Sometimes things suck.
Looking on the bright side doesn’t always help. Positive thinking doesn’t always help. Gratitude and mindfulness don’t always help. Those things help in some situations, but they’re not a universal cure that will fix everything.
Noticing that things suck isn’t what makes them suck, and pretending that things are ok will not make them better.
Sometimes people act like it’s your fault for noticing, like if you’d just have a positive attitude, nothing would be bad. But it doesn’t work that way. Taking a positive attitude only fixes things when your attitude is the problem. Sometimes it isn’t.
Sometimes things really are that bad, and it’s ok to acknowledge that they are that bad. When things are actually bad externally, being realistic about what’s going on can make things a lot easier to manage.
(Even if, right now, you can’t see any way to make them better.)
Gustave Caillebotte - The Floor Scrapers (1875-6)
Original on top, later version below
"Despite the effort Caillebotte put into the painting, it was rejected by France’s most prestigious art exhibition, The Salon, in 1875. The depiction of working-class people in their trade, not fully clothed, shocked the jurors and was deemed a ‘vulgar subject matter.’
The images of the floor scrapers came to be associated with Degas’s paintings of washerwomen, also presented at the same exhibition and similarly scorned as ‘vulgar’”.