How Being Willow Changed My Life for the Better
Updated: Oct 31, 2022
When I was in high school, I once had a girl I worked with tell me that I was the most negative person she had ever met. I took it so personally, but brushed it off as her not knowing me well enough or that I was only miserable because I hated my retail barista job. Looking back, I think she had a point. I was always so pessimistic and cynical. - the first to point out why something wouldn't work, or why it was bad, actually.
At the time, I thought I was the sassy barista stereotype that people got a kick out of, but now that I'm older, I see that being that way was draining, not just for me, but others as well. I'm sad to think about how many years I spent shooting ideas down, bringing up the worst possible outcome, and generally being, well, negative and cranky.
It wasn't until recently that I began to acknowledge that this part of me was toxic - but it also finally dawned on me that this wasn't an immutable aspect of myself. I was able to be a more positive, optimistic person, and this would make me - and everyone else - a lot happier.
Well, medications to treat my depression and anxiety certainly didn't hurt. But one of the major factors, was being Willow Raven™. While I'm pretty similar to Work-Me, I tried to be a bit more approachable than I'd usually be in real life: I smiled more in photos (which is something I used to never do), I used more exclamation points with strangers, I made a concerted effort to not post negative things online, and y'know what? People seemed to really like this version of me. But most importantly - I started feeling happier more often, I started having more energy, making new friends, and having fewer depressive episodes.
They say fake it 'til you make it, but I didn't realize just how effective it would truly be. Sex work reminded me of working retail a bit - being forced to be in a good mood around customers would usually mean I left work in a better mood than I came in. But with this job, I'm never really off the clock. So being positive and happier became my default, and eventually, I realized I wasn't having to remind myself to smile, or to be nice and enthusiastic - it became second nature. It's almost like it unlocked a newer, better version of me.
There are so many things that sex work has brought me - independence, confidence, financial freedom. But most importantly, it's brought me happiness and a genuine shift to being a more optimistic and positive person. And y'know what? The world is filled with negativity, I'm happy I'm contributing to it less and less every day. It's nice to be nice.