he said this to me on Bumble.

“Question: what percentage of the time are you in a great mood?”
 
I paused. 
 
What does he mean by that? 
 
Not something I had ever specifically thought of, so big props to Mr. Bumble for an insightful question. 
 
I responded something like this:
 
“It depends on how you define ‘great’ but I’d say 50% (or less) with the other percentage being things other than ‘bad.’ Some bad moods in there, but also a mix of contemplative, inspired, anxiously trying to plan my life, and sleeping. Sleeping is very important.”
 
To which he replied something like:
 
“These apps are funny cause it’s so easy to fill in the gaps about people. From what limited info I know of you, you struck me as being in a perpetual good mood.”
 
[eyebrow lift of surprise and reality check]
 
Perpetual good mood? That sounds boring. Or fake. Or not someone I would want to date. 
 
Granted, it’s one person’s limited perception, but it really got me thinking about the images that I project into the world - not just on dating apps but all over social media, personally and professionally. I cringe when I see other people who seem to be fake happy all the time - am I a part of that epidemic, too? 
 
After processing all that (see, there goes the 24.7% of a contemplative mood) I got grounded in my truth and responded something like this:
 
“It's interesting because a lot of my work and creative life involves dance. I hear from people sometimes who wonder how I can be so ‘happy’ as to dance all the time, and what I tell them is that I don't dance BECAUSE I'm happy all the time, I dance because life is mix of everything and I feel everything and especially the shitty stuff needs to be moved through me. So I feel a whole big range of things and have experienced a lot of shitty stuff like most humans, and I choose to channel it in a way that traditionally brings joy (dance).”

It opened up a great conversation (this was all on text, by the way) and I walked away from the interaction with more awareness about myself. (And a date. And a future blog post. Go figure. Thanks, Bumble!)
 
To have received this question during a particularly challenging time of my life (which I’ll share more about in future posts) has woken me up to being even more committed to truth and authenticity. Finding the balance of sharing the not-so-great stuff in a way that doesn’t breed sympathy or sorrow, but rather a shared human journey. Connection. Mutual empowerment. Art. 
 
I do my best on this blog and on social media to share all the things - the great, the shitty, and the humdrum alike - and now I’m even more ready to do so. 
 
And so. I now turn the same question back around on you:
 
What percentage of the time are YOU in a great mood?
 
If you looked at the images you post online, what would you assume about yourself from an outside perspective? 
 
Is there anything that can be shared to express a bit more of ALL the sides of you? 
 

(And a rhetorical question: why is smiling in photos the default?!)
 
Would love to hear if you feel like responding. 
 
And til next time, I’ll be here dancing, crying, being bored, getting frustrated, attempting to plan my life, and more, right along with you. 
 
to all the things that make us human,
Jess