I recently purchased a few cuts of fabric for various projects online, and wanted to share my excitement with someone I’m close with. I had splurged on fancier fabric than I would find at my local Joann’s (not shade at Joann’s though, I love you) and couldn’t wait to show off the fabric plus my ideas for what I would make with them. One piece I bought? A beautiful white thermal knit to make lounging leggings with, perfect for the cold months we’re in right now. When I told this person the different fabrics I had purchased, along with the project I had in mind for them they shut down my idea for the thermal knit quite quickly.
“Are you going to make another sweatshirt with that?” they asked after I had just said I purchased it to make leggings with. “No, I’m planning on making leggings with this.”
“I just don’t think most people should wear white on the bottom,” they replied.
Maybe it’s because a lot of my body image issues stem from casual throwaways from this person, but this instantly cut at me. Because I am clearly one of the people they think shouldn’t wear white on the bottom. This one simple line squashed any excitement I had over my fabric, my ideas for what I would make and my day dreams of snuggling up in my cozy leggings with a warm (self-made) sweatshirt to read and cuddle with Mag. Instead of amplifying my happiness they chose to squash it instead.
We all have that choice too. We can match a friend’s level of excitement when they talk about their accomplishments, even if it seems insignificant to you. We can give pep talks and simple texts that consist of lines of exclamation points to drive home the fact that we’re excited for what’s going on in their lives.
Or… we can cut them down. We can give a quick line to derail the celebration they had hoped you’d join in on. We can make their accomplishments seem small and insignificant and not worthy of celebrating. But doesn’t that seem bleak, cruel and plain not fun?
I’d rather send a snap to a friend declaring that their bread looks beyond delicious and perfect for the chili they’ve made then say Paul Hollywood should be the only baker in their lives (Jos, that bread DID look delicious and Paul would be very proud). I’d much rather amplify someone’s happiness then tear down what they’ve built.
I’m much like Leslie Knope in this sense; I sincerely love celebrating my loved ones’ wins and I love declaring my love for them.
Not that I’m not guilty of being callous with other people’s feelings and saying/doing unnecessarily mean things to cut them down. This is a bad habit of mine and I am working so hard to stop it (dearest sister of mine, I am sincerely sorry about how bitchy I was during that game of Catan over Christmas and for the other 24 and a half years of bitchiness proceeding it).
I think the way to choose love in your life is to choose to amplify happiness. Become a satellite dish and beam out to the world how hyped you are for someone in your life. Join in on the celebration for anything and everything. Choose love, choose happiness.
Now, join me in scream-singing Mika because he’s always appropriate to scream-sing to