Are you rich? Are you happy? Or are you neither?
If you've watched Bling Empire as I did, Anna Shay said it best:
Life is not a dress rehearsal.
Well, with 600 million dollars, a generous pocket and a no-bullshit meter, she's made herself onto my aspirations list alongside Mother Theresa and the Obamas. Alright, I'm kidding. She was, however, my favourite character in the show.
If you're still reading this, thank you. Please know that this is no attempt at self-aggrandising. What this is all about -- is Me re-discovering Myself, documenting and tracking my journey. I've been advised many times that journaling helps, so of course, I had to be extra and start a blog, and a YouTube channel. My first therapist told me that I tend to lean towards extremes and that I should aim to learn to be comfortable with the in-between. She's right. I have been lucky enough not to get into some serious trouble that could land me in jail or in a worse predicament, so as extreme as I may get, I am grateful that a part of me still managed to get myself out of mistakes only bruised but with a full set of limbs and a brazen spirit. It has been pretty awful and awesome the past 16 years and most of it had to do with events around my personal relationships. Strange enough, as soon as I type that, I realise how ridiculous it sounds because isn't it true for most of us? Our relationships with others affect us the most and most of the time.
From a wee fetus, we enter the world forging bonds and relationships, to survive. So if our mother was smoking or drinking, or if she had any fears or worries, or if she was constantly fighting with our incompetent or possibly cheating father, you as the baby in her womb might be impacted by all of it. It is inevitable. And when we were born, we let out our first cry, and then fully depend on our caregivers' ability to nurture us. Some of us have it better than others. The environment we were brought up in and the people around us such as our siblings, our teachers, our friends and even strangers, world events both local and international, all play a part in forming who we are now.
After we've learnt the ways of the immediate world we live in, we are either accepted, rejected or left neglected and confused and then we hit puberty. BAM! No one tells you about the impending magnification of your thoughts and feelings during this stage, they only mostly focus on our physical changes. So we find ourselves attempting to navigate our temperaments and angst like a headless chicken or if you were like me, we ended up in detention on most days.
Then along comes adulthood. Being an adult in this day and age is challenging to say the least. Sure, others might make it look easy and even glamorous on Instagram, Facebook and recently on Tik Tok (which in my opinion needs to be better moderated, I've seen porn, hate speech, cry-for-help from both adolescents and adults, fake news, financial scammers... the list goes on).
Let's get real, the majority of the people on those platforms only post the good stuff or what they think others would want to see, or what is acceptable, or worst -- what will get Likes, and be micro famous. Yes yes, I know you have a very good face, you're very sexy, you're doing well at your job, you're making lots of money, you workout every day and have photos/analytics to prove it, you have a million friends and are partying all the time, or you're crazy in love with your partner... I've been guilty of posting too much for a few of these things too, especially the one about me being sexy, haha I am kidding! What I'm trying to say is that unless it is cats or babies, 3 times a week should be a rule of thumb for show-offy, humblebrag posts. That is my bias opinion. If you're offended, it means you're guilty of what I am pointing out and why do you care what I think? Please go ahead and do you. You are allowed to take up space and no one should tell you what you can or cannot do with your social media, except for the law, and even that is ambiguous.
Look, I am just trying to encourage a better posting etiquette that we as a society can benefit from which is ideally authentic, not-so filtered and compassionate.
As we go through life's adversities, after a few we can spot a commonality in our narrative and if we choose to be self-aware, we will realise that the world might not be the problem, it is Us. And that happened for me. With every breakup, friendship betrayal, family conflict, I go through an existential life crisis, where I question and reflect where I am in life and why the heck are people so mean to me and what did I do to ever deserve such cruelty. Yes, if you haven't already noticed, that is the sound of me narrating a victim mentality. Recognising this victim mentality was the first step to bettering myself, and while it does not excuse the wrongs that were done to me, it helped me be aware of what I was lacking, such as self-love and healthy boundaries.
It dawned on me that if I do not figure out how to live better, I will stay miserable, repeat destructive patterns, and regret my life eventually. It has been 7 years since I decided to better myself. I read books, watched videos, spoke to people who knew more, even went to study psychology, to understand myself better. I hope that my sharing helps at least one person feel less traumatised or alone in whatever they might be struggling with.
Have compassion for others and love yourself,