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Notes from Nanea | The Toxic Myth of Relentless Online Positivity

By Nanea Hoffman

My dear Sweatpants & Coffee tribe,

The truth is that we now live in a hashtag world. We curate our lives with Instagram filters and carefully edited bite-sized blurbs of text. We publicly declare lofty goals, celebrate the determined pursuit of success, and constantly admonish each other to #staypositive.

None of these things are bad. They just aren’t the whole picture.

Just out of frame, there are piles of unfolded laundry and stacks of junk mail. There are pores the size of small children, cellulite, grown-out roots, and stained sweatshirts. There’s the feeling of the water closing over your head as you sink in a flood of responsibilities and obligations. There are the mortifying failures you can barely admit to yourself, let alone anyone else. There is dread and fear and sadness just beneath the surface you’ve spackled over with a shiny veneer of enthusiasm.

Or is it just me?

I don’t think so. I think we’re all on the hamster wheel, chasing the elusive ball of positivity. And if we flag for a moment, we’re inundated with encouragement to stay strong. To remember that “You got this!”

 

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I got me.

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I really do love living in the age of the Internet. As someone with invisible, chronic issues, I’d never have found my people or been as connected without the computer. (I’m bitter that Tumblr did not exist when I was in high school.) I know that everywhere, people are bravely sharing their stories of pain and struggle, or maybe just yawping their loneliness into the ether. But what I tend to hold onto in my sticky fist are the impossibly unattainable snapshots of lives that will never be mine. I like to torture myself that way.

Because I can’t stay positive. I might just be tired. Or I’m heavy with grief. Or my body hurts. Positivity is not a place I can live – that’s too much pressure, and when you’re in the depths, too much pressure squeezes the air from your lungs. I can visit, though.

 

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Be kind to yourself. ❤️ @naneahoffman #sweatpantsandcoffee

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I have to be able to just SUCK sometimes. I need to be angry and scared and sloppy, and to know that that is also a part of the human experience.

My new goal is to #stayhuman. Whatever that looks like.

Love,

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About Nanea Hoffman (281 Articles)
Nanea Hoffman is the founder of Sweatpants & Coffee. She writes, she makes things, and she drinks an inordinate amount of coffee. She is also extremely fond of sweatpants. She believes in love, peace, joy, comfort, and caffeinated beverages.

1 Comment on Notes from Nanea | The Toxic Myth of Relentless Online Positivity

  1. ❤❤❤❤❤

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