing in self pity. If you’re still feeling sad at the end of the day, so be it. You’ve tried.
Ironically, writing this piece makes me feel uneasy again. Why am I dishing out advice on how to make yourself feel better, as if to emphasise that being sad is something that we need to work on, while being happy is the state of mind that we should all achieve?
The pandemic has unexpectedly given me time to put photography and my other businesses aside to focus on my writing again and I’m really thankful for the break. (Actually, well, not that I have a choice.) It feels like a brand new start. I’m not sure where this would lead me to, but for as long as the Circuit Breaker measures are in place, I’ll keep writing and exploring new topics.
Anyone excited for the writer in me to be back?