7 Things To Keep in Mind When You're Convinced Your Life Is A Disaster
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7 Things To Keep in Mind When You're Convinced Your Life Is A Disaster

Words of wisdom from a millennial who's been there.

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7 Things To Keep in Mind When You're Convinced Your Life Is A Disaster
Kalli Miner

So listen, based on principle I try to shy away from ever participating in listicle journal writing- mostly because it hardly seems to be journalism at all. I mean, I envisioned myself writing with the likes of Greenwald and Scahill by now, but hey, things are hard out here for millennials so we've gotta make do. With that in mind, I'm not giving up the dream, but I figured it would be nice to have fun with a little bit of casual writing before I make it big and the Pulitzers start rolling in. *Wink, that was a joke. Mostly.

Anyway, the theme here seems to be that things don't always turn out like we think they're going to. Or as Mick Jagger put it, 'You Don't Always Get What You Want.' Which, in hind sight, has probably the harshest reality I've had to face since learning that Santa Claus isn't real.

Considering the last year of my life has felt like one giant 'coming to Jesus' moment, I deem myself uniquely qualified to speak on what wisdom can be taken from thinking that your life is a complete disaster.

So get out of bed, shake the Doritos crumbs out of your hair, and listen up. Things aren't so bad:

1. Life Isn't Always Linear

This is probably especially irritating for those of you who were toilet trained at gunpoint, the control freaks if you will, but it's true. Life doesn't always progress in way that seems like, well, progress. There are moments when it seems like we've taken one step forward, only to take one or two back. Maybe you feel like your five year plan went out the window because you didn't get into the school that you planned on, or maybe you graduated college and needed a job, like, yesterday and had to settle for washing dishes at a hole in the wall diner. Hold on. Don't throw in the towel just yet. You're not damned to mediocrity because you seem a little stuck right now. Look at every opportunity, no matter how ugly and dissatisfying, as a stepping stone to something else that will lead you to something else and so forth 'and one fine morning.' And in the mean time, God invented this:

2. Humility WILL Find You

You can run, you can hide, but it's bound to happen. Sorry. If you've ever sat around watching youtube videos of extremely attractive Olympians talk about their triumphs, you've probably heard the phrase 'I've learned the most from my failures.' And to that I say, 'well, that's good because they. are. inevitable.' Even for those of us (*eh, um) who were perfect students, stayed out of trouble, and all but ran the school via extra-curriculars- failure is bound to catch up. Or, if you're lucky enough, you'll even put our proverbial foot in our proverbial mouth in such a way that you'll cringe every time you retrieve the memory from your vault of shame. In the end you will know your worth, and also your weaknesses. Your greatest strengths, and the biting of the the bullets it takes to improve and grow. You'll be humble, and you'll be better.

3. You Are Not Invincible, But You Can Do Anything

If you're reading this, then you probably have reason to believe that your life is in disarray. That said, you probably know what real monsters look like. A sudden death, a bout of depression, a failed relationship, life crushing disappointment- these are real monsters, and much scary than the ones under your childhood bed at night. If you're reading this, you've been damaged. You've been dropped, kicked around, cheated, and torn apart because life isn't fair. But hear this: You can do anything. You're old enough now, wise enough to have taken a few blows. You know now that you're not invincible and see yourself as wholly and completely... human. Misstepping isn't a hypothetical anymore. You know it can happen because it has happened to you, and oh how the sting can linger. But remember, that all of the greatest feats accomplished on earth have been championed by mere humans like yourself. We'd like to think that those people are super human, extraterrestrial even... it's an easy way to give ourselves a pass, to sit tights, settle and be comfortable. But Gandhi himself was merely a human being.

Say it with me: You can do anything.

4. Naivete, Hard Work, And A Stroke Of Luck Is the Recipe To Success

Do you believe in magic? No? Well you should. Ok, chill out, I'm not going to go Criss Angel on you or anything. But, I did read somewhere (eh, heard via a Grey's Anatomy episode) that children tend to heal better than adults because of their resilience, which can be chalked up to a misguided belief in magic and superpowers. Seriously, it's true.

But that's kind of the key to success, if there is a key anyway. You need a dash naivete- you have to believe that you can, and dumb enough to think it'll be easy. you'll have to work really hard when you realize it isn't easy. Then you'll have to capitalize on a stroke of luck, or the 'hand up' that you'll need from someone who has already 'made it.' The campus job coach/resume guy will tell you that's called networking, but those of us who have chased a few bulls will tell you that it's 10 percent 'networking' and 90 percent luck. When the Universe speaks, listen.

5. Maintain Your Vision, Even If You're The Only One Who Can See It

Now that you've gathered all of the necessary ingrediants for success, get ready for the world to try to pry it from your desperate hands. Oh yeah, it'll happen. You can blame it on, as the kids say, 'haters just hatin',' but more likely it's people trying to get you to be a lot more like themselves. Alright, allow to explain.

The fact is, statistically, 80 percent of all people are more inclined to stick with what they know. The familiar, no matter how inefficient or unhappy it's made them, seems like a much, much better idea to most than deviating from the status quo. Seriously, that's a thing. With any sort of effort I'd attach a link to that stat., but I don't remember where I read that, besides it pops up all over the place so google it. I mean, it came up yesterday when I was asked to take a survey about whether or not I thought remake or original films were superior. 80 percent of participants said originals were better. I'm not saying they're wrong, but, jeesh, humans are so predictable. Then again, Scarface was a remake so those people are obviously wrong.

Anyway, what I mean to say is, sometimes you're going to be the only one who knows where you're going. What's going to make it worse it that it's probably going to be painfully difficult to try to describe to people, like your family members from Iowa, that your liberal arts degree is going to lead to a career in law and journalism. The fact of the matter is, the dots just do not connect to most people unless you're pursuing an extremely familiar line of work, like accounting. So when your mom insists that you go to nursing school, politely knod and smile, but maintain your vision. You know where you're going. Besides, it's kind of fun to see how close you get to producing your own live reinactment of the awkward dinner scene from Say Anything. Cool flick.

6. Loosen Your Grip

Your vision may be crystal clear, and the path to get there may seem like a one way straight and narrow, but maybe it isn't. Or maybe it isn't the right vision to begin with. I had a friend who always said to me, 'Rule number five: Don't take yourself so seriously.' What one through four were, I have no idea. But what I think they were getting at was that it's never too late to change your mind. Your plans, your life, are allowed to change. You are allowed to not know. Don't be that guy that goes off to Uni as a pre-med major because it sounds good on paper and makes his dad smile when he brags to his friends about him on the golf course. Not everything is a crisis. Deviating from the plan, taking a hiatus, or wandering aimlessly for a minute is not going to bring Armageddon to your door step any sooner. Trump is running for President for God's sake, the apocalypse is well on it's way without your help. Loosen your grip and relax. Maybe the clearing of the noise will make way for you to hear something you've been missing.

7. It Gets Better

I'm pretty sure this was the name of the Michelle Obama anti-bullying campaign a couple of years ago, but we'll ignore that for the time being. If you're smart enough to know you should be unhappy, then hold tight Dorothy Parker, because things are bound to get better if you want them to. At the risk of sounding like a greeting card, allow me end on a couple of things: Goodness ebbs and flows. The world will break you down, and it build you up. Life is an Echo.

The degree to which things can be bad, they can also be that good. Even if your soul is tired, remember that this is not life. Right now is not forever. It's only the breakdown before the build up, ebb preceding the flow, the shout out before the return. It will get better. Take a moment right now to promise yourself that you'll think of this precise moment when, in the future, all consuming happiness arrives. And when it does, you'll have the distinct pleasure to look around and laugh about how crazy you were to think that it never would.


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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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