A years ago, I traveled back to my former home of Arizona for a long weekend. A couple of things to know before we go on:
- I don’t like Arizona. I grew up there, but as soon as I was old enough to really have an opinion, I was not a fan.
- Long flights are stressful for me, especially when one of those flights is a red eye. I can’t sleep on planes. Yes, I’ve tried whatever tip you want to give me. I’m bad at sleeping in a bed. I have a chronic, inflammatory illness. Sleeping on a plane isn’t happening.
Despite this, I planned a last minute trip to go back to attend an important event. I felt like I needed to go. I wanted to go. However…
The friend I was staying with asked me if I was excited, and my answer was no.
I wasn’t trying to be the grumpiest person alive nor was I feeling particularly salty that day. Excitement just wasn’t my vibe. I was happy to see people who have played a huge role in my life. Excited, though? No, sorry. I’m not excited for a trip that includes a lot of things that are very unpleasant for me. Excitement, for me, is saved for things that don’t come with a huge dose of stress and aggravation. Maybe my excitement was just being squashed by the anxiety of the travel and staying away from home. Either way, it wasn’t happening.
And you know what? That’s okay. It didn’t take away from the importance of the event, or the positive experience I had when I was there.
How many times have you been in a situation where you feel you have to get it up emotionally for people who ask if you’re feeling something specific? I think it happens often. If the answer isn’t yes, it always seems like the WOMP WOMP sound effect should play.
I really wonder why it’s not okay to just say how we feel.
It was 100% okay that I wasn’t excited. It’s usually okay if I don’t feel overwhelmingly positive (or overwhelmingly anything, TBH) towards a situation. I’m good with it, so you should be good with it too. It’s a much more authentic interaction to just say how you’re actually feeling. It’s easier. It takes less work. It’s genuine.
We need to get past this idea that there are “bad” emotions.
It’s fine to be less than thrilled – or upset, aggravated, frustrated, etc. It’s a part of the human experience – and we all feel every single one of those emotions at some point. They’re not always pleasant, but it’s a lot easier to get through them if we can be open and honest about how we feel.
The next time someone asks you if you’re excited (or anything else you’re just not feeling), know you have the option to say no. Share how you’re actually feeling instead. Not only will it feel like less work for you, you’ll also be having a more authentic conversation with the person asking. It can strengthen your relationship with then and improve your own mental health. Win, win!