I really don't want to go too deep into whether or not 20somethings are just lost, wandering souls (we totes are), but I do want to share some blurbs that have helped, and are continuing to help, me make it through life alive. These blurbs of self-help have popped up on more than one occasion from various sources (friends, bosses, teachers, Tina Fey, a wise trash can sticker) so I believe them to be true.
1) Don't Be Afraid of 'No"
I am very afraid of being told no. When I hear no, it means I did or thought something wrong because obviously only wrong things get rejected. No one wants to be wrong! Right? Well, you're not right, self. That annoying two-letter word does not have to be the end of the world (as I once thought) and it definitely doesn't mean you're a failure. Sometimes even the mere thought that you (I) may hear no or fail is enough to stop you (me) from doing something that may work out perfectly.
2) It's Okay To Be A Bitch*
For a while I'd prided myself on being very agreeable. I was proud of the fact that just about everyone I knew generally liked me (something you're taught is important as a little girl, along with the idea that pink is best and only color ever). But the older I get, and the more difficult people become, the more I realize that it ain't easy trying to have everyone like you. That agreeable quality quickly started getting me into social situations I didn't like. I have my ideas, my methods and my qualities and at my age a lot of those are unwavering. When you're in the position to announce those freely (America, land of the free, duh), you should. Don't be deterred to feel the way you feel because the worst someone can do is call you a bitch. I'm currently managing a new group of girls and I'm sure they've called me a bitch a time or two behind my back, but you know what, I'M STILL YO' BOSS. Oh, and the asterisk is just to remind you to use your judgement. You don't have to go in guns blazing at everyone.
3) Be Excited About Something
I've noticed that if you're even slightly excited about what it is you are doing, you'll do it better. So find something that makes you excited, and then do it. Do it well. Do it often. And because it is the way of the world that things evolve, doing that something well enough will take you to finding your next something to be excited about.
4) Just Keep Going
I think a lot, long after things deserve being thought about. I'm a lingerer. I linger to my detriment because the time that I should be using to come back stronger than a powered up Pac-Man, I use instead to sulk. And sulking is just so counter productive. I believe that being down is human and very necessary to "the process," but if you stay there for too long it puts you in a funk (and not the good kind).
5) It's Not As Bad As You Think
It isn't, guys. It just isn't. We've established that I think a lot. My brain is really good at thinking itself into non-existent horrible situations based on what-ifs. And after that paranoia has taken hold, I'm left with a 10 ft. tall situation that is really only a 1 ft. tall issue. So know after all your late-night, can't-sleep over-thinking, it really will be fine.
6) You Are Golden
Just about every time I've doubted myself and gone against my gut feeling, I haven't been happy with the outcome. I truly believe that there is something in the universe that wants the best for us and we just get in the way of it with pesky self-doubt (or overbearing mother-doubt). Sometimes it's best to step back and trust yourself -- the yourself that you are when the world is quiet. Deep down in there somewhere, you know what's best for you.
Wow...you made it down here? What a trooper. Thanks! I hope you get some kind of comfort from all my blabbing. I'm still learning how to make these things a part of myself but I have a feeling that when I do it'll be pretty awesome. Same goes for you, kid.