Hoarding Positive Quotes

For a while now, I have been saving positive quotes into my camera roll. It started halfway through high school. My camera roll quickly changed from being pictures of me, my friends, and my family to including positive quotes (and maybe a few memes). Maybe this was just a little quirky coping mechanism against the stress I was going through, but it became a habit over time. I still save them and share them from time to time because someone out there might be seeing them.

I can never pinpoint the time when I started them, but I know their impact on my life. Around junior year of high school, I was reaching burnout, which I am sure is common around that time. We have the stress of preparing for college applications, while also taking harder classes than before. I dismissed my own feelings. I knew the junior year of high school would be difficult, and I blamed any failures back to the stereotypical junior year. It was easier that way, and I would never have to confront my own emotions. But then, I went to a camp over the summer that made me see things differently.

At this camp, I finally acknowledged the pressures I was constantly feeling. It was relieving, but after a long time of holding back emotions, I felt like a wreck. There would be times when I fell into a negative mindset, and it is hard to pick oneself out of the negativity. I am not sure when they started, but it was exhausting to handle it. Therefore, I left that camp with an action plan that helped me cope with the negativity in a better manner. I collected positive quotes.

Now, I know there is a phenomenon of toxic positivity. In short, toxic positivity is a way that dismisses the original feelings by pushing on this idea of “positive vibes only.” That was never my intention. In fact, I encourage people to just let it out when they are not feeling happy. It is so difficult to expect everyone to be happy, especially in times when life is super stressful.

After camp, I realized that I had been holding onto a few positive quotes in my camera roll. I usually never used them for myself but for others. Whenever my friends were feeling down, I just wanted to give them some positivity to give them some encouragement. Positivity, for me, is the next step to take after we are able to acknowledge what is on our minds. It is a motivator for us because even though we know things are not ideal, we are doing what we can with what we have. It was nice to see people feeling a little better after seeing a positive quote. As I have learned, kindness is like a ripple in the water. It spreads, and it does come back to you. Before I knew it, the number of quotes in my camera roll grew.

My action plan was to create a positive quotes page for my school. Therefore, I partnered with my friend’s Mental Health Awareness Club that she started and ran an Instagram during my senior year. In a way, while I was trying to give students at my school some positivity, the words I said also applied to me. It sounds selfish, but I believe that the kind things we tell others should also be said to ourselves. We give so many people advice, but never listen to our own words.

Even after graduating from high school, I never stopped collecting positive quotes. Instead, I passed it onto someone else who I would have hoped would continue my message. I want people to know that life can be super difficult. I know some people are so hard on themselves because either they came from an environment where a lot of pressure is put on them or maybe something else. But we have to take a moment to take care of ourselves. For me, they are positive quotes. For others, I hope it is something healthy.

I still am posting positive quotes from time to time. I had an empty Twitter account until one day, I decided to start filling it up with a positive quote each day. It is a habit that I have been starting since the end of April. Maybe someone is out there seeing it. I would never know, but I just hope that it helps them. Even just a little.