My Total Truths is a series based on MY truths; a list of things that I know to be true and have served as mini life lessons in my experience.
# 1 – If you don’t like the life you’re living, create a new one.
I read this or something very similar to it recently and it put into words something that I had thought and felt for a long time.
I watched “Bridesmaids” the other night for the first time – I know I am super late – and while I loved the main character, Annie, and I thought the things happening to her were side-splittingly funny (especially that plane scene) I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her because she had no control of her life. At some point, she stopped realizing that she (and she alone) had the power to make the changes that she wanted. Instead, she blamed her problems on her best friend getting married and moving forward with her life, she blamed Helen, she blamed her roommates, she made excuses for the jerky ex-boyfriend that treated her like what you would expect a jerky ex-boyfriend to treat you like. Um, hello Annie, the only common piece to all of that is you.
It is all too easy to put the blame of how life is turning out on the world around you. Watch: My job makes me miserable. My roommate smells weird and touches my stuff. My boss is incompetnt. My apartment is old and the rent is too high. There are only a few good men out there…and they’re gay or don’t live here. See? See how easy that was to make life seem like the bad guy? But life is only giving you back what you are not willing to change.
Once you feel like a victim to life, it’s usually because you are one. It’s like that scene when Annie has to move back home after being kicked out by the strangest brother and sister roommates ever to walk Milwaukee and she says to her mom, “Remember when you thought I hit bottom… that wasn’t bottom.” I have had many moments of feeling confused about why life had chosen to bully me, to kick my ass. I’ve had moments where I thought “if something, I don’t know what, would just change, I’d be happier, healthier, smarter, stronger, skinnier, better, prettier, fancier dressed, brighter teethed, shorter nosed, smaller eared, longer legged, rounder faced, higher paid, more traveled…
But it turns out that the only way to live the life you want is to – wait for it – live the life you want. That’s it. That’s the secret. If you don’t like your job – quit it. Find another one. Be smart about it but don’t keep using the same excuses as a way to stay. If you don’t like the quality of men you are meeting, stop going to the same places to meet them, stop sleeping with them on the first date, stop allowing them to treat you like garbage, stop running for the hills when a normal one comes along (Remember Annie and the cop?). If you don’t like your apartment, your scenery, your city, your state, your country – move. Leave. Be where you want. Why are you staying? Ask yourself that.
Like Annie, we all at some point take a life hit. We compare ourselves and what we have to others and what they have. We get mad that life has been unfair. That we don’t have the job, the car, the man, the house, the kids, the clothes, the face we want. And like Annie, sometimes you misplace your unhappiness on the backs of others or on life itself.
It is hard to make changes. I know this as well as anyone. And I could only speak for myself when I say that being brave and making change has allowed me to live a life I have wanted in many ways.
So, I urge you to stop blaming life and if you don’t like the life you are living, create a new one.