Permission to Wear Rose Colored Glasses
See the positive.
Surround yourself with good.
Look for the bright side.
Be generous to others.
Change negative thoughts.
Observe the beauty all around you.
Walk away from bitching and complaining.
Ignore the cynics.
Have a gracious heart.
Rid yourself of toxic people.
Live with love.
Believe that good always wins.
When I was in graduate school there was a moment that greatly impacted my life and caused an important, conscious shift in how I interacted with the world. Over 20 years later, it is easy to see how important the moment was, but at the time I could not see the significance.
Here is my story that inspired this piece of artwork:
It was toward the end of the my first semester of graduate school and finals were looming. I was sitting in the cafeteria meeting with Anne, my supervisor of my graduate assistantship. She and I got along great and I really respected her. During this meeting, I was bitching and complaining to her about graduate school and my assistantship. I guess I must of been doing that a lot, because she looked at me and said "Wow, Kim. You sound like you have been really unhappy here and it seems to me that you have two choices. You can either leave school and do something else, or you can figure out how to make this better. Because, I know that you want to be happy."
This statement surprised me. And it also felt like the truth - and it stung.
I paused and said, "Anne, I can not think about that until finals are over."
Her reply was simple. "Ok, we'll talk about this then."
Finals ended and I thought long and hard about what Anne said. Did I want to leave? Where would I go? Was I unhappy? Why was I bitching and complaining so much? What changes could I make to be happier?
Pretty quickly, I knew I didn't want to leave graduate school, nor did I want to leave my assistantship. I also realized that, for the most part, I really did enjoy my first semester. But I also became aware that I was spending a lot of time identifying the things that I didn't like and very little time enjoying the parts that were good. And I knew that that needed to change. I share these ideas with Anne and we talked more about how, specifically, I would make this change.
I made a conscious decision to be more positive. To do this, I decided that I would stop complaining and that I would not engage in negative conversations. And, when possible I would remove myself from such conversations.
I remember the first time I was with some friends and they started to bitch and complain. I felt my face get hot - I was sure that my silence would stick out like a sore thumb. And, when I decided to "casually" walk away from the conversation, I was sure that I would be questioned and challenged. But guess what? No one seem to notice or care. In fact, staying out of the negative conversations, proved to be pretty simple. And, amazingly, after consistently not participating, I found that others decided to not bitch and complain to me or around me.
As the years have passed, although I am not perfect, I still try to be positive. I continue to walk away from negativity and try to avoid bitching and complaining.
At times, some have suggested that I am too "Pollyanna-ish" or that I am simply wearing rose colored glasses and that I am not dealing with "reality". I sensed that they thought I was incredibly naive and unhealthily optimistic. For a long time, I wondered if this was true.
Recently, I decided to put on my rose colored glasses and see my "Pollyanna-ness", in a more - well - positive manner. Avoiding negativity and refusing to be sucked into bitching and complaining makes me a happier person. Perhaps I am not dealing with reality and maybe I am naive, but I decided that I don't care anymore. So I embraced my optimism and gave myself permission to live my life wearing rose colored glasses.
Make it a HAPPY day!
PS - As with all the pieces that I create this year for the One a Week Art Challenge, the original is not available for sale until January 2019 when I host my celebratory art show.
PSS - I do have prints available of this colorful number.
If you are interested in a print, click here.