What Being a Positive Person Really Means

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Old Port, Maine

If you know me at all, you’ve heard me stress the importance of living life with a positive mindset. I’d happily accept the title of ‘broken record’, referring to how often I repeat those words, but I would never label myself as a hypocrite.

One of my friends called me this in a conversation we had while I was still at college. It was a talk filled with lots of emotions and no filters when it came to speaking our minds. Yikes, I know. “You are a positive person and you always talk about that but you’re not constantly happy and that’s hypocritical. And you even complain about things in your life, too.” Correct. These are all accurate observations but definitely not aspects of myself that I should be ashamed of or criticized for.

After reflecting on the words that left me feeling bitter, they became easier to swallow than I would have expected. It all comes down to what positivity means to an individual person, as most things in life do. In my eyes, and compared to my old self, I am proudly living as the happiest version of myself despite what that may look like to others.

Living a positive life doesn’t mean walking around with a smile plastered across your face every single second. It doesn’t mean being upbeat 24/7 and only having good things happen to you. And it definitely doesn’t mean you have to love everyone and everything that comes into your life. This constant bubbliness would actually lead me to insanity, it’s simply not natural to be “on” all the time.

Becoming a positive person means deepening your understanding of yourself and what makes you happy. It’s the realization that happiness comes from within. It’s prioritizing your needs but also recognizing the joy that comes from helping others. And it’s being able to love yourself, flaws and all.

A positive mindset is a safe place you create for yourself. It’s where you can breathe easy when things aren’t going your way or you’re simply having an off day. Smiling like a fool doesn’t make you a positive person, but choosing to not dwell on the hard times or carry anger with you, does.

Everyone experiences hardships. These difficult times are what allow you to have empathy for others and gain appreciation for the little things in life. You will surely feel a range of emotions when tough times find you. You are entitled to express these emotions and feel them wholly, as this is how you heal. But the next step is where you define yourself. Do you want to stay at this low in your life or choose to live in brighter days?

I choose to follow the sun.

Even when I complain, stress out, or feel upset I choose to not make that my permanent mindset. I feel my emotions as they come, and seek out comfort from loved ones as needed, but then I find ways to move past them. There are some people who sadly can’t see the positive sides of situations but instead bring others down with their negativity. That’s not enjoyable or healthy for anyone but sometimes it’s inevitable. After many years of searching in all the wrong places, I finally know what it means to be happy and I come back to this state of mind daily through gratitude and love. It takes time and experience to learn and trust in the beauty of your life, but choosing happiness is easier than you may expect.

Cheers loves, bring on the sunshine!

XO – Autumn

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Just Say Thank You

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Future is Female – Neighborhood’s Cafe, Boston

Every day I take the time to write in my gratitude journal. It takes five minute tops and it’s something I truly enjoy doing. It gives me the opportunity to reflect on everything I have to be thankful for, no matter what kind of day I’m having.

I recently held a program at my college and handed out gratitude journals to random people. I explained the basic concept and the importance of thankfulness. One girl asked me, “Do you really find something to be thankful for every day?” I never thought this could be deemed a difficult task. She was amazed when I said “yes” without hesitation and I was shocked she even asked that question in the first place.

I feel that many people believe being thankful is associated with big things. Having a lot of money, welcoming a new life into the world, or even getting the perfect job. These are all wonderful reasons to be thankful but if we just focus on the big-ticket items we miss out on living a life of gratitude, and that in itself isn’t something to pass up.

I took the time to explain to the baffled girl how easy it is to find something in each day to celebrate. The perfectly crispy bacon at brunch, a kind text message from a friend, a sunny morning, or even a heads-up penny on the ground. Some of my friends may laugh at my amazement with nature or love for simple moments, but I know this appreciation for the little things is what allows me to be a positive person. And better yet, my outlook helps to connect me with others who share this same quality.

Embracing a mindset of thankfulness allows for even more blessings to enter your life. If you can be grateful for the big things, then you can easily learn to appreciate the minor things too. Plus, it just makes for better days to choose to say thank you for what you have instead of focusing on the things you lack. Because what’s the point in dwelling on the negatives?

It really is easy to attract goodness into your own life. Simply start by saying “thank you” and go from there.

Cheers loves! May you all find endless reasons to be grateful each day.

XOXO – Autumn

Thank You, 2016

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Biddeford Pool Beach, Maine

 

It’s difficult to avoid the overwhelming amount of people who keep labeling 2016 as a total shit show. From a worldly perspective, I totally understand this outlook, cause yikes was this year unsettling. But on a more personal level, I feel the need to show 2016 some serious love.

At the beginning of this year, I made a resolution in the form of a phrase. It was sort of like my own personal mantra. “Living vicariously through myself” became my everyday reminder to do what makes me happy. The result of this mindset snowballed in the best, most unexpected ways possible. I first learned to be brutally honest with myself, then learned to express my feelings more openly, and as a result ended up living authentically and apparently inspiring others to do the same through my writing.

Who knew unleashing my true self would label me as an “inspiration.” This is a compliment I have received many times throughout the year, from strangers and loved ones alike. I am forever humbled by their kind words. Inspiring others was never an initial intention of mine. Hell, I am still trying to figure myself out. But the idea that sharing my own struggles and passions could light a spark in someone else was truly magical.

I have loved the journey 2016 has put me through, challenges included. My path has taken a wild turn and I have learned entirely new things about who I am, but more importantly, who I want to be.

In 2017 I want to continue to step out of my comfort zone. I want to open my heart to new people and push heartache aside. I want to manifest positivity into my daily adventures. I want to inspire. I want to be the best possible friend I can be. I want to find new things to love about myself. I want to stop biting my nails (ha). I want to write. I want to explore. And finally, I want to keep surprising myself.

I’ve been attempting to narrow down a new phrase to carry me through 2017 – remember, this can change over the course of your year if needed. “Don’t become complacent” will be my new daily reminder. I have been grateful for every opportunity I have been given but I definitely can’t become satisfied just yet. I want to use those words as my motivation to accomplish more and pursue my goals fearlessly. I hope to continue to grow as an individual and I believe this outlook will help me do so. You should always be proud of your accomplishments but continuously to strive for more.

I am extremely hopeful for this new year and I know it will bring even more blessings. After all, your life is whatever you make of it.

Cheers,

XO – Autumn

“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.” –  Elite Daily

Honesty, Writing, & Bright Futures.

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Fanueil Hall, Boston 2016

As a national contributing writer for Her Campus, I’ve had a lot of opportunities to write about various topics, trends in pop culture, and serious issues. This range of article assignments opened my eyes to different styles of writing but also helped me to recognize a common theme – the importance of honesty.

Honest writing is truly the best writing. It has taken me years to fully embrace this concept, as it’s scary to dig deep sometimes, but wow, was it worth it. Genuine writing derives from the ability to be honest with yourself. Whether it’s grappling with who you are or what you want out of life, the most important thing is to give yourself the opportunity to change.

My most recent article for Her Campus, titled “I Took Risks in My Love Life for One Week & Here’s What Happened”, was the most challenging yet rewarding piece I have written yet. I pushed the boundaries of my comfort zone, officially told the world I’m bisexual, and learned a lot about my self-worth in just one short week. An added bonus was the feedback I received from loved ones and strangers alike. It was heart-warming to have so many people reach out to me to share their stories or appreciation about my article.

I have now begun living my life as my authentic self. It’s a beautiful reality to wake up every single day and recognize how far I’ve come. This feeling came from being honest with myself, no matter how difficult and frustrating it was at times. Point is, I’m here and I’m so proud to say my future is even brighter than it was before.

Whether it’s in your writing or everyday life, be sure to stay true to who you are and be honest about what you deserve. It doesn’t have to be scary.

Cheers loves – to honesty & genuine people!

XOXO – Autumn

Below is a short clip from my national article, check it out!

“I bought an attractive stranger a drink.”

“I’ve seen this done in movies. The confident woman buys an attractive guy a drink, turning the tables on the standards of dating. I had to see for myself how this scenario would play out in real life. Naturally, I chose Thirsty Thursday to make my move. Sitting at a table with a few of my girlfriends, I scanned the bar for a potential prospect. This part of my night was funny, somewhat stressful, but overall entertaining knowing the power was in my hands.

As I was scanning the nearby tables, a tall blonde guy walked out of the bathroom and past my table. We locked eyes and he smiled ever so subtly. Without hesitation, I whispered to my friends, “I choose him.” I watched where he went to sit – a table with another guy and three girls. Crossing my fingers none of those ladies were his girlfriend, I asked my server to find out what he was drinking and buy him his next round. Apparently, his drink of choice was a watermelon margarita, go figure.

Margarita in hand, I watched my server walk over to his table and place it down. His friends began to laugh and his face lit up when she said, “the girl in a pink sweater bought this for you.” His reaction was everything I could have hoped for. I mean who wouldn’t be grinning over a free marg? Funnily enough, a server came over to me a few minutes later and handed me a black business card. It belonged to watermelon margarita guy. I was caught off guard but loving every second of this little charade. Soon enough he came over to the table to thank me for buying him a drink and introduce himself. The conversation was casual, I could tell he was nervous too. In his very distinct Boston accent, he ended the conversation by telling me I should text him. Mission accomplished.

I miss hearing stories about people meeting in person and going on incredible dates. And here I was, trying to make it happen for myself. No, I never ended up texting him, but his little black business card will be a reminder that even the smallest rewards can come from simply putting yourself out there.”

  • Article was written for Her Campus By: Autumn Dube

Success is Better When Shared

 

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Boston Public Garden, fall 2016

This morning I woke up to find that my best friend’s article had been shared nationally on Her Campus’s social media. I was beyond giddy. I quickly sat up in bed, read the article, tweeted about it and of course texted my friends the fabulous news. I was experiencing the same emotions I had felt when some of my articles were picked up by nationals before I was hired by them this summer.

I was especially excited because I knew exactly what emotions she must be feeling. Having your thoughts and opinions shared with fellow college students across the nation, through a successful online magazine, is spectacular. I thought about this for a while, her accomplishment and what’s to come next. And then, as expected, my competitive thoughts kicked in. Her Campus is my find, my platform for my work, that I’ve been working so hard to become recognized on. I’m not one to share or be overlooked and now my best friend was being noticed too.

 

Quickly slapping myself out of it – why would her success diminish mine in any way? My initial reaction was full of joy and pride. The article she wrote was important, talking about mental health which she has advocated for throughout her college career. The article was well done and her voice was beautiful, all qualities I admire in writing. So why did I experience that moment of anger towards the situation? As if it took away from everything I have accomplished with Her Campus.

I will always believe success is more meaningful when shared. And, who better to share it with than your best friends? This girl has been cheering me on since day one, supporting my every move and giving me the strength I need to thrive. I have succeeded in many ways but I know I couldn’t have done it as easily without her consistent motivation. So yes, I’m hitting myself for even having those brief thoughts of jealousy towards her.

Both of our voices deserve to be heard. We have found a wonderful platform to share them on, reaching an audience that can relate to us. I think competition is fun, and her success will only push me to do better, but it will never take away from what I will accomplish.

The idea of applauding someone else’s success is an important message being spread in today’s modern world (especially among the feminists – hayyy) and I finally found myself in a situation that allowed me to see it clearly. I purposely surround myself with beautiful, intelligent, and courageous people – obviously they are going to be doing inspiring things throughout their lifetime. This is what draws me to them in the first place.

The most important thing you can do is to be confident in your own ability to succeed. Give the same support and encouragement to your friends when they are seeking greatness and they will surely return the favor when it’s your time to shine.

Everyone wants to be successful, but doesn’t it mean that much more when you have people to share it with?

I’m so proud of you, J.

XOXO – Autumn

Fading into Fall

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I saw one of the last country concerts of the summer this past weekend and I think it’s safe to say fall is right around the corner.  This season of apple cider and pumpkin everything tends to bring up all kinds of feelings for people, especially when it comes to the heart.  The cooler weather and trendy activities (hellooo apple picking) can definitely make the idea of being in a couple more appealing.  Single vibes will be fading as quickly as the summer weather.

In the midst of all the changes it is important to hold onto the confidence that makes you who you are.  It may be easy to question yourself when you feel like your crush isn’t exactly into you, but you must not spend too much time wondering “why”.  This question will only drive you crazy and cause you to lose sight of yourself and that’s just no good.  Figuring out who you want to be with, or if you even want to be with anyone, is supposed to be fun.  Going on dates and getting to know new people is part of finding what makes you happy.  Traditional dates are less common these days due to our technologically driven generation, but that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to wait for one.

The whole dating cycle can be both frustrating and confusing at times.  This is exactly why you need to find happiness within yourself before you let someone else in.  What do you desire? What dreams are you currently striving towards?  Is he/she really worth it?

You should be too busy creating your own vibrant life to care what your crush thinks of it.  If someone is supposed to fit into your life, you will know soon enough based on their effort and interest in you.  You may not need a cuddle buddy for these upcoming seasons, but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be nice to enjoy another person’s company.  It is never a bad thing to follow your heart if you continue to love and respect yourself while doing so.

Find yourself, embrace all of your qualities, be happy, and let things unfold.  Also, definitely go apple picking.

XO – Autumn

“You know who the person is who is going to give you everything? Yourself.” – DVF