1. Actually saying goodbye to romantic partners. So, you’re realizing the person you’ve been hooking up with isn’t someone you can see yourself with longterm? That’s fine. But don’t just fade away. It’s easy to start disappearing — not responding to texts as often, a pattern of rain checking on plans, emotionally distancing oneself, etc. Ghosting is this weird, misguided thing we try to do because we’re afraid of hurting the other person’s feelings. Maybe we’re too scared or, more likely, we’re too busy being selfish to be honest. We think we’re lessening the pain, but it never feels better. Except to one person: you. The person choosing to ghost.
2. Asking for what you’re worth, monetarily. Money is awkward. But we’ve also allowed it to be. There are so many people biting their tongues to keep from speaking up about what they want — business or otherwise. But life is so unpredictable and short, asking for what you feel you are worth shouldn’t ever be something we shy away from. Does it mean you will be granted that raise, promotion, bonus, etc.? Not necessarily. But at least you put your cards on the table. At least you asked.
3. Listening to someone with a different point of view, and not attacking them for it. Years back when Prop. 8 was happening in California, I used to get incredibly upset around people who didn’t support gay marriage. I took it painfully and personally, having grown up with an aunt who is a lesbian and many loved ones in the LGBTQ community. I would get so furious, I’d just shut those people out. I didn’t care what they thought, because to me, they were just wrong. And yes, I still think that, but I’m also reminded of something my dad used to say. “Nobody wants to listen to the person yelling at them. Take these opportunities to educate, to not point fingers, to show someone kindness and hope they understand where you’re coming from.” We don’t all agree. Such is life. But when we constantly scream at each other, we’ll never get anywhere.
4. Getting rid of clothes that don’t fit. You want to fit into them again one day? Cool, if that’s a motivating factor for you to hit the gym or find a good workout routine, whatever works babe! But more likely, it’s just gonna make you feel like shit. Get rid of it. Donate it. Dress for who you are right now. Because that’s what you’ve got right now and you shouldn’t treat yourself like a “Before” picture. You’re a Now picture.
5. Loving people loudly. So many things can happen to make us scared of verbalizing how we feel. The hurt. The break ups. The almost-relationships. The people who leave. Yadda, yadda. It could go on forever. And I understand. Loving someone is terrifying. And loving them out loud? Even scarier. But believe it or not, it’s worth it. Love with your mouth open. Say the words loud enough that people can hear. Tell people who matter that they matter. Take the risk.
6. Standing up for yourself. It’s important to know how to pick your battles, but equally important to let your voice be heard. You’ve got to be in your own corner, ready to speak up when someone is treating you poorly or unfairly.
7. Not letting outside perceptions shape your decisions. I’m the first one to tell you how much I care about what people think. And I don’t mean that in a “I want everyone to like me” (though I kind of do…) way, but more of a “how would this make another person feel” way. I think you should care how the things you do could affect those around you. BUT that doesn’t mean it should control your whole world. Only you know how to live your own life, truly and authentically. Excluding the case of something actively hurting you or anyone else, don’t let someone’s perception, opinion, thought process stop you from being happy.
8. Facing rejection again and again. Rejection is a brutal gift. Nobody enjoys it. Nobody sets out thinking, man, I really hope someone crushes me today! But damn, that shit will teach you resilience. Things shouldn’t always come easily. And no, you won’t always get that thing you really want. Learning the art of accepting that and not letting it destroy you is huge. So yeah, go get rejected. It makes you better.
9. Actually committing to plans. It’s the height of the Maybe Generation. I’m part of it! I hate, hate, haaaaate the feeling of cemented plans. It makes me itchy, and that’s a personal problem I should probably work through. It’s become so easy to make tentative plans and bail when Netflix and Chill(ing with yourself) sounds so much better. But you can’t replace the importance of IRL time. Relationships thrive on it. You need to see someone’s face, hear their tone of voice, look them in the eyes when they’re talking to you. Make those plans to catch up and actually follow up.
10. Exercising. It will make you feel better. Seriously. Go get those endorphins.