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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