It is what it is

If you know me in person, you know that I say this all the time. I even have a bracelet that says it. It’s my daily mantra and reminder to let things be as they are.

But what happens when you don’t like how things are??

This is a question that I struggle with, because I really am not sure of the answer. I think in my yogi-philosophical brain it makes sense to say that you just have to let the situation be what it is and it will pass and become better eventually. Though this sentiment may be true and rather insightful (if I do say so, myself), real-life me is thinking that this is bulls***.

Some stuff in life can super suck and maybe you don’t want to always “live in the moment,” or whatever. It’s hard to pull yourself out of reality and step back for a minute into “rational” thinking that the sucky stuff will pass. Sometimes you just want to get out of a situation and into a better one, rather than waiting around for the storm to pass.

So why do I constantly say “It is what it is?” Am I not just contradicting myself?

Simple answer- because despite the fact that I don’t like some situations, I do need to accept what’s happening in order to move forward. Put it this way- if you’re in denial that anything is happening, then there’s nothing to change, right? If you don’t accept what’s going on as the truth of the situation, then you can’t do much to improve where you are.

If you accept the situation for what it is, you’re saying “this is the deal and I want to do something about it.” From there, you can take steps to improve whatever spot you’re in.

So it’s not really contradicting myself. If anything, these two concepts are complementary to each other. It’s expanding upon the concept of letting the situation be exactly what it is, and taking it further to embracing the suck and moving forward.

I guess the point here is that you can allow a situation to just BE, while also seeking improvement or forward-motion. The acceptance of it is key, because as soon as we accept what’s happening, we can move on.

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3 Reasons to Stop Comparing Yourself to Your Friends

We all have that one friend (or group of friends) who you look at and think to yourself, “how is she so pretty and talented? I wish I could keep up!” It happens all the time, and I’ll absolutely be the first to say that I’m constantly playing this competitive game that ultimately nobody wins. So here are three reasons to stop comparing yourself to your friends:

1- They are awesome, but so are you. “A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.”- Zen Shin. I think this quote is awesome because it’s showing that nobody has to do any better or worse than the other in order to coexist, which is completely true, particularly because you may be at different stages in life. Friends don’t often take the exact same paths, whether in career or personal life, so there really is no direct comparison. You’ll always be comparing apples to oranges, so why bother comparing at all? There doesn’t have to be levels of awesomeness, but a mutual, unspoken agreement that you both can “bloom” simultaneously.

2- You have different strengths. I’m not a fast runner, but I can bake the best brownies you’ll ever have. I’m not a great musician, but I can write fairly well (if I do say so, myself). I don’t have super shiny hair, but I can walk on cobblestone in heels without breaking an ankle, which takes a TON of talent. Point is- there’s always going to be something you don’t do well, and there’s always going to be something you excel at, so focus on the things you do well and let your friends focus on their own strengths.

3- They’re probably feeling the same way about you. Every single thing you feel toward them, I guarantee they’re feeling, too. They’re probably sitting here wishing they could bake or write or not fall over in heels, just like you’re wishing you could run or play music or make your hair stop frizzing in all this damn humidity. It’s a two-way street, and I think this realization will help to see our own strengths, not just our perceived shortcomings.

Conclusion- stop comparing yourself to your friends because you are your own kind of awesome and have many talents, and there’s always going to be someone else thinking that you’re the pretty, talented friend to keep up with.

The Struggle Is Real.

The other day, a great friend of mine responded to one of my first posts saying, “Your   blog is exactly what I needed today and like every day… It’s a really important topic. I feel like not enough people talk about it. I’m really glad you’re writing about it. I need it.” We then proceeded to commiserate about the fact that neither of us feels like we truly have our life together, but act like we do every day.

So if, when addressed on a 1:1 basis, we think it’s a good idea to talk about the fact that we’re struggling to pull our lives together, why is it so taboo to speak about it more publicly? Why do we feel like we need to constantly have our shit together?

Because we refuse to talk about our feelings. A movie cliche, yes I know, but hear me out. By refusing to acknowledge that everything might not be going great, we can’t take the steps to make life as great as it can be. If you’ve already made this realization, what comes next? Let’s just stop pretending.

To “fake it ’till you make it” or pretend that everything’s fine isn’t necessarily the answer to this ever-burning question of whether or not we’re properly progressing in life.

Talking about it, writing about it, reading about it, and just admitting that everything’s not all sunshine and rainbows all the time I think is a great first step in making a positive change. It’s acknowledging that there is room to grow and allowing others to help us figure out how. Sometimes we need a little push or a little company in our struggles, and the best place to go is to friends experiencing the same stages in life…. but if we refuse to talk about it, how do we even know that they are?

I say go ahead and assume that they have their own struggles, too. Open up a conversation and I guarantee it’ll be met with “no way, me too!” because they’re most likely feeling the same way. When we open up the conversation we can start to realize that everyone else is just acting, too, and we can finally start to feel like we’re not a failure for reconsidering a career choice or still buying your clothes at Target instead of Saks Fifth Avenue.

What is a Quarter Life Crisis and Am I Having One?

A quarter life crisis is a stage of life, usually right around your 20’s, when the world turns upside-down and you find yourself questioning everything. This can include anything from “Am I spending too much money on wine?” to “How do I find a job I don’t hate?” and “How the heck are most of my friends married and I’m still single as a pringle?”

So the answer to the second part of this ever-imposing question, is probably yes. If you found this blog, you’re probably having some form of a quarter life crisis. You’re probably somewhere in your 20’s, stumbling from brunch to work to an apartment you can barely afford.

Our twenties are a time of excitement and wonder, allowing for a sense of self-discovery as we set ourselves up for the rest of our lives, whether that be in our careers or personal lives. It’s awesome, but also terrifying.

If you can identify with any of this sense of questioning and self-discovery, then you are probably having a quarter life crisis, too. The best part, though- you’re not on your own.

I’d venture to say that most people go through this at some point- Some figure out their lives before or during college, some wait until a midlife crisis in their 50’s, but now is really the time to figure it out. You’ve already gone through your stupid teenage and college years, blundering through social situations and desperately selling your soul to get hired in any job available, regardless of what it is, so this is the time to mess up and get your hands dirty and figure out life one day at a time.

So yes, you are probably having a quarter life crisis, because the rest of us certainly are!