I want to be a cheerful person.
Like Lily James's Cinderella who can shake off adversity and "have courage and be kind".
I want to be like Beth from Little Women and Sam from Lord of the Rings and Cos from Singing in the Rain. Like Jane from Pride and Prejudice and Cosette from Les Miserables.
I want to be a blogger who posts happy things and talks unceasingly about the awesome parts of my life.
Like the smiling people who can laugh at tribulations and rave about their blessings.
I also want to be authentic.
I don't want to hide behind a crusty mask of cheerfulness. I don't want you to think that I live the life of a movie star.
The truth is that I am an incredibly blessed person. Blessed to be a Christian, blessed to live in a Christian home, blessed to experience religious freedom, blessed with daily provisions, blessed with friends, blessed with internet, blessed with this blog, blessed with the people I've met through Blogger, blessed with access to all 6 Downton Abbey seasons, blessed with a dog, and blessed with bookshelves full of books to consume.
But that doesn't mean I don't have struggles in my life. Many of them are self-induced, some of them aren't. They'd all probably be more bearable with a cheerful attitude.
So where do I draw the line? Where do I find a distinction between "grumbling and complaining", which is condemned in the Bible, and being cheerful to the point of dishonesty?
I don't want my readers to think that I live in a Jell-O castle with some "bad things"-proof fence around it.
Maybe the answer requires the motives of cheerfulness or so-called "authenticity". Why do I write/act cheerfully?
Is it due to the joy of the gospel which shines through me? Is it because I want you to like me? Is it because I want you to follow my blog? Is it because I want to make myself happier?
The trouble is that I think the answer is more "yes" to the three last questions than to first.
Why might I want to be "authentic" on my blog(or in real life, for that matter)?
Is it because I want to preserve honesty or not make people unduly jealous? Or is it because I want people to feel sorry for me and "know the things I suffer"? Or because I think being authentic will elevate me to a new level of spirituality and relevancy?
I don't know. I think I have mixed motives. Unpure motives for a not wholly bad thing.
Hmmm. *insert awkward pause for me to collect my thoughts* I'm going to try to still be cheerful, I think, but I don't want you to think I live in some sort of protected, super-life. None of us do.
Maybe I should end this jumble like so:
Don't think my life is perfect just because I try to avoid complaining. In my life too, there are things that sometimes compromise my smile; circumstances that can aggravate good spirits; frustrations to cry over in the shower.
But I am a hugely blessed individual and while I can reflect the grace of God in cheerfulness and make this blog a happier place, I think I will.
So what do you think, readers? Where do you "draw the line"? Do you think it's possible to be both cheerful and authentic?
Sorry...that was cheesy, I know. But can we take a moment to appreciate that I got through a whole post without mentioning politics? :D