Be selfish sometimes.

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What’s up world? It’s nice to meet you. My name is Annie and I’m 23 years old… which means that I have tons of experience being inexperienced. I like to think that I know shit, although most of this letter is as much of a reminder for me as it is a notice to you. I’m obsessed with happiness and enjoy living life optimistically. I’m sure you’re like… oh, well everyone can’t be happy, you asshole. Some people have real shit going on. To this I say… you should read my previous posts. But whatever, I forgive you.

So here’s everything I think about the world. Here’s my unsolicited advice to you:

Don’t be mean. It’s such wasted energy. You don’t have to love everyone… you don’t even have to be super nice all the time. But don’t be a dick. Nothing is worse than watching two people going at it… biting back and forth. It doesn’t matter who started it – you both look stupid. If someone is being an ass to you, kill them with kindness. Make them feel bad for ever mistreating you. Be the bigger person. When you just stab back, you’re showing them that you deserve to be treated poorly because you’re not above doing it yourself. Be a genuinely nice person… and if you can’t be nice, just shut up and walk away.

Spend your time wisely. I can’t stress this enough. I learned really quickly in life that we don’t have enough of it. Stop talking about wanting to do something and just do it. Stop giving yourself excuses. You’re not too old and you’re not too busy. I hate hearing someone talk about how bad they want to try something… only to hear “oh, but I could NEVER do that!” Why not? You’re not going to know unless you try. Prioritize in life. What means the most to you? Who means the most to you? Spend your time with people you love… people who treat you with kindness and care. Sometimes the person you need to be with the most is yourself. Time spent in relaxation isn’t wasted… you need it. And stop saying that you’re too old to start a hobby. I hate that shit. You’re never too old to begin doing something that you love. Age is but a number… your desires and personality stand the test of time.

Choose good friends. You are the only person responsible for this. You are the only person to blame when you get upset over a bad friend. Cut them loose. There are so many people in this world who are willing to love you… why waste your time with someone who doesn’t? They’ll make you feel inferior and insecure. Your friends are supposed to support you and if they’re not doing that, let them go. You don’t owe them anything.

Leaving doesn’t mean running away. When I moved from Connecticut to Chicago, I wasn’t running away from anything. I love my family and I love my hometown… leaving was actually a little difficult, and increasingly so as the years went on. However, I knew that I had the chance to branch out and find who I am. I knew that there was something more for me to discover. And with that…

Do what’s good for you. Be selfish sometimes. This makes me think of the Billy Joel song, “James”. Do what’s good for you, or you’re not good for anybody. I used to feel really guilty about moving. It felt selfish… I knew my mom missed me and I felt horrible when I wasn’t home for the rough times. But coming to Chicago really made a huge difference in my life. I found that I was a happier person because I was able to find my people and felt like I really fit in here. I’m able to do my comedy thing and be in an environment that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy back home. This makes me an overall better person to be around. If I wasn’t selfish in my move, I wouldn’t be good for anyone. I would probably still be depressed and searching for something to grasp onto. Instead, I’m doing what I love… which makes me a more lovable person.

Learn how to get through the hard days. We all have them. Those days where getting out of bed is an impossible task. You feel like it would be so much easier to give up and you have no idea how the hell you’re going to survive your pain. Life suddenly feels so long and you wonder if things would be easier if you just went away. No one understands you and you can’t stop crying… or worse, you can’t even begin to cry because you’re so numb. No matter what people tell you, you can’t believe that it’ll get better… you feel so helpless. But it always gets better… always. Everything is temporary. Let yourself feel what you feel and don’t apologize for it. Live through your pain with the knowledge that tomorrow is a new day. All you have to do is go to sleep… when you wake up you’ll have another chance.

Ask for help. Admit your flaws and troubles. Open up and let people know that you’re not okay. That you need someone to talk to. You’ll be surprised by how many others have been there before. The happiest people you know are probably so damn happy because they know what darkness is like. Everyone carries a secret bag of shit… they just may not wear it on their sleeve. If you never ask for help, you’ll never receive it. People can’t read you as well as you think they can… and don’t sit there angry when no one asks you what’s wrong. You have to reach out.

Let others know that they’re important to you. They won’t always be in your life. People move or drift away… or sometimes their season in your life comes to an end and you no longer depend on them like you used to. Let them know they made a difference, that they taught you something, while they’re still there. Maybe they’ll be in your life forever, maybe they won’t, but let them know that you care for them while they’re around. Your mentors aren’t immune to times of self-doubt. Let them know that they make a difference.

Above all, be yourself. Which is hard, right? Well sometimes it’s as simple as checking in with your body. How do you feel? What do you want? What do you have to do to get there? Who is important to you? Are you being true to who you really are? I stopped lying a while ago. I try my best to always tell the truth. That’s how I know I’m being myself. If I feel like I’m trying to conform to fit someone else’s expectations, I question whether or not I really need that person around. When you’re being yourself, other people who are likeminded will be attracted to you and you’ll form this group of people who you really care about. Who you feel like you’ll never have to “fake it” around. This will make you love life more than anything.

Be kind. Don’t be afraid. Know that most people want you to succeed. 

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