I saw this print online yesterday-
And while I question the accuracy of some of these statements, I understand the point they’re trying to make:
Your life isn’t all that bad.
Fine. I get that. But posters like this point to a bigger problem I see in our society, especially among women, of guilt-tripping and shaming others into keeping quiet about their problems or frustrations. When did venting become a social taboo? I’m sorry, but life is not perfect and pretending that it’s all rainbows and kittens is crap. I resent the idea something is wrong with you if you’re not perpetually projecting happiness and joy. I take that back. You can be tired, irritated, frustrated, or mad- you just can’t express it. I believe in our “don’t deal with it, take a pill for it” society, people sharing about their imperfect lives or bad days reminds those choosing to live in denial of their own imperfect lives. It’s a theory; I could be wrong.
I believe life is a balance, where the yin and the yang and the “you take the good, you take the bad” forces operate in tandem. How can one ever really appreciate the good and beautiful if you without experiencing the flip side of it? If opportunity, change and growth are born out of adversity, why are we bottling it all up and denying its existence? Not to mention, what is bottling it up doing for your blood pressure?
Venting frustrations is often how we find validation, connection, and ultimately, release.
Validation that you’re not alone or invisible, that someone hears you, even if you feel like that jackass customer service rep, your boss, or your spouse doesn’t. Connection to others who understand the thrills and frustrations of the choices we make- parenthood, self-employment, relationships, etc. And after all that venting and validating and connecting, the ability to release the bad thoughts and come back to happy. Until the next time, because life will continue to have its highs and lows.
So the next time you hear someone venting, lend your ear. Try offering your empathy, a solution, or some humor. Because really, wouldn’t it be nice if we could just be there for each other instead of wasting our energy pretending we have our shit together?
With that in mind, I’m starting a little corner on this website called “Beauty and the Bullshit“. It’ll be a running tab of the annoyances and frustrations of daily life, the little moments that make me happy or sappy, true confessions, etc. And who knows, maybe seeing my highs and lows will lend some validation or humor to yours.
Here’s to letting it out,