OK, fine, life isn't that big of a dick, but the title popped into my head and I knew I had to use it.
I mean, it's KIND OF a dick. It's taken two good people I adored from this world in the last two months who were WAY too young to go.
It's confronted me with some old challenges, and some new. The kind where I'm struggling to identify the base components, sift through, react and respond accordingly and appropriately.
And let's not even talk about stuff outside my own sphere, like people blowing up marathons or kids or other innocent people both here at home and the world over.
But overall, I think I'm getting a little better at it, this whole life/adulthood thing.
I still do dumb shit. I still speak well before thinking. I can still be catty or flippant with people and situations that deserve far more respect.
But I think I catch things more quickly now. I don't always wait until I'm mired in a thing to say, "Oh fuck. Well, how does one get out of this?"
So, in the spirit of soul puke, here are a few things I'm learning about this beast we call life, which can be a dick, sure, but still has some beautiful parts to it...not unlike that hottie from the bar you bang occasionally.
1. I have what I like to call "life or death" moments.
A dramatic description, sure, but allow me to explain myself (if I haven't already somewhere on this blog before).
"Life or death" moments are the ones where you can foresee the end result of a decision about 27 moves out.
So, like, texting the "bad news" dude, casually, "just to say hi." That's a move made where--if you're really honest with yourself--you know EXACTLY how it's going to pan out in a month (you, in tears, him all like, "I'm seeing someone else, I thought you knew that.")
For me, I have life or death moments when it comes to my own self-care.
After a regrettable experience with a Mirena IUD that sent me into my first ever bout of for-real, can't-get-out-of-bed, my-whole-body-hurts, I-hate-life, crying-for-no-reason, I-never-believed-in-it-until-it-happened-to-me depression, followed by a round of therapy that helped me to identify that I've been living my life in a mild state of anxiety since, oh, forever, I can tell when I'm on a precipice.
These moments are never anything terribly bad. It might be a funk, or a mood, or a simple shift in the way I view the world or my life.
But it's there...it's that moment that could turn into a thousand other moments, which could turn into, "I can no longer function normally and this is dangerous."
I wrote in my journal the other day that these moments are a "sinking, dampening feeling...water seeping in through boots, leaving socks soggy."
Which is like, the WORST feeling ever, amirite??
Anyway, when I have one of these moments, I know I must make a decision immediately or face tumbling into the abyss. Not today, not tomorrow even, or next week. But soon.
I refuse to let that shit happen.
For me, these moments mean that I need to hit the gym, STAT. Or write it all out. Or call one of my core people.
I am good at the former (at least in the sense that I know how to execute, and it's good for me), and trying to be better with the latter. Getting there. Which leads me to:
2. I am bad at balancing independence/strength with my inherent need for connection.
I think there's this thing that single people do where we scream and shout and yell that we are just fine all by ourselves! We don't need a man/woman/blow up doll to be happy! Haha, look at you suckers all out on date night on Friday! We're in watching Homeland, wearing sweatpants, with a whole pizza and a bottle of wine ALL TO OUR PETS-AS-CHILDREN SELVES.
WE DON'T HAVE TO SHAVE OUR PUBES LIKE YOU SUCKERS!! MWHAHAHAHAAA!
I think we're doing ourselves a disservice.
I mean, I get it. I get why we feel the need to rail against a society that sells us the Disney Princess lie...that we can only be happy when coupled and fitting in nicely to our gender roles. That we are somehow "rescued" when we're in a relationship.
But what we're really sliencing is our inherent need for connection. And, yes, we NEED connection.
Or at least, that's what I'm learning.
I'm learning that it's okay for me to be a strong, independent woman (a thing I fought and clawed for) but also want to connect with someone...
...with my pants parts.
Oh yeah, and my heart and shit. Whatever.
3. Owning your truth can suck hard. Like, real hard.
As discussed earlier, there come those moments in life where your own self-care is paramount.
Maybe it's a simple acknowledgement that French Fries are a "sometimes food," or that you're perpetually making yourself miserable by never getting more than six hours of sleep, or that it's finally time to have an honest meeting with the boss to say, "I'm in over my head and I want to throw up when I think of spending another 14 hour day here."
Then there are those other moments where your heart says, "Let's make this hurt so good," but your head says, "You know that's a terrible idea."
So those are the times you have to say, "Enough."
And it sucks. It'll hurt, yes. And you'll have moments of confusion where you'll wonder if you did the right thing, that maybe, maybe if you had stuck with it, it would defy the odds and turn out differently.
I guess I'm just at the point in my life where situations that offer fleeting moments of happiness in exchange for consistent moments of my heart to be ground to a pulp isn't an acceptable state of being.
That's when you start confusing "happiness" with "reprieve." Those feelings are two very different things, friends.
Owning your truth is less about protecting oneself and more about honoring the reality of one's limitations. There is something raw and vulnerable and honest about saying, "I can only handle this much," then asking others to respect your stopping point with you.
It's self-care at its finest...and most painful. It's also a step in the right direction.
And that's what adulthood is, I suppose. Lots and lots of tiny steps in the right direction.
All pictures from my Instagram account where I sometimes take pictures of phallic looking clouds. Follow me @sarahjstorer, you goons.