BEFORE YOU SAY IT, I KNOW. It’s been a really long-ass time since I wrote anything that wasn’t work related. And honestly, I’ve been cheating myself out doing this, too. Since I’ve graduated, I have had time to collect my thoughts over the past, oh I don’t know, six or seven months and really get down to the core. I’ve had a lot of time on my hands since school is officially over. Forever (muahaha. I’m done. I’m not actually maniacally laughing, but I think it hasn’t completely hit me yet).
So what have I been doing? Besides doing weird old lady things, like clean, buy a label maker, and scrapbook, I’ve been reminiscing like a mad woman. Whether it’s the past year or the past five years, I’ve thought about it all. Every last detail. From who I was to who I am now. I’ve gone over my life with a fine-toothed comb.
How do I even begin to sum up what I’ve learned? It’s really impossible. Teachers, friends, coworkers, family, and people I’ve met in passing have all taught me truly important lessons. And I’m always trying to get to the deep pit of what they taught me. Finding the message, the meaning, whatever it is that they intentionally tried to make me realize or just did it without really knowing.
So I’m sitting here digging through all the knowledge and valuable life advice that has been passed down to me from people and trying to come up with something to categorize it as. Well, go figure, I can’t do that in one sitting. No matter how hard I try. So what I think I’m going to do is look at the bigger picture…
Imagine yourself going through a fossil collection. Dissecting every single bone. From the structure, to the condition in which you found it, to the components that make this fossil a fossil. You dust all the dirt and soot away from this bone, treasuring it while looking at it through a magnifying glass. When do you stop and realize that what you’re sorting through, dusting off, and collecting is part of a bigger picture? When do you take a minute to pause, look at all of your fossils together, and realize that it’s actual a whole animal? You have yourself a huge picture, my friend, and you have yet to realize it.
What I’ve realized after all my sorting and rummaging through memories, advices, thoughts, struggles, and heartaches, is that you have to take a minute and look at it all as one, big, cool collection of shit that just randomly comes together into a lovely picture you have to call your own. And guess what? You have to be grateful about it. Be glad you have it. Just be glad to have something that otherwise is just a bunch of messed up, thrown together pieces, and ends up being absolutely perfect and necessary to where you’re headed.
Instead of me sitting here, recounting all of the great stuff I’ve collected over the past year or so, I’m going to paint you a picture. Here are my bigger-picture tips. Hopefully when you read this, if you’re going through a tough time or just have forgotten how to put the brakes on your life, you’ll realize that stepping back is exactly what you need.
- When shit is weird, that’s okay: HI I’M AWKWARD. IT’S IN MY BLOG TITLE. IT’S ALSO HOW EVERYTHING ENDS UP BEING IN MY LIFE. And guess what? That’s totally fine. I used to think that when things were weird that you were supposed to run in the other direction. That is actually false. When things get hairy or too uncomfortable for you to stand, you have to just sit, wait, and laugh through it. And also, guess what? It’s really going to be okay. Seriously. So just do it.
- Always know what you deserve: This was a biggie. Taking what you think you deserve, whether it’s a pile of shit or a canopy bed laced with diamonds (seriously my DREAM), you have to know what it is that you have coming to you. If you’re a terrible person and you know it, bad things are coming your way. If you’re a lovely person with beautiful everything and wouldn’t even throw a gum wrapper on the ground, the good stuff is right around the corner. And you get EXACTLY what you put into the world (thanks, Eleni–I didn’t forget that you told me that).
- There’s always hope: Things are going to be really, really, really tough. No matter what kind of person you are. Nothing is going to be easy, and if it’s easy it’s dumb and you don’t want it anyway. But trust me when I say that there is always better stuff around the corner. I’m not really sure how to verify my credibility on this specific bullet point, but I do know that no matter what kind of shit you may wade through, you’re going to get to a field full of daisies someday. Promise, promise, promise.
I know that I’m 23, I probably don’t have all of my shit figured out yet, I know I haven’t completely experienced all that I need to be considered “wise”, but I do know what I listed above to be true. Sometimes all you need is to take a step back, look at everything that’s happening, and appreciate it for what it is. Because if you don’t, you’re missing out. Big time.