I’ve always been a very positive person. More than an optimist, I’ve been called an altruist.
I’m pretty happy-go-lucky; I talk a lot (really, it’s a lot), and I smile a lot. I share a lot of what’s happening to me with the people around me (some might call it overshare). I joke around, tease, get teased back, and laugh often.
When people ask, I’m always “good! How are you?”
Other meaningless platitudes, I suppose.
I’m always okay.
Until I’m not.
Sometimes, I am not okay. I get sad or upset, angry or frustrated.
Sometimes, I lash out or have mood swings or am simply going through something difficult.
When I’m upset or sad, I tend to shut in on myself. I shut down, I get quiet, I keep my head down (literally) and look to the ground instead of in people’s eyes.
Even when I really am okay, every now and then I don’t feel social and I get quiet.
Every. Single. Time. I get asked the same question, “You’re so quiet! What’s wrong?” or “You’re always so happy! Just smile!”
Sometimes, I don’t want to smile.
And I don’t want to share.
Sometimes, I can’t push down and shove away the daily anxiety and move past it as easily as I usually do.
And I need to believe that it’s okay to just shut off for a little bit and recover. Renew. Refresh.
Because I get the feeling that people don’t like it when I’m not smiling and joking and chatty and telling stories.
It sometimes makes me feel like I’m the comic relief, the token chubby friend, or…
not allowed to be fully myself.
Like who I am, all of me, is not good enough.
just the fun parts.
The older I get, the more I have come to understand and accept that it’s okay to NOT be okay sometimes.
I don’t downplay it or “just get over it” and force the smile anymore.
You don’t always have to be okay.