At 34, I am a full fledged grown up. I’ve experienced a lot - good and bad. I’ve made friends, found love, destroyed relationships, rinse and repeat. I’ve been dirt poor, and have been fortunate enough to overcome it. I’ve done responsible things, like take my kids to 20,000 different appointments, events, etc. I stay on top of my bills. This is adulthood.
A huge benefit of becoming a grown up is that I have gotten to know myself - pretty well, actually. Plenty there that I’m fond of, plenty there that I could/should improve upon.
I’ve had a wonky week. I felt slighted by not being included in an event that I wasn’t even interested in (#toddler) and found myself feeling the familiar “square peg” feelings. Insecure, I started comparing myself to a whole bunch of different people - always finding that I was falling short.
Something that you don’t figure out as an adult, I’m finding - is friendship. That seems kind of hard to maintain at all the ages.
So, like a TOTAL cliche, I started listening to a self help book. Granted, this one is kind of edgy and spews the word “fuck” a lot (totally my kind of book, btw) but alas ... a self help book. In “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck” the author (Mark Manson) says, “The desire for more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience.”
Dude. This hit me hard. I’ve read and reread that - all day long. It was the kick in the ass that I needed.
The book isn’t about becoming apathetic and not caring about anything - the author himself says that that kind of behavior is the making of psychopath, and I certainly am not aiming for that outcome. But - his advice is to CHOOSE what to give a fuck about - where to invest your care.
I’ve let myself get caught up in some super trivial nonsense that DOES NOT MATTER, and so today in my emotional KonMari efforts, I plan on purging the following:
- Today I unfollowed all of the beautiful influencers of Instagram (sans a few that I personally know) because I DO NOT NEED TO SEE THAT SHIT. I know for a fact that just like me, they have bad days, messes, and pores. They go poop. The glossiness and beauty is a trap that I continue to stumble in and I’m not here for that. Gone, zap, goodbye. (This is not a diss, influencers. Y’all are amazing. I just keep feeling inadequate when I zone into your photos, and I need to maybe stop that nonsense.)
- I am consciously choosing WHAT I look at. More importantly, WHO. I am inspired, and strengthened by people I know and the stories they share. Maybe the photos are glossed (much like my own) but the captions are raw. I resonate with transparency, and I am going to surround myself with people who share that ideology. Life is messy, and that’s kind of the best part. I need to see your messes to really relate.
- I am OWNING who I am. Flaws and all. Inconsistencies and all. I saw somebody recently diss photo filtering and I rolled my eyes cause that bish had perfect skin. It’s easy for a face like Alicia Keys to go makeup-less, but some of us need to layer some shit on to look human, okay? And I can admit, I’ve been heavy handed with the Face Tuning from time to time (my teeth aren’t blue white for example) but, it’s hilarious to look back and see those mishaps. I am transparently telling you that I DO NOT wish to show you my physical imperfections because, I straight up don’t have to. The end.
- I am going to walk around in my bathing suit in a few weeks, knowing full and well that I have some cute little face dimples, that accidentally landed on my butt, and I am just not going to continue to feel hung up on that. I am 34. I liked my legs better a decade ago, but I wouldn’t trade my wisdom for those legs - ever. So if dimples are the trade, the transaction is complete. No refunds. I got a steal!
- Here’s my big challenge: I am going to embrace that I cannot (ugh, so frustrating) please everybody. For reasons out of my control, not everybody will like me or want to be my friend or invite me to xyz. And. THAT IS OKAY. Instead of feeling slighted by dumb stuff that shouldn’t matter, I am going to feel fulfilled by the things that DO. Like meaningful friendships, and a supportive and loving family - both of which I am lucky enough to have. (I said lucky, not blessed. Last post Taylor would be proud ... But maybe getting hungup on the word blessed is somethig I should purge? Meh?)
Last thing. Related, but kind of not. Stick with me. I was scrolling through the feeds, those dangerous dangerous feeds, and I saw so many group photos. So many friends and “squads” and I felt like I was coming up short. I’m def in an awkward friend stage of my life because A) I moved away from my besties and B) My bite sized dictators keep my life just chaotic enough that it’s hard to fit in time to deepen the relationships I’ve created here. (Don’t get me wrong, I’ll continue to try - it’s just hard.) All this to say, I was feeling inadequate. Uncool. Unloved. So dumb. Anyhoo, I went ahead and clicked on my own profile and scrolled my photos doing my best to not get trapped in the familiarity of them, and do you know what I saw? I saw a family centric person. I saw that my priorities are family. How’s that for a squad goal? How silly that it took me looking at my own tiny squares to realize that DUH, what really matters to me are my tiny tribe and the tribes we came from. That’s it. Voila. It made me feel a lot better for some reason - so there’s that.
Anyhoo, I encourage you to purge just a little of the junk that you’re getting caught up on. I probably sounded super shallow in this post, and that’s okay. Because I am NOT purging the important stuff - the concern for equality, the nonsensical massacres that continue to happen at schools nationwide, the outrage at the shit show that is American politics, the gut wrenching pain of seeing children ripped from their parents at the border - as a few examples. I’ll continue to harbor all that - I hope you will too.
But cellulite? Pshhhhh. I’m over it.