How are you REALLY doing? | Aimee Han
It’s considerably the most wonderful time of the year. There are just so many holidays to be celebrated, loved ones to cherish, dinners to be shared, and gifts to be given. Yet amidst all this happiness, there is a shadow that lurks behind all of us, weighing us down by trapping us into a vicious cycle of heavy, burdensome feelings. Although it is incredibly difficult to overcome the fear of being vulnerable, it is essential this year to let loose and accept ourselves for who we are and how we feel about everything and everyone. I’m here to tell you that however you’re feeling about anything, truly anything at all, is valid.
When people ask the common question, “How are you?”, I guarantee the most common response is that we’re “Good.” Another common response may be, “I’m doing well, how are you?” So, why do we automatically respond with a positive affirmation that seems so meaningless because of its frequency? More importantly, when do we end this facade that everything in our world is perfect because others expect it to be?
We’re all human and the different worlds we live in all vary to certain degrees. Nevertheless, what remains constant is that nothing is perfect, nothing can be perfect, so ultimately striving for perfection shouldn’t be the goal. Society expects success, society expects perfection of some sort, society expects either mediocracy or brilliance. So ask yourself, why am I trying to live up to these societal expectations that will never choose to be satisfied with what I already have to offer? Once you let go, and once you start allowing yourself to dress how you want to dress, love who you want to love, and live how you want to live, happiness is only the beginning. There are many ways to approach it, but the end goal is learning to choose yourself and your happiness at the end of the day, every single time. While this is realistic but not always attainable, it’s the learning curve that matters.
Don’t get me wrong, a positive attitude goes a long way. However, when that positive attitude crosses the line towards toxic positivity, in which people begin to suppress their negative feelings by pretending to be experiencing positive ones, there’s a problem. Embrace all your emotions, no matter how scary they seem. There are people out there who accept you for who you are and how you feel, and it’s time you follow in their footsteps. In times like these, simply being there and reaching out to people in many different formats and ways, is really one of the only ways we’ll be able to get through each year. Not to mention, but checking in on people is not limited to seeing what’s new in their life, but learning about their past that has shaped them, the present that they’re going through, and the future they dream of that lays ahead of them. Never underestimate the power of a heartfelt conversation.
And this is a daily reminder for anyone struggling out there. You’re not alone. We see you, we hear you, and we are here to validate your existence and accept you with no question. Till the end of the year, and maybe even to start off your new year, I encourage you to open up to a loved one, whether it be a friend, relative, or significant other because the only way to get through a slump is to have the help and support from another. It’s also the only way to delve deeper into the question, “How are you?” and truly look each other in the eye, and ask, “How are you really doing?”