We’re all in the same game, just different levels.
Dealing with the same Hell, just different devils.
dress: Free People (it’s from last season, but you can search via eBay/Poshmark: the style is Dreams of Bali maxi)
Everyone goes through similar stuff. Some people get extra hell, some people deal with lesser consequences, but at its core, we all struggle with the same root issues — insecurity, doubt, and self-esteem, to name a few. What differentiates us, though, is how we choose deal with it. Lord knows, I haven’t always dealt with my own problems like a pro, but I’ve learned a few tips in the last five or so years that have made my life so, so much easier. I want to pass them along to anyone who might need it ♥
Be your own cheerleader.
Don’t ever depend on anyone else to boost your spirits or talk you up. Sure, it’s great when they do, and most people do have their own hype girl (the Internet hype girls are the best tambourine shakers ever), whether it’s a friend or family member, but when push comes to shove, you have to be able to get yourself going. You have to know how to motivate yourself, how to give yourself the Hoosiers pump up, the Hallmark movie climax, the when the going gets tough, the tough get going, they can take our lives but they can never take our freeeeeedommmmm pep talk. Girl, you got this. The moment you begin to truly believe in yourself is the moment you become a force to be reckoned with.
The way you speak to yourself is critical. A good rule is this: would you ever speak to, or allow anyone to speak to your daughter in that manner? If the answer is no, you shouldn’t be saying it to yourself. We make too many excuses for the horrible things we say to ourselves. There’s truth to the saying, “if you hear something enough, you start to believe it.” Instead of constantly putting yourself down, telling yourself that you’re incapable or unworthy, what if you filled your head with positive affirmations, and that’s what you started taking for the God’s honest truth? That’s the beginning of a personal revolution, and it’s one that I can promise is worth the journey.
Buck up, look your problem in the eye, and face it head on.
This certainly doesn’t apply to anxiety, depression, and other mental and emotional disorders — it would be callous and cruel to think it’s that easy — but for your run-of-the-mill, day-to-day problems, throw your big girl underroos on and absolutely steamroll that bitch. Too often, I’ve been guilty of knowing I’m on the verge of tumbling off the cliff, but instead of confronting the problem (and most likely saving myself the fall), I instead chose to ignore it, bury my head in the sand, and plug my ears … and then push myself over the cliff as a result. Ninety-nine percent of the time, I could have saved myself a metric shit-ton of anguish had I not been too chicken-shit to confront the problem like an adult. Plus, if you’re lazy, it’s normally a whole hell of a lot easier to take care of it on the front end than to fix it on the back end.
There’s a classic (though markedly racist) Disney film called Song of the South. One of its more redeeming qualities is Uncle Remus, who poetically expressed, “You can’t run away from trouble. Ain’t no place that far.” Amen, Uncle Remus (and if that sounds familiar and you haven’t seen the film, it’s also on a sign in Splash Mountain in Disney World).
Sometimes, you just need to let it go.
A wise man once said, “Let that shit go, homie.” And that shit was let go, and it was good. I’ll be the first to admit that not all grudges are bad, but you are a smart person, and you’re aware of which grievances are worth dealing with and which are easiest let go. If the problem, person, or situation will not still be affecting you in a year, let that shit go. Let go of the weights and chains of spitefulness and hurt, and set it down. It is not yours to carry.
Look, I’m a lawyer, and I love nothing more than delivering a bone-crushing zinger here and there, but as I’ve grown older, I’ve learned that it’s sometimes more satisfying to take a deep breath, say your positive affirmations, and move along. A while ago, I read that life becomes much easier when we learn to accept the apologies we’ll never get, and that stuck to me like glue. What anyone has done to hurt you is their issue to take up with God; how you choose to react is yours.
Stop wishing away the present.
We’re conditioned to be working for the weekend, counting down to vacation, losing the last few pesky pounds before we schedule family pictures. Wishing away the nights by yourself in your apartment until you find Mr. Right, letting your beautiful brunch get cold because you can’t get the “perfect” picture for Instagram, falling into a phone trance, longing to be at that party during a family reunion. If you spend your life constantly wishing away what you’re doing, who you’re with, and where you are because you’re waiting for the big perfect moment, you’ll be waiting a long time, and you’ll miss some precious moments in the process.
The hard reality is that sometimes, there is no Say Yes to the Dress moment. There might not be a bright fireworks display to let you know that “that time” has arrived. All you are promised is this moment, and if you waste the moment, the moments will turn into hours, and then become years. And that is your life. Is that somber? Sure. But I’ll be damned if it isn’t true. Cherish your people, take your face out of your phone, and live in the now.
Don’t be afraid to laugh at your problems.
If I had a dollar for every time I thought I had an apocalyptic catastrophe that later became a first-world white-girl problem, I’d be a zillionaire. The sooner you realize that some issues really are colossal nothing-burgers, the better off you’ll be.
Once you distinguish the real problems from the fluff, you can laugh at the silly stuff. Have a laugh, face it and move forward. You got this better than anyone.