Month: May 2018

essay, everything

Recognize your struggles

It’s okay to fall down.

It’s okay to have a hard time. The hard time exists whether you admit or not. It’s easier to admit it.

It’s okay to realize that lemons are really sour and not make lemonade. Sometimes you don’t want to hide the sour; you want it to use it.

It’s okay to cry when bad things happen. You don’t have to be happy all the time.

It’s okay to make mistakes and struggle and admit that you aren’t doing great. The mistakes are there whether you admit them or not.

It’s okay to forget about the silver linings for a moment and just admit that things are difficult. Silver linings don’t take away all the pain.

It’s okay to think that life is hard. Because it is.

It is okay to realize that your dreams are never going to happen and that you have failed in certain ways. Sometimes dreams don’t work with reality.

We can accept life for what it is. And sometimes life is messy and difficult. But it’s also happy and wonderful too. It’s all of that together. It doesn’t have to be always happy and good. It doesn’t always have to be sad either. Sometimes it’s a mess of in-between.

But we wake up every morning, we decide what we’re going to do next, and that’s all we have.

I’ve spent too much of my life trying to force it into a specific template instead of just letting it be how it is. And when I accept life for what it is, I am much more able to do that next thing instead of worrying about what I wished would have happened.

I’m trying, and the trying is enough.

 

my life

I can do this

I don’t exactly like talking to people on the phone. When I was young, I was downright terrified of it. I’m not sure why–maybe I was afraid that I would look like an idiot and not know what to say.

Somehow, I had this fear that if I was in the middle of a conversation, the experience would be so overwhelming that my brain would stop working and I wouldn’t know what to say or I would say the entirely wrong thing. And sometimes, admittedly, conversation does not work out as expected and I do say things that aren’t quite what I meant.

But really, it’s my fear of saying the wrong thing that actually makes me say the wrong thing. Because when I’m not afraid, I just think and talk and things work out fine.

I watched this video the other day:

When I watched that video about artificial intelligence that could hold a conversation like a human, it made me realize: I am smarter than Google Duplex, and so I can talk on the phone (and in other places) just fine and I don’t have to be afraid anymore. That program has a limited amount of responsiveness, and it can hold a conversation and not look like an idiot (though I am sure sometimes it does look like an idiot when it’s not on camera). I have years of experience with working with people, and the ability to think creatively and come up with new responses.

I don’t have to be afraid because I am actually completely capable.

I have also been listening to a few chapters of a book about making a good first impression and getting along with people. It’s pretty easy, really: make eye contact, don’t close yourself off, smile, find common ground–simple things.

If you happen to be shy or socially awkward or any of that, realize that you are just fine how you are. You are smarter than a robot–so you are capable of conversation and connections. Yes, there might be awkward moments, but your brain is capable of responding, correcting, and continuing onward. You can do it. There’s no reason to be afraid.

inspiration

We aren’t perfect

The biggest surprise I’ve had in becoming an adult is that I’m not very good at this.

I guess when I was younger, I expected that I would grow up and be a stable, happy, functioning adult. And while I knew I wouldn’t be perfect, I guess I figured that I would at least be competent.

Instead, sometimes I am a complete wreck.

And I want to be better. Of course I do. We all do. But sometimes it’s really hard. Life is harder than expected.

Part of this is being a parent–there is nothing quite so humbling as being a parent. Being a parent requires you to basically be good at everything at the same time. It’s an extreme sport in patience, faith, teaching, loving, and more. Every parents makes a whole lot of mistakes because sometimes there are no easy answers.

But I have to start separating myself from my extreme expectations of being able to do everything and do it well. Life isn’t like that.

There are messy days in life.

Days when I cry over spilled milk. Or I just don’t feel like talking with anyone. Or I say no to good things. Or we eat cereal for dinner. Or I binge watch random videos I don’t even like.

I want to get rid of the messy days and I want to get rid of them for forever. But I’m not perfect. Life isn’t perfect either.

But I don’t need to be ashamed that I’m not always on top of things and I make mistakes, sometimes large mistakes. Because the perfect person I’ve envisioned is just in my head, an ideal that I made up and that isn’t part of how the world really is.

I don’t need to expect perfection in myself or perfection in others. But what I can expect is that I keep trying and I keep moving forward.

I may never overcome some of my weaknesses. But I can keep trying my best to do the best I can, and be happy in my efforts. My efforts mean something, even if the results are less than impressive. I can keep trying.

I am worth something. I am worthwhile. I am doing better than I think I am.

It’s funny–I write these essays and I’m not always very good at what I’m writing about. In fact, sometimes I’m really bad at it, which is why I’m writing the essay. And sometimes I keep learning the same thing over and over and over again.

Because knowing something in my head for a minute is a lot different than learning how to live it. And so I will keep learning the same thing over and over again, and maybe I’ll get just a little bit better at it every time I keep trying.