Welcome sunshine faces, to the new A Cheerful Spot.
I have been contemplating the future of A Cheerful Spot for several years. In that time I also started and dismantled several other projects. Nothing felt right, true, and honest, no matter how authentic I was working to be. I now realize that I was splintering off sections of myself and none of it felt right because with each attempt at diving in and finding my “authentic self” I was dividing my self.
In an attempt to always be positive, especially on this blog (and associated social media), I have generally only shown my positive side, here and in many other spaces in my life, for a long time. I have struggled with this concept in terms of A Cheerful Spot because I know how nice it can be to have that guarantee of something positive. (Please Google “cute baby animals” at any time, it’s sure to please.) I’ve also shown such a focus on positivity that it has ignored the broader picture, ignored our collective human-ness.
The thing is, humans are multifaceted. Not one of us is genuinely, always having a great day. I have plenty of regular, mundane days. And stressful days. And anxious days. Days where it’s all I can do to get up, get ready, and get through a workday. There are days where by 4 p.m. all I want is a snack and a reliable comedy to stream. That might be all I have in the tank.
It is terrifying to consider showing my whole self to the world, to whoever may stumble upon it. I know judgment and this splintering of my self has been my way to shield the parts of me that I already knew have been found to be displeasing to some. Those are the parts of me that want to break the rules meant to keep people in their place. Following the rules has pushed me so far down that nearly everything has the potential to be uncomfortable for me. There are days where almost anything outside my home is capable of making me anxious.
In the time since I started A Cheerful Spot I’ve moved several times, changed jobs a few times, worked in toxic environment, been a bad relationship or two (and a good one as well), lost a long time friendship, deepened other friendships, adopted a pair of cats, and assisted in remodeling a house after stripping it to it’s studs (talk about stress!). Several dear, good friends have moved away, my parents also have moved, and my small network of people I care for on a deep level has shifted several times, sometimes because of physical distance, sometimes for other reasons. More recently, on top of all of that, there has been the further and highlighted division within the United States, rightful social unrest, and a global pandemic.
While many of these experiences were positive, many were not, and the timeline was overwhelmingly filled with challenges that pushed me down more than they lifted me up. I didn’t have the energy to find happiness. I certainly struggled to find cheerful thoughts to share.
I’ve come to the conclusion that while what I previously shared on A Cheerful Spot was lighthearted, it was also single-minded and disregarded the bigger picture. I don’t want to start a separate project to be authentic and whole. I want to do that right here.
I hope that you will come along with me on this journey. I believe while we are all different, we have similarities that we disguise because we’ve been told, in so many words, that those parts of us are not acceptable. If these parts of us are not harming anyone, then why are we told, shown, shamed into the belief that they are unacceptable?
YOU are beautiful. I am beautiful. WE are ALL beautiful.