2020 was a rough year, and not much seems to have changed in 2021, but we’ve all learned more than we ever thought or imagined we would in a lifetime. It’s been a year of many downs, but for the few, the ups have been just as noteworthy. All in all, we can say that the past 2 years have been provocative on many fronts - first having to deal with losses of huge proportions in terms of our loved ones, and second, having to deal with the loss of our own identity and matters of the self. Since the pandemic, many have scurried to find therapists and counselors to ease the stress and fears that amplified the pandemic experience for people all over the world.
One thing we’ve all thought about, searched for, and pondered over since the pandemic is happiness (especially since we’ve seen a dearth of it around us). There is no way of ever fully comprehending the effect the pandemic had on the mental health of the people we see on a day to day basis. Some of us may have found avenues and outlets of expression, either through talking to someone or a therapist, or through art and music.
But for many, the challenge of speaking your mind is heavy. We are so used to holding it all in until a day comes where we offload a whole country of emotions. For one, not every person is well equipped with words to articulate a feeling, in other cases, there are factors like fear, stigma, and stress attached to being transparent which stops us from speaking our mind.
One might say that truth is bitter, but bitter medicine is always a healer. Imagine a world without honesty, intimacy or realism? We’d all be in a fairytale, and the world would be our oyster. Sadly though, that isn’t the case. We need clarity, and spaces to be vulnerable and open up, either to someone, through writing, or through some other form of expression. We value friends and connections that listen and tell us of life the way it is, rather than sugar-coated half-truths.
Having a genuine kind of positivity as opposed to the toxic positivity, goes a long way in redefining your identity and narratives of living. Striking that balance of being realistic with your emotions rather than keeping your feelings bottled within or taking the other extreme of over-expression, helps us keep our emotions in check, and also sets clearer and healthier relationship status quos in the world.
Speaking your mind
In any environment, it’s important that we are able to express our thoughts, feelings and emotions. Speaking your mind does not necessarily mean that you are rude or insensitive, it just means that you prefer to live a life of clarity and wearing your heart on your sleeve becomes a way for you to do that. Sometimes, due to being hurt repeatedly, we consciously or subconsciously learn to set boundaries that may or may not help us. But clarity is always a friend and there are tried and true ways to wear your heart on your sleeve and become the happiness that you seek.
This is one of the most important things on any path to self-recovery or self-discovery. You cannot simply begin where others have left off and wonder why something doesn’t work out for you. It’s important to understand that the problems relating to the self are best resolved by yourself rather than bracket solutions offered by a world that knows so little of who you are, but for the parts you reveal to them. While many bracket solutions work, before we try to resolve something, it’s important that we understand the problem. And in this case, understand the self first, before anything else.
Understanding and setting boundaries
Once we have an understanding of who we are as individuals, the concept of setting boundaries becomes clearer to us. Our boundaries don’t necessarily have to be in alignment with the world, but more so, it should be aligned with who we are. A lot of the time we let ourselves go in relationships and soon enough, unhealthy relationships become the norm; it’s a pattern that we become drawn to. In the process, our private spaces are intruded and we’re left bereft, and in the process, subconsciously overstep others’ boundaries too. Knowing what doesn’t work for you is a great way to understand what could possibly work for you, and that’s a great place to begin setting those boundaries to live the life you envision.
Checking in with yourself
In the process of self-growth and wearing our hearts on our sleeves, we tend to sidestep ourselves and our own personal needs. While on the journey to self-discovery, it’s important to pause and check in with yourself to see how far you’ve come, and the road that is ahead for you. By checking in with ourselves regularly, we ensure that our boundaries are kept in place, and also reminds us that wearing our hearts on our sleeves doesn’t mean ripping our heart out to shreds. Check in with yourself as often as possible and as yourself how you’ve been doing and the areas where you could do better.
Living in the moment
Lastly, you have to be deliberate in your attempt at wearing your heart on your sleeves. Living in the moment can be reckless, but if you’ve got your sense of identity intact and unshaken, then living in the moment becomes a way of life. Many of your nos soon turn to yeses and you learn to self-soothe and self-heal. To truly enjoy and experience, it helps to go all out and have no holds barred. But without having done the self-work, going all out can end up bringing you more pain than joy.
It’s okay to sometimes draw out your heart and remind it that no matter what, you’ll be okay.
Our quoted t-shirts come with a lot of positivity and are a great way to set the tone and mood for the day. T-shirts are classics for all reasons and seasons, but a t-shirt with a powerful quote doesn’t just do wonders for you, but also to the ones you present yourself to.
Check out our quoted typography collection here.