(That was me being Adam Levine singing that line in Payphone.)
If I've seen you lately, I've probably (over) shared with you that I'm having some existential crises. Sorry Starbucks barista. Sorry Kroger night time security guy. Sorry friends. Sorry twitter followers. An existential crisis is "when the answers to the questions about the meaning and purpose of life no longer provide satisfaction, direction or peace of mind." Aka me everyday. Sorry best friend Lauren. Sorry roommate Maddie. Sorry European ex-boyfriend.
A year from now, my schedule will be 100% empty. I will be finished with school, graduated with degrees in who knows what. I will be unemployed, as my student worker jobs expire when my student status does. Also, I will be broke because the day I walk across the stage is the day the nip of mom and dad's financial nourishment dries up. (Ok dramatic, my parents wouldn't just let me go hungry and homeless, but like.....they'd let me get close to build character. Y'all keep me humble).
These are scary things. I do stupid things like look up unemployment rates for millennials, cost of living statistics, and yahoo answers results for "How sad will I be if I have to move back in with my parents?". I also make (bomb) playlists called Angsty on Spotify of all my favorite 2000s alternative "I'm so misunderstood" bands. Listen here, you're welcome. I Google "Movies that do not have a happy ending on Netflix" and "Movies where a girl ends up single but is still okay and cool".
It is a scary time to be alive. In fact, life gets scarier the more years I live.
The funny thing is, we are conditioned to believe everything will be okay. Check out any girl's quote board on Pinterest and you'll see a million quote graphics basically saying 'Girl chill you gud'. But in all honesty, life does not owe us anything. It is not like everything is just going to be fine because you're a good person. It does not work that way. Life is emotionless. Life does not care if you are happy or sad. Life just is. All of those inspirational quotes we pin, Instagram, Tweet and recite to our friends on a bad day are not necessarily factual, but they serve a greater purpose. They make us optimistic and keep us looking to the next step in hopes that it will be better. Sometimes the next step is not really better, but we are just stronger. (I know you all just gagged at that sentence, but bear with me). It's all about perspective.
Which brings me to a realization I had a few weeks ago. I even tweeted about it. (This is sarcastic, of course I tweeted about it. I tweet about everything from life shattering news like Harry Styles cutting his hair to just a shout out to a really good bagel).
It's cheesy, yes. But 1. Everyone loves cheese. 2. It's #tru
I was watching The Holiday (not a movie that comes up when you Google "Movies that do not have a happy ending on Netflix") when it hit me. The movie is about Jude Law being a total hot dad. Okay, kidding. It's about Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet swapping homes for a week because their lives are in the toilet. I know the story wasn't a competition, but if it were, Cameron won because she gets Jude Law and Kate gets Jack Black. Anyway, there is this scene where Kate is eating dinner with her old man best friend and they have the following conversation:
Arthur Abbott: He let you go. This is not a hard one to figure out. Iris, in the movies we have leading ladies and we have the best friend. You, I can tell, are a leading lady, but for some reason you are behaving like the best friend.
Iris: You're so right. You're supposed to be the leading lady of your own life, for god's sake! Arthur, I've been going to a therapist for three years, and she's never explained anything to me that well. That was brilliant. Brutal, but brilliant.
Maybe it was because I was feeling vulnerable after seeing Jude Law shirtless (ok I'll stop), or maybe it was the (third) glass of wine, but I felt like I got smacked in the face.
Listen. I'm a woman and charge and I know it. My roommate, Maddie Landon, actually had a quote of mine in her twitter bio reading "I'm a woman going places, either keep up or get out of my way." Sorry not sorry. But I've realized that anytime something is not going well in my life, it is because I'm letting something else have the lead role in the story of my own life.
Let's break down what 'supporting actress' means.
-Supporting: bear all or part of the weight of; hold up; to enable something to function or act
-Supporting actor: an actor who performs a role in a play or film below that of the leading actor(s), and above that of a bit part.
Here are some personal examples. Past, Present and Future. Gird your loins:
-I deteriorated mentally, emotionally and academically in classes and majors I hated because some people said they were smart, more marketable, and more socially acceptable. Leading role in this case: haters. (Refer to this blog post for more details on this fiasco. Oy VEY).
-I have spent a lot of time and energy absolutely hating my appearance because society and mean people tell me I'm ugly. I've made decisions about my hair, makeup and clothing, consciously and subconsciously, because of what my friends or my not friends have said. I've done very destructive things to change my body to make someone else happy. Leading role in this case: haters and my insecurities.
-I almost quit the job/internship that I love because I was told by my peers and family members that I should look for a *real* internship (whatever that means?) outside of my university. According to these people, I need to have jobs on my resume that are up to their standards. When in actuality, I love my job and I'm getting amazing experience doing exactly what I want to do. Leading role in this case: judgmental peers and family members that just know *everything* about getting hired and what's best.
- I have skipped class and plans with friends, lost sleep, drank too much wine, and worst of all--felt bad for and about myself because my study abroad fling / temporary boyfriend and I broke up and I couldn't get over it for a while. Leading role in this case: study abroad fling / temporary boyfriend who lives 5,000 miles away. (I'm sure my friends are screaming at this one and I'm dying picturing it. But I just trying to be transparent. Also Gabriel and I still maintain a healthy friendship and he's probably loving this attention. He's also probably googling what "fling" means.)
-I have been really bad at setting healthy boundaries. On the last day of my Interpersonal Communication class, my (amazing) professor gave us 6 suggestions for increasing power and competence as a communicator. It's a bomb list, tbh, but one point is: "Powerful people establish healthy boundaries". I can't say no. I might be studying for an exam I am sure to fail, but if my friend is like "hey I need someone to go to Walgreens with me and help me pick out bandaids", I'm like yes. Okay. This is my calling. I need to help! WRONG. I've skipped my own homework assignments to proof read someone else's paper, I've gone on dates I ~really~ did not want to go on, I've taken shots I didn't need (lolz), because I can't say no. Wrong! Leading role in this case: people who always get the yeses.
Okay listen. I'm not saying you should say "WHEW F EVERYONE ELSE! ALL FOR ME! I AIN'T HELPIN NOOOOO ONE!". This is different. You still should be a good person and treat others the way you want to be treated and all that stuff. But you shouldn't light yourself on fire to keep someone else warm, you feel me?
Here are some ways you can start acting like the leading actress in your own life:
1. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
Nothing in life is mandatory. Literally nothing. Yes, there are consequences but there is nothing you absolutely must do. So if you need to skip a mandatory meeting, call in sick to work, or rain-check a plan with a friend...I mean if you really need to, DO IT! You have to take care of yourself. Your organizations, job or even your best friends are not the lead actresses in your life. You are.
2. Find your WHY
Why are you doing what you're doing? Why are you feeling what you are feeling? Follow that.
3. Don't be so hard on yourself!!!!
You're doing just fine. Listen to your moral compass. Listen to your soul. You're okay. You woke up today, that's a start! You're doing so well!! We put so many expectations on ourselves. Impossible ones. And when we do not or can not meet them, we are so cruel to ourselves. You wouldn't let someone talk to your best friend the way you talk to yourself, would you? Like sometimes (everyday) I get out of the shower and see myself in the mirror and say the meanest things to myself in my head. You betcha if Lauren and I were at Target and some woman called her fat, ugly, unlovable, I'd knock a betch OUT. Be kind to others but be kind to yourself.
4. Have more root beer floats.
10/10 scientists agree that there is a direct correlation between root beer float consumption and happiness.
Okay, sorry this was so long. But school's out so you need to intellectually stimulate yourself by continuing to read long texts. *pretends anything I said above in intellectually stimulating lolz*
P.S. Sorry I just proofed on mobile and holy it's long. <3