Giving Up (but not in the depressing way you'd think)

It’s a rare instance to find something on the internet that speaks to you (kind of like it’s a rare condition this day in age to read any good news on the newspaper page). With the millions (billions?) of images and articles you see every day, it takes a real shiny one to impress; ones most likely to catch my eye are dripping w/ chocolate and sparkles. 

When I saw this article a few days ago I knew it was one of those exceptional occasions. I read it over and over, each item not only resonating w/ me, some of them making me feel like the author knew me personally. Complaining? Check. The need to impress others? Whoa, scary. The need to always be right? Hitting a little too close to home there, Observer.

So I made up a little list of my own. I don’t know why I cling to these things, but I do know that giving them up will make me a lot happier. Let’s discuss, shall we? 

Give up trying to please everyone. I hate hate hate when people are mad at me; just call me Monica Geller. What can I say, I have an overwhelming need to please people. Usually these people aren’t even people I care about (and for some reason I have no problem picking a fight w/ my boyfriend or sisters, the people I love the most). So seriously, what gives? Why do I need to make the taxi driver and the bartender feel like a superstar? I don’t appreciate the fact that we’re letting everyone and their mom merge in front of us to lengthen the trip and raise my fare, and I certainly don’t want to try that nasty sounding drink “special” for $6. But I leave the driver w/ a big tip and a sugary “thank you!” and agree to try the bartender’s drink w/ such gusto you’d think they were offering me free nachos and shots on the house. But not anymore; the old “you can’t please everyone” is going to be my mantra from now on. 

Give up self-loathing. Somewhere along the way on this journey called life I’ve racked up some real self-esteem issues. Which I project onto others whenever possible. I hate on people like the Kardashians b/c they’re trashy whores I want to be them, obviously. Life’s too short for me hate on these girls b/c they have long legs and millions of dollars. I refuse to let these superficial things define me from now on. 

Give up judgment. This is something I’m insanely ashamed of. I used to share those “let’s sit in the corner and judge everyone here” ecards like it was my job. It’s a crutch. As someone who judges people harshly, I can admit that it’s from a place of insecurity; I brand the girl in them minidress as a slut and the dude w/ the mullet as white trash b/c it’s easier than getting to know them. Not that I have the time or desire to get to know everyone I come into contact with or anything, but I do have the desire to not be such a judgmental bitch. I’ve gotten better at not saying all the critical thoughts that run through my mind, but the next stop is squashing these thoughts entirely.

Give up allowing others to dictate my feelings. My parents had a sign hanging up in their house w/ a whole bunch of inspirational quotes (and by sign I mean sheet of 8.5 x11 printer paper w/ the quotes printed in Times New Roman and handwriting scrawled across to emphasize important point; I mean, this was circa 2001 before Pinterest and fancy fonts like Comic Sans). One that I remember to this day: “I'm convinced life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.” Thanks, Chuck Swindoll. This life is mine, not anyone else’s, so why should I let anyone else determine my feelings? 

Give up on trying to kick the sweet tooth. It’s clearly not going anywhere. The sooner I realize that, the sooner I can stop w/ these bullshit fad fixes and the sooner I can get some PB M&M’s in my mouth, sans the guilt.

I'm not saying I've successfully kicked these nasty habits; there's no overnight fix for years of bad behavior. But recognizing the problem is the first step, or so I'm told. 
Wish me luck.  


Sarah said…
Good luck with this!! I try to be more positive and not focus on criticizing and things that aren't important, but everyday is a work in progress. I think starting this off with a "Family Matters" reference is a good omen for you - I hope you can drop the negativity the way that show dropped the younger sister with no explanation.
Malory said…
I feel like I just had your reaction to the article, but mine was to your post. Great stuff. I especially hear you on the self-loathing thing - what is WITH that?!
Stephanie said…
But I love judging people. It's so fun. I'm so good at it. And I do hate the Kardashians. I'm certainly jealous of their money, but I can't imagine that I actually want to be them... I just want to me famous and rich for doing nothing, minus the sex tapes and general trashiness. There I go judging again. But is it judging if it's true?!
Michele said…
You Go Girl!!!

Giving up self loathing is a huge goal I have (and one I'm still failing at on a regular basis!) What a good reminder!
Brigid said…
Thanks for all the support ladies!

Mal and Michele: seriously, the whole self-loathing thing needs to stop immediately. we're fabulous!

Steph: valid point! being famous for being trashy and making sex tapes isn't a judgment, it's just calling it like you see it...points for honesty, right?

Sarah: I don't even remember the younger sister...was she as annoying as that aunt and her son who seemed to be phased out season by season?