I don't know why, but people do associate me with being optimistic and generally cheerful (with the exception of a not infrequent bout of sarcastic banter).
It could be the name - you don't really imagine a Julie or Jules being sad or overly pensive, do you? It's kind of an upbeat name!
It could be because I'm a big girl, and we all know that 'big girls don't cry'; they're a jolly sort.
It could be that, yes, I do try to see the positive in most events and people. If I were a betting girl, I'd always bet things will turn out ok rather than predict an inevitable disaster. [Sidebar here: note that, while I don't bet on disaster, I'm so organised that if there were one, everything we'd need would be in my bag.] I'm a great believer in you get what you give, and that if you expect and work towards things to turn out well, they generally do.
Like everyone else, life has thrown me some curveballs and challenges in the shape of cancer and other health issues, work issues, family issues. At times when I was dealing with a health challenge, people have asked me how I remained so happy with it all. I'd tell them that while I couldn't control what was happening to me, I could control how I handled it, and that I'd made the choice to be as happy as I could.
That isn't a one-time deal. That's still a choice I have to make. Being happy doesn't come automatically to most people I know. Every day we wake up and we make that choice.
For the most part, I do make the choice to be happy, even through the challenges. There are times, when I just don't have the strength to do that. Some days I just can't quite get past ok into good. Heck, some days I don't even make it to ok. Life isn't all cupcakes and sparkles. Some events you can't just get over straight away. Some times you need a small window to grieve something not turning out how you'd hoped, or to deal with unexpected bad news. So I take those times to be sad, to acknowledge the loss, to work through it in my mind.
Those days are inevitably when someone asks me what's up, why I am so miserable, it's so unlike me, I'm normally so bubbly. Yes, I do KNOW that but I smile anyway. Then they tell me to cheer up, that it's not the end of the world.
I want to tell them that no, I am not fine, but I will be. I want to tell them that you need to be sad sometimes to really appreciate being happy. That it's ok to be sad, as long as it's for a purpose, that it's part of the journey to being happy again. I'm grounded right now, but I will fly and soar again.
So, blog readers and friends, remember that - it's ok to be sad sometimes; just don't forget your wings.
Image credit: unknown, someone sent me this image in an email. Apologies.