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Check-In #1: Frustration vs. Negativity

Photo by Kelly Sikkema 

It's been two and a half-ish days on my positivity journey. I must say it hasn't been too tough---yet. What really struck me on the first day was feeling frustration. Simply publishing my first post was terribly difficult for what felt like no reason. There were issues with the editor on my website that made the mobile version a complete mess. I went to share my post on Instagram and couldn't find it on my site. None of my blog posts were actually visible. It felt like a nightmare trying to fix the problem. At first I couldn't find any sort of chat help on my host site, but when I finally did it took us over a half hour to rectify the issues. It was one thing stacked on top of another. I found myself getting pretty annoyed and upset, to say the least.

The truth is, I often find myself easily upset or annoyed. I mentioned this to Goose later in the evening when we were doing a check-in on how I was feeling about my project. I asked him if being frustrated was being negative. I felt like I should be able to feel that in the moment and not feel guilty about it. He said no, feeling frustrated isn't being negative. Now, if in feeling frustrated I started to think, "This is never going to get fixed," or, "Why does this always happen to me?" I would be crossing over into negative thinking. I am happy to say that I didn't go there. Instead, I sat with my feelings and tried to patiently go through the process of fixing the problem. As we know now, I was finally able to publish my post to the mobile version of my site, and all was up and running.

Later in the day Goose and I were looking at photos on our phones, and he showed me a picture that he loves of me and my cat Lou. We are lying together sleeping on the couch. I looked at it and immediately thought, "This photo of me is so gross! I look dead and fat, and my hair looks terrible." I was instantly negative towards myself. I think this may be a problem many of us have--being overly critical and harsh towards ourselves. I wanted to declare my thoughts out loud as fact, and then stopped myself. I may have internally voiced something negative, but I didn't want to shout it out for my boyfriend to hear. That's the type of negative crap that festers and poisons us. This is where the project comes into play. I'm not at the point of stopping myself from having those thoughts, but at least I was able to halt it before the next step of repeating it out loud. I tried to get to a place of, "We are cozy together. That's so nice". Not the easiest thing because inside I still felt bad about myself. This one is going to take some time I think.

Yesterday I found myself in a very familiar place where I complain every single time without fail. Traffic. I was driving to Target (my most favorite place) with Goose (my most favorite boy) and yet I was fuming. I have a kind of road rage that boils the blood. I get so pissed at someone driving slowly in front of me. LA has ruined my patience, of which I had very little in the first place. I took a moment, took a breath and decided that complaining without purpose is, in fact, being negative. There is nothing I can do about the situation. Nothing I can shout into the void will fix anything. I know what it's going to be every time I hit the roads in LA. A shit show. So instead I tried to focus on being with my boyfriend, going to a place we love most. Those were two positive facts that I could accept. Again, this is going to be an ongoing challenge.

All in all, a few things tripped me up, but I was able to shift my thinking after the initial negativity. Now my challenge today is to soften my anxiety around work. I mentioned that my freelance gig ended (so I'm only partially employed), but I still have a very part-time job working as a tour guide at a very famous theater. For some reason the night before a shift I get super anxious. Knowing I have to wake up at a set time, get myself ready, drive to the train station, catch the subway on time and show up to work and perform makes me uncomfortable. It's anticipating any hiccups and perhaps a tiny bit of just not wanting to leave the house. I can actually get anxious about this days before I have to work, but the night before is my biggest problem. Sometimes I pace around the apartment, restless, mind racing. The only thing I can do to alleviate the symptoms is to go to bed. I try deep breathing, taking an anxiety med and talking things out rationally with Goose, but nothing works. Tonight I'm going to try to repeat only the facts in my head, and honestly probably out loud, to minimize the stress. This is one of my biggest hurdles and struggles. I'm hoping that by making positive choices in other daily moments will start to make the anxious times more doable.

Stay tuned to find out.


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