We try to change all the time. Life is about growing, about being able to say that we went from here to there but I’m learning that that’s not always realistic. The more pressure we put on ourselves to change, to “grow up,” the more likely we are to repeat the same mistakes.
It’s important to be honest with ourselves, to face the reality of being human and all of its implied imperfections. Ask yourself: Will there ever be a moment in your life when you will stop feeling regret and shame for the things you have or haven’t done? Our culture runs on regret and shame. It fuels the fashion industry, the liquor companies, the magazines we buy telling us how to better. People are banking on us always feeling like crap. The second we become okay with ourselves, the less reliant we become on “stuff.” And then, oh my god, the whole world goes ka-boom!
It’s important to be okay with who you are, to accept that you might always feel lost and have moments where you need your parents’ guidance. That’s not called being a clueless 20-something. It’s more like, “I popped out of your vagina and now I will always feel connected to you and rely on you for support.” Feeling helpless is normal. THE WORLD IS FREAKING CONFUSING TO NAVIGATE. But now there’s this stigma attached to it. Everyone is convinced that the person next to them has figured out the world before they have. It’s a race. The first person to know how to cook a savory dinner and pay their bills on time while still maintaining a healthy relationship wins! Their grand prize? Uh… not sure yet. Bragging rights? Making your peers feel even more inferior?
You will feel stupid about a lot of the things that you do. You will question yourself and your decisions. Can you trust your thought process? Do you know what the hell you’re doing? The answer always is no. For everyone.
The goal here should be about becoming comfortable in your own skin. The people I look up to the most aren’t the ones with a great spice rack and decorating scheme (those people are often more psycho than those who still sleep on a mattress on the floor) but the ones who have a sort of “effortlessness” to their personality and life. They feel lived in, comfortable with where they’re at. I love that. I want that and I know that one day I will have it. One day I will trust myself and love myself and not be ruled by so much anxiety and fear. I know I will because I see myself already changing and moving toward that.
That’s the true definition of success, in my opinion. Just being totally accepting of yourself and where you’re at in your life. Okay, “totally accepting” might be a stretch. I feel like there’s always a certain level of self-doubt that’s healthy. We should have that. You don’t want to go through life without questioning anything that you do. I guess it’s just about getting to a place of calm, of not constantly measuring yourself against others because I guarantee that if you do that, you’re always going to fall short.
Face it, you’re a beautiful hot mess! You’re not going to get some magic dose of clarity on your 30th birthday, this “a-ha!” moment on how to be happy and loved, so the best you can do is just go with it. Take things as they come. That’s all you can do. Otherwise, you’re just getting in your own way.
(Also, how come as you get older, you start relating to the annoying self-help things your grandmother and parents used to feed you when you were a kid? Is growing up just about understanding inspirational quotes and embracing bumper sticker logic? Um, I hope not because I AM NEVER POSTING AN INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE ON MY FACEBOOK/TWITTER. I DON’T CARE HOW SELF-ACTUALIZED I AM. I WILL NEVER “DANCE LIKE NOBODY’S WATCHING.”)