And so originally this post was going to chastise
And then I was reading my favorite advice columnist Carolyn Hax and someone posed this question: Dear Carolyn: I recently read one of your columns where you said it was easy to be unhappy. Do you think it's easier than being happy? With now many years of experience under your belt, why do you think people protect their bitterness, anger, weaknesses and past traumas to the end, no matter what they lose? I've watched some people lose almost everything and everyone in order to hang on to what a friend called "their triumphant unhappiness."
Triumphant unhappiness. I like that. And so did Carolyn. And here’s some of her response:
There’s more. But we’ll just stop there. While this discussion may seemingly be based off one woman who wrote a book and needs publicity, and a filmed roundtable of Black women casually chatting about their relationship woes thinly veiled as a PR vehicle for Mr. Steve Harvey’s,
Yes, I do think it's easier day-to-day to be unhappy. Meaning, when we're faced with these little decisions about how to perceive something, it's always a little bit easier to blame than it is to celebrate…
And it's always a little bit easier to put that blame on someone/something else: "Guys are such jerks" is easier than "I missed obvious signs that he didn't like me," or "I expected him to read my mind and be my little puppet, when in fact I didn't pay any attention to what he might have wanted or the ways I might have dismissed his feelings."
That's why I think it's harder in the short run to choose celebration over blame -- you have to take responsibility for more of your own bad outcomes. "He's a great guy" becomes, when it doesn't work out: "He really is a great guy, he just doesn't love me," or "I took him for granted, and didn't treat him the way he deserved."…
In the long run, though, those little easy choices make life so much harder. When you're cumulatively pessimistic and/or fundamentally negative, you're actively choosing to accept a lower allotment of joy…
Now I know what you’re thinking, is this the same Rum Punch who wrote this and this and this?!? Why yes, I am. And trust and believe that my ovaries do hurt when I help out in the church nursery and the cutest three year old boy comes over and tells me he misses his mommy Or when I see
And if there’s one thing the twists and turns of 2009, and 2008, and 2007 - lol- reinforced for me is that it’s hard to create a life that works for you. And only you. That doesn’t fit into society’s rules and expectations. That makes you proud. And yes it gets harder when mama starts asking for grandbabies. And old people start looking at your left finger, then give you that sad, puppy dog face look, then pat you on your arm and say, "don't worry baby. Your time is coming." And other people between the ages of 21-35, follow convention, or fall in love or need a tax write off, and start pairing off - and you wonder when is it my turn Lord, Jesus? When?!? Living a life focused on the 'when wills.' The 'I don't haves.' The 'this is great, but what I really want is...'
And while you're standing at your fence with 'their married grass is greener' syndrome, the bitterness is settling in. Getting nice and comfy. You got that promotion. But Keisha got that ring. Bitter. You got that house. But Sonya had her baby. Twins! BItter. You take that great vacation, only to get Melanie's wedding invitation in the pile of mail when you return. BITTER. And here you go, clinging to this bitterness, this triumphant unhappiness, making it clear to all in your path that if this is the boat you're gonna be in then you're going down with the ship and not accepting a life preserever, like it's going to kill you to be nice. Kill you to smile. To speak to strangers, or ummm at least your co-workers?
Not realizing that this thing, you been doing, working 8+ hours of, drinking through, complaining about, banishing a potential lifelong friend to the guest role of winter boo, this thing that you hate so much, that is oh so miserable, that you're spending waiting for something else to happen, for it to really start, ummm is actually your life boo. Like for real. Not for play, play. And you walking around mean mugging it like it talked bout your mama. Giving it and everyone else the stink eye. The other day on facebook, one of my friends' favorite quotes, said to her by a random dude on the subway was, "Smile, it won't mess your hair up." And I died. So, can we Black women, try to let some bitterness go, stop channeling Tupac 'Me Against the World', sweep out the darkness and make room for sunshine and rainbows? Try to smile? Laugh? Be *truly* happy with what we got? It won't mess our hair up. Or our lives.
That's my time y'all! Happy Rum Punch Friday!