Wednesday, August 1

Positivity and Dickishness

I'm naturally a dark, pessimistic, punishing person.  Unlike most people in that camp, I've had to work hard to change it and usually maintain a fairly sunny disposition.  But, here's the thing, sometimes, I'm still kind of dick.

     I'm writing about this now because I want to just get it out into the world so that this writing venture doesn't just turn into my complaining sad sack of gripes au digitàl.  Don't get my wrong.  I love a good complain and even more, I love a good complain which results in jokes (EVEN MEAN ONES, DEAL).  But I'm talking about preparing for the worst, expecting the world to smash your hopes and dreams upon hearing the clock radio click on in the morning, knowing that people will disappoint you, loving dark humor (I'm looking at you, Harold and Maude and Johnny the Homicidal Maniac), adoring that Shirley Manson calls Garbage fans 'Darklings', and really admiring dark decorating.  That's me.  Plus, I have a rigid adherence to fairness and right and wrong, so I will be incredibly rude to your face if you violate my expectations of equality.  I'm not saying that negativity always goes with an affinity to black, so just roll with me here.
     Amazingly, when I'm working, I'm outrageously professional.  It wouldn't be a stretch to say I'm two-faced.  I care about my families in a way that allows me to turn off the dickishness and the expectations of failure in humanity and be a truly calm, caring, and blisteringly patient person.  That said, as with any job, there are frustrations.  During any day there are grievances, injustices, assholes, and mistakes made.  It helps to talk about them and air the dirty laundry.  Here's the problem: you can't do that all the time.  Yeah, that's right, every time you see a coworker you can't launch into your problems of whatever bullshit is exactly the same as yesterday.  Because, when you do that, you become my grievance which I then need to bitch about.
     Here's what else, while I love complaining and while I love venting and while I love the dark things . . . I also love positivity.  I don't love positivity because it's sunshine and roses.  I love positivity because positivity means actionKnow what I can't stand?  People who complain about their boss having it in for them . . . because they suck at their job.  People who complain how cold the office is . . . and never turn the heat on.  People who complain about having too much to do . . . but for some reason seem to have endless time to moan in my office.  Positivity means having hope that things can change.  Positivity means searching out the right person to make change.  There's a saying in psychotherapy, "If nothing changes, nothing changes."  When you're hopeless, you don't care if anything changes because you're still going to a mopey wet rag.  When you are positive, you seek out change to make the situation better.
     Obviously, some things are what they are, but don't accept that fate without using your intelligence first.  Being positive is hard.  My kids tell me all the time that I'm the most positive person they know and like I said above, it's not exactly an act, but it's hard.  It's perfectly acceptable to be both positive and dark.  Positive and mean.  They aren't mutually exclusive.  And despite this seeming like a post aiming to validate my own functioning, I must add that the people I most enjoy spending time with aren't the constantly dour or the pukishly jaunty.  Balance is important and attractive, balance is beautiful because it means things aren't mutually exclusive.  Positivity and dickishness.