Sometimes I live my life as if nothing bad happens. Why? Because I try to focus on the positive. On life’s bright side. It’s not that I like to deceive others or myself. Not at all. When I decide to try to ignore the pain and frustration I feel, whether it’s physical or emotional, I do so to force myself to move forward. I believe our minds are extremely powerful and this has led me to convince myself that if I complain or focus on the negative, it won’t only lower my spirits but will also hinder my recovery from whatever ails me. It also delays getting back my health or optimism (or both). Also, how can I complain at all if I have a spectacular life and my pain is (hopefully) temporary? I have so many friends who deal on a daily basis with situations a thousand times worse, that I feel it would be an insult to complain when my problems are so small compared to theirs.
True to my philosophy of life, I have tried to keep the whining to a minimum and on social media I have shared pictures of what makes me feel thankful: the love of my family, friendship, sunsets, the everyday small joys that makes me smile, as a cup of coffee. The positive brings me happiness, even for a brief moment, so I rejoice whenever the sun peeks through the clouds. However, what I haven’t shared says much more.
I haven’t shared more pictures of my bruised foot after I tore three tendons. I have not shared how my face contorts in pain when I try to walk normally. You haven’t seen my frustration as I unsuccessfully attempt to achieve less than half of what I normally do on a normal day.
I didn’t post pictures of my tears as I bid goodbye to my grandmother nor did I take a selfie of my swollen eyes after giving an eulogy at her funeral. I gave myself permission to share some memories and then decided not to pursue the subject. My grief resides inside my soul and comes out when I’m faced with the reality that my beloved grandma is gone. Because you miss more those you lose as the days goes by, not less.
The reality I live in right now reminds me every moment that no matter the filters we use, whether when writing or when posting a picture, the truth is that there is much pain and frustration in life. That can’t be hidden. Maybe I conceal it with makeup or carefully chosen words to not depress others, but that does not negate what I feel. For someone who is used to running from one place to another, to not be able to do something as basic as walking, is an unwelcome complication. It slows you down, literally and metaphorically. But I know it’s for a while and I cannot control my healing process, so I’m in the process of adapting to my new reality. I am getting used to asking for help, to wearing shoes that do not hurt me, to doing less.
For now I admire my heels from afar (who knows or cares when I’ll be able to wear them again?!) and every little thing I do is determined by how I feel at the time. I’m not pretending that everything is fine but let me remind you that my life is not my Instagram. What I share is what I want to share, what I choose to see, what I want to focus on. And as I mentioned, I prefer the smiles, beauty and friendship to what hurts right now. Focusing on the positive, on life’s bright side, doesn’t mean everything is okay, but it reminds me that it will be.