Lessons I Learned From Being Awful For Years

I know you.

You’re pretty hard on yourself. It’s been, like, 24 years since you last cut yourself a break. And if I remember correctly, that wasn’t a break; it was your umbilical cord.

You’re just like every other 20-something girl: full of dreams you’ve deemed unrealistic because you’re too lazy, scared or distracted to make them come true. You’ve got great skin, but don’t know how to apply makeup. You’re kind, but timid. You say, “YOLO!” and then recoil from potentially life-changing risks.

I’m sick of it. And I know you’re sick of it, too– not just because this is self-directed, but because I know that the only thing worse than failure is knowing you failed only for lack of trying.

This ends today.

First of all, stop judging yourself. You’re exactly who you are, and the only person who can change that is you. If you want to, then do it. If you don’t want to, then don’t.

Don’t waste time hating yourself because you can’t run four miles; can’t find a better job; can’t cook a steak; can’t sing.

Instead, keep trying. Maybe you’ll never make it more than three miles, maybe you’ll hit ten. And steak is a tricky meat to cook– don’t beat yourself up. Sometimes you have to accept that your personal best isn’t the universe’s best. How could it be? That’s just not logical.

Even Party Spock can deduce that.


You’re not the only one you need to stop judging; other people aren’t defendants in your personal court of acceptability. If your opinion isn’t asked for, don’t give it. Don’t even think it. Allocate that energy toward something useful, instead.

Like, I don’t know, finishing college? Perfecting your resume? Learning how to play the marimba? Fighting crime as your alter-ego, Carnivalus Doberwoman?

Fine. Whatever. Just do something aside from making choices for other people. Remember what I just said about being the universal best? You’re not. Which means you have no business in other’s people’s business.

And stop being mean. To everyone. Yourself, your friends, your annoying coworker, the lady at CapitalOne who won’t waive the late fee on your credit card payment.

Remember: Anger leads to hate; hate leads to suffering; suffering sucks.

If you’re unhappy with someone or something, be proactive, not reactive.

“What does that mean?!”

If you’re charged a late fee, it’s because you were late (Party Spock strikes again!) Be proactive and pay your bills on time from now on, instead of being reactive and throwing a toddler tantrum in hopes of getting your $35 back.

And finally, breathe. Just remember, “When you have to, you change your ways, and you’ll be healthy for the rest of your days.”

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