One of the things I struggle most about writing about positivity and overcoming body image issues is the expectation that I am always positive, confident and in control of my life. If I have a down day or find it hard to motivate myself or confess to struggling with the way I look, I am sometimes met with raised eyebrows and questions as if to say ‘how can you write about it if you aren’t always like that?’
I suppose that by writing about these things I backed myself into a corner, but at the same time, can we really expect people to be eternally optimistic?
In my opinion, the answer is simple – no.
Eternal optimism isn’t sustainable, healthy or even natural. If anything, I’d worry about the person who never had a wobbly moment. Whilst we can all acknowledge the moments of joy and happiness we experience every day, there are times when life kicks us down. Things happen that set you back. Are you a bad person for acknowledging those moments? No. Is it wrong to wallow in your sadness for a little bit? Of course not!
You can be a person who looks for the rainbow and still feel soaked by the rain. You can be confident and still have insecurities. You can have a moan about something and still be an optimist – the two things are not mutually exclusive. Positivity, like most things, is a spectrum. There are lots of grey areas, highs and lows, moments of doubt and moments of clarity.
When it comes to my blog, I often write about the things I need to hear or feel in the moment. The steps I have made over this last year with things like my confidence and my writing goals have been immense, but I am under no illusions that I am done with my journey. I still worry about my weight, my skin, my birthmark. I’m still learning to look past those things, to realise that they aren’t the most important thing about me. I still struggle with missing home, worries about my career, my health, my future. Those worries are as much a part of me as the good bits and they are something I try to reflect in what I share online.
I am not eternally optimistic, far from it. I still have days filled with negative self talk. I cry more than I admit. Sometimes when I work from home, irrational worries hit me and I stew about them for hours. There are days I struggle, days I don’t, days that are the best days of my life and days that I could list as the worst. Those days, those feelings… they’re all me.
It’s human to be imperfect. It’s human to have days where you feel bad, days where you find your progress is knocked back, days where you feel weaker than others. You can be an optimist and still hurt, still cry, still feel sad. I’m not an authority on positivity – I’m just a girl who is trying her best to be a little kinder to herself.