In the midst of lockdowns and isolating, I think we all have tried to remain as positive as we can, because quite frankly when things have been as bleak as they have been this year, what else can you do? A lot of focus has also been drawn to the extremely important issue of looking after our own mental health during this time. Now more than ever it’s important to know the resources you have access to, the importance to speak to family and friends and make sure you check in with yourself. However, with all this focus on staying positive, staying healthy in body and mind, I think sometimes this can almost lead us to hold back how we feel sometimes, particularly if those feelings are negative. Even prior to covid-19, I think we are always trying to put on a happy face; manifest good thoughts, good feelings, looking for a silver lining and staying positive. Whilst I am most definitely a glass half full person, and I do always strive to find the good in most things, sometimes I think we need to remember that we are allowed to feel something other than happiness.
A film I can think about that really shows this is the wonderful Pixar film ‘Inside Out’. It’s a beautiful exploration of how our mind works, how we show feelings and highlights why even sadness is essential to each of us. Even if you are someone who by all appearances ‘should’ be happy, you still need to feel sadness. I think that particularly during these last few months, we have probably been more in tune with these emotions. I know I have had a mixture. Overall I have remained my normal, positive self, but in times of loss experienced this year, as black lives matter became more prominent in the world, and generally as the gravity of the effects of covid have really started to show, I have had moments of not wanting to think about brighter days at all.
Another thing that I have thought about more so lately is loneliness. I’m lucky that I live with my parents and have a great group of friends around me, so I always have access to people to speak to. But even so, I can still have moments of feeling very lonely, as I’m sure many others have too. Whether you just have a moment of thinking that only you have the feelings you do, wondering where you fit in this big world or just feeling like you can’t express what you want to, to the people in your life. I know that being single has made me feel a multitude of emotions this year more than ever. Perhaps because dating in 2020 has taken on a new form in itself, but also seeing others around me in truly wonderful relationships, it can be scary to think that you may never experience that. It’s ok to admit that it does make you feel lonely at times to see a lot of your friends and family in relationships, whilst you haven’t quite found your person yet. I know I would never want to settle, so I am quite happy living the single life if it means I am better off at that time, but trying to make a connection with someone online and at a distance… it’s just highlighted that finding that someone seems a long way off. 2020 has also allowed more time of reflection, which can lead to those thoughts of what ifs and sometimes even regret. I like to think that my positivity and the people I surround myself with will always overcome too many negative thoughts, but I guess I wanted to write a post to encourage others that sometimes it’s ok to feel lonely, its ok if you need a little cry and can’t quite place why that is.
This is a reminder that for all the joy in the world there is to experience, to see and welcome into your life, there will always be days when sadness just needs to make an appareance too. It may not be enjoyable, but it’s just as important to allow that feeling into your life. I appreciate my sad times, because they highlight just how much happiness there is to gain from life when joy comes back to take the lead.
P.S… I am currently sitting with a blanket on my legs, a sleeping puppy next to me and a smile on my face.