I was 18 years old and sitting at a young adults bible study. Having grown up in a pastor's home and with three whole semesters of college under my belt, I was pretty arrogant and obnoxious. At the time, my identity was wrapped up in bringing the shock value to everything. I was Kristen the loud, Kristen the center of attention, Kristen the fun and obnoxious and hilarious. I was probably only one of those three things, but I digress. I can't remember what I said to make everyone at the table raise their eyebrows, but it must have been good. Everyone was quiet for what felt like a minute and then one guy spoke up and said, "You know...I don't like what you just said, but you said what everyone else was thinking." And then the girl next to him said, "You always do that. You don't just say what everyone else is thinking, you say what we're thinking but are too chicken to actually say out loud."
And well if that wasn't the coolest compliment I've ever received. I'd always been that way, but to hear someone put it in words that made it sound like it was a positive thing instead of the thing that always got me trouble was freeing. That's who I was. The person who just said what I was thinking regardless of the consequences.
I'd like to think I've toned that down a bit. I don't say what I think all the time, but I'm not afraid to. I just don't sometimes. It mostly just comes out when I'm writing. I write exactly what I think, the way I think it, in the words that I think it. I just wish so badly that I was one of those people that can see the silver lining. That can face life with creativity and spin words into music and write something that leaves you feeling encouraged and excited and like life is beautiful and exciting and wonderful. I'm still hoping that one day I'll be able to do that, but I just can't seem to find the flowers in all these weeds!
I was scrolling through my instagram feed and stopped at this beautiful and warm photo of someone's perfectly neutral and clean kitchen and the caption said something about "such a happy day" and "twinkle lights" and I got so annoyed that I turned my phone off and refused to look at it again for the rest of the night. Oh your life is twinkle lights and happy days? HOW WONDERFUL FOR YOU. HOW DARE YOU HAVE A HAPPY DAY WITH YOUR KIDS WHEN ONE OF MINE WAS SCREAMING AND THROWING SOUP CANS AT MY HEAD FOR THREE HOURS. And that was totally not fair because this instagrammer is one of the most authentic in my feed and she does post the tough stuff too, so why couldn't I be happy for her happy day? UGH.
And then I found this magazine that was all about finding the silver lining and being positive, even when it's hard, and I wanted to relate to it so bad. The photos were so beautiful and there was poetry and creative writing and I should have loved it. I really wanted to! But I found myself rolling my eyes and snark laughing and then I felt bad because women poured their heart and souls into it and I was scoffing at it because I'm having a hard time. I SO want to be positive, even if I have to fake it, but I don't.know.how. It's not something that has ever come easy to me. I've always been a negative nancy, but postpartum depression had just made everything so much worse. Sometimes I feel like it's sucking all of the light out of me and I hate it. I hate it so much. I wish I could channel all my sad and drown PPD in it. It's so dumb.
I'm not a twinkly light person. Even on my best days, I'm not fluffy and bouncy and bright. But I wish I could be just a little bit! I get that there is value in being the type of person that is real and honest and isn't afraid to talk about the hard stuff. I'm not hating on myself, by any means. I just want to do some self discovery and figure out how to channel my sadness and struggles into something positive. I truly want to be twinkly lights and happy days and maybe just wanting it is a good place to start.