The glimmers of hope came in a variety of different forms. I became more addicted to social media during the pandemic. Though social media can often be seen as a detriment to mental health, this time in my life - it was quite helpful. During my time on social - I found that my Linked-In feed was full of inspiring quotes and messages. Those served as a great reminder that there's good out there, I've expereicned it before - and will again soon. Other channels showed me that I wasn't the only one having a hard time with this new reality. Others were struggling too and I wasn't alone.
Further, days in the office meant time to connect with my coworkers and get the social interaction my extroverted nature craved. I also re-experienced the effect of a well-timed compliment, and somehow it was different than before. It was as if people had not been complimented in months. I remember telling one of our designers how great her work was, peppered with some of my favorite styles that I just couldn't wait to try. It was something I had done many times before the pandemic, it wasn't new. She was always appreciative, but this time, she looked like she might cry. She said, thank you so much. I've had to redesign the collection several times because the trends keep shifting and management has new direction each week as to what consumers want during this time. It's been so tough, and all I've gotten is negative feedback. She relayed how great it was to hear my compliments and optimism.
That reaction had one of the strongest pulls out of my spiral. Imagine that, giving someone else a genuine compliment, made ME feel better! It was at that point, I knew - there's something there. I wasn't completely out of my black hole yet, but the glass was starting to fill now.
As an entrepreneur at heart, I'm always looking for my next side hustle. I launched a perfume inspired by my city 6 years ago, and it still sells in shops and markets. It's not a big deal, but it's a nice passion project and something I created that brings other people joy. I've had other ventures as well - but nothing with real meaning yet. This experience, it made me think - my natural positive and optimistic nature is still deep inside me. I've got inner optimism. I can find that again, and when I do - I've got to share it with as many people as I can. Inner optimism isn't a thing to take for granted. We should cherish it every day, because some days it's hard to remember we have it. Some people haven't used theirs in years or even decades. But I, for one, believe it's in there. I believe we all have it - we've just got to find it again.
Yes, this is my mission, but how do I engage it? How do I create something that brings out a person's inner optimism? How do I share it with many people? I'm not a therapist, and have only used therapy sparingly at this point. Yes, there's something there but I don't know what.