“I was served lemons, but I made lemonade.” – Queen B
If I asked a room full of people whether they’ve had a year of ups and downs, I’d like to think that a majority of them would have their arms raised. There would be a few lucky (or in denial) individuals with their palms firmly on their laps, but only a few.
Well, if you’re reading this and mentally raising your hand because this year has been tumultuous – I am right. there. with. you.
In the last year I graduated from college, saying goodbye to friends who had been like my family. In the last year I have made life-changing decisions that I don’t regret…and some that I do. I’ve made mistakes. I’ve faced depression. I’ve wrestled with self-doubt.
I’ve suffered with this nasty little thing called anxiety that makes it easy to zero in on and blame myself for everything that didn’t turn out exactly as planned. It’s exhausting – and as others with anxiety know – sometimes debilitating.
But here I am. When hurting, it’s easy to forget of all that you are capable of. It’s easy to forget that while you are standing there nursing your wounds, you are, in fact, standing.
One of the most healing things I’ve learned this year is to let go of the hurtful nonsense that couldn’t be controlled, and to forgive yourself (or someone else) for what could have been controlled. Also, what others think of you truly, sincerely, does not matter. Tell yourself that. Okay, now tell yourself again.
I don’t want to sound preachy. It’s just that it’s taken me quite some time to get to this place where I truly am thankful for everything that has happened in my life, bad and good, because it’s made me into someone who I really like being. I have a wonderful job, family, loyal friends, a loving boyfriend, killer music taste, and a planet full of opportunities that I have yet to experience (if you ever forget what you have going for you, write down the good things. There’s more than you might realize).
If I can help even one person to feel a little better about what they might be going through, that’s enough. Basically, here’s my advice if you’ve had a roller coaster year (or life):
- Laugh at yourself. It’s good for you.
- Forgive yourself every night and recommit every morning.
- Stand up for yourself when necessary.
- Always try to be kind.
- Do what you love, and fuck the rest.*
*Ten points if you can guess what movie that’s from.