Hey Night Owls!
If you can pull yourself away from the seductive gaze of that owl, let’s talk about forgiveness. Specifically forgiving ourselves.
So in 2014, I committed to self-improvement. This includes a gym membership, counseling sessions, this blog, and a job hunt. I’ve managed to make progress in all aspects but, pardon the cliche, sometimes it is hard to see the forest for the trees.
In the day to day, you meet with tough days (What mean you I don’t get paid until April?), unforeseen circumstances (Oh my car was towed you say?), and gross adult choices. (I guess I don’t need those cookies!)
And you know what, we make mistakes. We choose cocktail time over networking. We choose Netflix over the gym. We choose a nap over checking up on our friends. These are all menial examples, but the point is that no one is perfect. We don’t always do the “right” thing. We don’t always make the “best choices”
Here is an example from my own life. My father and I don’t have the greatest relationship (being very kind here). When my parents were together, I always thought he was pretty cool. He let me stay up late and brought pizza home. After the divorce, the arrest, the death, and the estrangement, he showed up back in my life after I had built up a strong level of hatred that I was comfortable with. But I sought some advice and thought, “You know Trash, he may be worthless and unemployed, but maybe you should at least talk to your other parent.”
Worst. Idea. Ever.
It’s been about 9 years and I’m still trying to find the words to say “I don’t actually want to talk you.” I’ve become indifferent towards him and there’s little that could change that, but I still have some inner demon urging me to give me another shot. I try to, it flops, and then I’m like “WHAT THE HELL, TRASH? TELL HIM TO FUCK OFF AND LET’S GO HAVE A COCKTAIL!”
But that inner demon really is a bitch. What kind of child doesn’t like his father? I mean, am I immature for not being able to see past his mistakes? Am I petty because he sucks and I’m not trying to claim that? Yes and yes. But you know what, that’s the way the Do-Si-Do cookie crumbles.
Stop beating yourself up over how you feel! Don’t punish yourself for deciding to enjoy a bag of Gummy Bears. Don’t keep yourself up at night because did that thing that we promised to take to our graves.
I think that in the age of tiger moms, crazy high expectations in our careers, desire to look and feel as good as we can, and commitments to family and friends, we tend to have the expectation that we should never make mistakes. That being perfect is the only acceptable answer. And I’m here to tell you that perfection won’t help you in your current situation. Perfection won’t keep you warm at night. Perfection won’t keep the cops from pulling you over. Perfection won’t get you into heaven.
Stop letting your own expectations of grandeur prevent you from living a life that will be worth remembering. Take the time to reflect on your life and don’t dwell on the choices and decisions that didn’t lead to the “perfect” solution. Very few lives turn out exactly as they were dreamed by 10 year-old you.
And really just unbutton your pants occasionally and breathe. Every day is not going to be great. Every choice isn’t going to be correct.
OH GAHT DAMN WELL.
Let’s talk about it in the comments below. And yes, you can have some fries.