Be More Positive
Clarification on what this newsletter is
“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it. People think pleasing God is all God cares about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back.”
― Alice Walker, The Color Purple
After the last email, I received some really helpful feedback. Two people told me that I need to be more positive. While I agree it is important to focus on the positive hence the quote above, this newsletter isn’t for that.
If you were reading this newsletter hoping for funny, uplifting stories from my life - this isn’t the place. Instead, feel free to text or call me or make plans with me! I am quite a joy out in the world, and my students would agree.
One of my students told me that the one thing he will always remember about me is how every day I greet him singing, “Gooood morning Jonathon!!!” with such happiness that it is contagious, and how he wants to do that too.
Another student told me, “Ms. Evans, you’re so sweet you’re diabetic.” He thinks that I am naïve because I can’t be that happy, and know about what is going on in the world. How little he knows about me! It makes me laugh.
That positive exuberance I try to save for my in-person interactions, and would happily give to you if you! Hopefully, I do in person/on the phone. If I don’t, I would also appreciate that feedback, too.
This newsletter is the one safe space in the world where I can express my negative emotions and challenges openly and honestly without judgement, without having to worry that the person who reads them will ghost me or not hear me out, without having someone say, “That’s just the way it is!” Jeez, I feel so much better. Not!
In my past, I used to repress my negative emotions or hide them from people until I would fall into a depression that I would resolve by moving countries or counties. I have done this five times! It works temporarily, but the same problems always return.
I have since learned that negative emotions are really important because they give you feedback on what needs to change in your life, as well as what you need to focus on. I have also learned that you cannot control others’ feelings and should not protect them from the negative responses they have caused in you. You are giving them vital feedback on what kinds of emotions their behaviors are causing!
Thus, I try to be as authentic as possible and really focus on both myself and the other living things around me getting their needs met.
I have decided that the art of life is knowing that the glass is half full and half empty, and learning to focus on the full part, while working to fill the empty.
For most of my life, I felt so afraid to share the negative thoughts and responses that I could only write them down. I dissociated myself from and created alternative identities to express them - Priscilla, Lil Clitty, Sammy Ginsberg.
I thought that people didn’t really care about me and only cared about their own problems. I thought that people would not like me or reject me if I made them feel bad about themselves. I thought that I didn’t have a right to feel angry or sad because I had everything you’re supposed to want: family, friends, good grades/good job, my health, my youth. I thought that love was conditional and lived in fear. I turned myself into a one dimensional character to meet the needs of my friends and family. Sorry!
I have learned how unhealthy that was and I now consider that lying. I needed to learn to love myself, even the voice in my head that complains and judges and critiques. I am still working on it. I believe that self-love is not a destination but a lifestyle.
This newsletter is part of my self-love lifestyle. It is where I sit down and I speak openly and from the heart with people I care about who care about me about what is really on my mind. This is a space where I feel safe sitting alone in my bedroom behind my computer my heart beat at resting.
You are a vital part of my support system, and in sharing here, I have also received two pieces of helpful feedback. I am not alone! Other people also have complicated feelings about Los Angeles. Other people feel FOMO and overwhelmed and are struggling to find their place in the world.
This newsletter is for empathy and validation! It is for giving you permission to vent about all the things that bug you. Don’t keep them in! Let them out. The world deserves to hear them, the world needs to hear them or how else are we going to know what we need to focus on and change. This newsletter is for trying to figure out just how we are going to be the change we wish to see in the world.
Sending you lots of love and positivity even though I don’t promise to write about it here!
Ps. If you were worried, I do have a lot of joy in my life. I love picking up trash with my Trash Friends and hanging out with my Treehouse Friends! I love writing in my journal and drinking my oat milk latte every morning. I love spontaneous walks that end up being three hours where I explore new neighborhoods and buy random things from garage sales that we put up in the kitchen.
There are lots of things I love, hell, there is a reason I still live in Los Angeles! Trust me, I would have moved countries by now if I wasn’t mostly happy. :P
PSS. After writing this, I realize I have been a bit negative. Being a teacher is really really really hard and makes getting my needs met really really really hard. It has turned my whole world upside down, and I am learning how to cope with this new set of responsibility and challenges.
I am grateful for your patience while I work through this.