It’s June and it’s finally starting to feel like summer in Cleveland.
And here too is your friendly reminder
to lighten the fuck up.
No really, just relax.
Say hi to strangers.
Compliment people. Genuinely.
Watch the sun rise.
Let that idiot in the Subaru in your lane.
Tell people to have a nice day — and sincerely mean it.
For most of my life, I’ve always had this approachable aura about me. No really — in a crowd full of people, I swear I am always the one strangers are drawn to. At the gym, at the grocery store, even at the office. I’m always the one who gets asked directions. People always try to make small talk with me in the elevator. Things like that. I think I just have one of those faces that people know they can trust. Or something like that.
So what did this cruel, bleak, Cleveland winter do to me? It hardened me. It depressed my spirit. It made me snippy with people — even ones I like! It made me feel like if I could just master the RBF [resting bitch face] and look unapproachable, people will stop trying to engage with me. Surprise: it didn’t work. It just made me crankier when those people inevitably did try and engage with me. What an unfortunate way to go about your every day.
Cue summer vibes: right on time. It wasn’t a conscious decision I made, hell, I didn’t even realize how negative I really had been until I started writing this. But something in me switched. It started with small talk in the copy room at work, with that lady that always traps you in conversation when you’re only half listening. I had a nice, quick conversation with her then I walked away. Then it carried onto the road. I am a petty, passive aggressive driver when I want to be (read: all the time). In the last few days I have been leaving earlier so as to not be in any rush, and letting the crazy people do their own crazy thing behind their own wheel. I realized there is no use in getting myself in a mess or all worked up just because the turd in the BMW wants to cut me off. Something so simple, yet it felt so freeing. New people in my class at the gym? Instead of judging them and/or silently scathing them for being in my personal space… Oh, here you go–you just need a light set of weights, a heavy set, and a mat. No, you don’t want to get that close to me, we move around a lot. You’re doing great!
Life is so much easier (and less stressful !!!) when you are nicer. Nicer to other people, and nicer to yourself. It’s okay to relax. Things will work out. It’s easy to say and to practice when the sun is out and everything is green and beautiful. I just hope this feeling of positivity carries with me throughout all seasons.