It’s Not the End of the World

Along with the inevitable “Top 10” lists that come out this time of year, we’re also being inundated with talk of the Mayans and the end of the world.

“What would you do if it were your last day? How would you spend your time and what would you say/eat/wear/post to your soon-to-be-doomed Facebook page? For the love of broccoli, live each day as if it were your last!”

I don’t live each day as if it were my last simply because it’s impractical. If everyone subscribed to that suggestion we would have no custodians, waitresses or accountants and only millions of actors and musicians traveling the world or co-writing a column with Tina Fey from their couch (okay, that last one is me.)

But that’s the practical, concrete “big picture,” and that’s not the point of this post. The point is that watching the news or reading online makes it painfully clear that everyone—young and old—is mortal. Regardless of our differences, this is something we all have in common. It’s a challenge we all face together.

Another challenge is admitting that fact, or more accurately, any weakness to those that we know.

I’m convinced that most people think “the other person” has figured out the world before they have. That person won life, so that means we’ve lost. We don’t have it all figured out yet and good lord! We’re at an age when we SHOULD have it all figured out, we SHOULD know what makes us happy and exactly how to get to—and more importantly—stay in that place.

I call bullshit.

I call bullshit on the whole thing, as the world is too freaking confusing for anyone to have it all figured out, whatever that even means. We live in an age when people hide behind computer screens or emotional barriers and carefully plan their communication with other people, something that makes truly honest moments few and far between.

And for some reason there’s a societal stigma attached to feeling lost or confused, to letting yourself be seen as vulnerable or admitting that no, you actually don’t know what the hell you’re doing — even though most people likely feel the same way.

Well, I don’t know what the hell I’m doing other than living life day to day.

I’m technically a mess.

I’m open, I’m raw, I say how I feel and often feel stupid about a lot of the things that I do or don’t do. I question myself and my decisions a lot of the time. And those questions I have yet to find answers to? I obsess over that all too often. I’m human and I’m flawed, but long ago I made the decision to not feel ashamed of that fact.

And when I see people who have sort of an effortless peace to their lives, who are comfortable with wherever they’re at even if they don’t have it “all figured out,” I know that that’s something I want—not to “figure it all out,” but to be okay with wherever I am.

So to do that, I ask myself this—not just before the planned end of the world, but on days when I’m feeling like crap:

  • Who and what do I want to surround myself with? Is it healthy or simply a habit?
  • If something is ticking me off, do I want to make a change or make a point, be right or be content?
  • Why do I feel insecure? What’s really important to me?
  • How will obsessing on things in the past help me feel more at peace with things now?

I try every day to find peace and accept there are bumps—sometimes massive, frustrating speed bumps—in the road, in everyone’s road, truth be told.

But you know what? That’s just life.

And it’s not the end of the world.

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22 responses to “It’s Not the End of the World

  1. This is why I love you so. You’re not afraid to just admit when you feel anxietal or overwhelmed. You say you are, but you are really good about being honestly vulnerable, and it’s a tough thing to do. So good on you! And this, exactly this: “We live in an age when people hide behind computer screens or emotional barriers and carefully plan their communication with other people, something that makes truly honest moments few and far between.”

    I am scared shitless by how people can not communicate kindly and honestly face to face anymore. People may say I’m reminiscing and it’s no worse than it was, but that’s where I CALL BULLSHIT. Social media and people’s over reliance on it are to blame, and it makes me really sad. There are great ways to use Facebook and Twitter. Saying to me, “I miss you since you’re not on Facebook” when you know my phone number, address, and email, makes me want to slap you. Super hard.

  2. Exactly this. I know that life will never and can never be perfect or easy, but I yearn to be a person who can accept what happens and be at peace with themselves. And then I wonder if even those people who seem like they have that are just big fat fakers? Which means I’m even more fucked up than I originally thought ;)

  3. Hear, hear! I want to be like the people who have peace, too.

  4. Damn it! I was hoping the end of the world was a big cure-all and I didn’t have to keep plugging away at my own insecurities. It would be a hell of alot easier if it all just ceased to exist than to juggle all these freakin’ balls and try to make it look effortless. Cause it sure as hell isn’t!

  5. Secretly, I don’t believe anyone has it figured out, including me!

  6. As always, I love your honesty and authenticity. Your introspective blog posts are always so refreshing and such an insightful joy to read – people don’t always write from their soul, and heart, like you do.

    Love this post.

    Maybe one day we’ll have it all figured out, and we’ll email each other and be all “Oh, hey! I’m just so mindful and calm right now, everything makes sense in the world”.

    But where’s the fun in that?
    :)

    Love you, friendo xo

    • Nah. Even then we would wake up to a pile of cat puke or get cut off in traffic and “BAM!” right back to wishing the Mayans were right ;) XOXO

  7. There will always be those bumps in the road and things that make life hard. I am constantly going back and forth with being content and happy with where I am to a complete mess and “why am i not further in my professional life, everyone around me is married, WHY CAN”T I GET MY HAIR TO LOOK LIKE THAT?!?!”

    Everyone who is supposedly “happy all the time and have it all figured out” are either delirious or faking. Life is too volatile. Human emotion makes it impossible to be that way.

    Have you seen “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World”? I found it sad, but for some reason I thought it was a beautiful movie.

    • I haven’t seen that movie, mostly because I haven’t rented a movie in forever because my attention span is that of a cracked up gnat with ADD. However, if I do, I shall venture into that realm. And I know you get it. And your hair always looks great, so zip it ;)

  8. I think the people who have that effortless peace at any given moment got there through a lot of effort; it’s the bumps in the road that give you perspective to not take the other stuff too seriously. Weirdly, I think I’m a happier person after getting chronically ill than I was when I was completely healthy — so much of what I worried about before was just so not worth it!

  9. I call bullshit, too. Which is why I love you.

  10. Love that you aren’t afraid to be real. I’ve accepted the fact that I’ll probably never “get it,” but I’ll keep trying, I suppose! :)

  11. I needed to hear this today. Thank you.

  12. I can really relate to what you say. I am who I am but constantly at war with myself about the things I say, do and blog about. Always thinking “AAHHH! Why did I do that”? But then I ask myself “which person am I really that bothered about with what they think of me”? My answer is always No one. I don’t try to offend people but it’s good to think along the lines of ‘If I loose all my friends today then I’ll just make new ones tomorrow’! The joys of travelling :-)

  13. I’d like to think I’d be doing something grand on the hypothetical last day – like conquering my fear of spiders or experiencing a full body orgasm, but it’s much more likely that I’ll be on the toilet when it all goes down.

    And if it never happens, I’ll just continue with being a mess as well.
    Such is life. And it goes on.

  14. Again, you hit it out of the park! Phenomenal post. You hit just the right chord of funny and touching. I’d be right there with you on the couch with Tina Fey.

    It is funny how most of us feel like other people have figured everything out. No one has, even the most even keel of us. We’re all on this crazy ride and some days it’s all we can do to just hang on. It’s not easy. Anyone who says it is needs to get back in touch with reality.

    • We’ve both been on the same page with our posts as of late. We don’t have it all figured out, and figuring that out in and of itself is a small victory.

  15. There are some people I’ve come across in the Blogosphere who seem almost like my family so close are they in attittude and outlook to me on so many matters. “Technically I am a mess” you say. Briliiant, Delighted to hear it. Thats a relief. I’m feeling better already. I always thought you were a mess, and therefore just like me.

    I also think you are witty, amusing, observant, thoughtful, particular and loyal in a curious and hard to define way. Just like me. Thats whats so heartwarming about coming to your Blog. You always make me smile x

  16. I always feel like the people who look they have it all figured out, really don’t. It’s like FB. Of course everyone “looks” happy, no one is going to post pictures of the crappy parts of life!

    Here’s to being an awesome mess! Cheers!

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