How To Ruin Your Year (Before It’s Even Started)

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Focus on loving others so strongly that you forget to love yourself. Neglect yourself long enough that you start to accept the kind of love that is less than you deserve, because you start to believe that it’s the best you’ll ever get.

Let yourself get bogged down by never-ending emails, and work deadlines, and commitments on top of commitments. Convince yourself that this is what makes you important, that this is the only way you have worth. Focus on doing, doing, doing – instead of being. Confuse this amount of stress and business in your everyday existence to be the same thing as living your life to the fullest, as being happy.

Decide that even if you’re unhappy, it’s too late to change anything, too late to try anything else.

Too late to leave your job for the career that you’ve dreamed about from the beginning, the career that feels right in your gut and makes you happiest. Too late to take up a new hobby, or to learn a new skill, or to show up to that dance class and see if you ‘have something’ like you always thought you might. Too late to walk away from the relationship with that person who makes you miserable and to try to make it on your own for a while. Decide that it’s too late, too late, too late. That this is the life you’ve made for yourself and you have to accept it as is.

Fail to ask for help when you truly need it, especially from those who truly care about you and who would drop every single thing in their life if they knew that you needed them. Tell yourself that you have to suck it up, that you have to suffer silently. Decide that telling your loved ones that you need them would make you a ‘burden’ and that instead, you just need to white-knuckle it and be alone, that asking for help is for other, weaker people. That you can’t need help and be strong at the same time.

Walk through your year asleep. Do everything you can to avoid being alone with your own thoughts. Run away from silence. Scroll, scroll, scroll. Make everything loud – the tv, your music, your phone, your conversations, your own voice. Don’t try meditation or focused breathing or reading or a break from your phone on your commute or anything else that would bring you into too close of contact with your own self.

Ruin your year, before it’s even started, by just getting by. Accept love that is less than you deserve, just because it’s there. Keep working at a job you hate. Stay in that relationship with that person who mistreats you. Be a mediocre friend. Avoid any sense of responsibility. Avoid things that are intimidating. Avoid good love. Avoid yourself. Avoid the happiness that you truly deserve, because ‘getting by’ is at least a little less scary.  TC mark

Kim Quindlen

I'm a staff writer for Thought Catalog. I like comedy and improv. I live in Chicago. My Uber rating is just okay.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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