The best revenge is a life well lived.
I've always appreciated this paraphrase of a quote from poet George Herbert, but recent events in my life gave me a new, fuller understanding to the sentiment.
I recently experienced a blow-up with some friends, and I found myself handling it very differently than I would have just a few years ago. Had this occurred in high school, I know I would be acting like a child right now, ranting to everyone and being a pain. But this week, I've tried living by the philosophy above. Instead of being angry, I'm trying to really love myself and my life.
So what's my advice?
Stay positive! This week has been really hard, but I've tried to stay really positive. I am not an optimist, if you ask anyone close to me they'll all agree on that. But this week, I've been a positive person. If you are having some disputes with friends, reach out to other people. Maybe it comes from a place of "you still like me right?" but you can turn it into "I appreciate you and think you're wonderful". It never hurts to make sure your friends know that you're glad to have them in your life. Sometimes we think it's soft or mushy, but I think it's a great feeling. We all like to know that we are valued!
Don't bottle it up. I've always been awful at opening up to people, especially in person, but this week I had a two-hour long conversation with one friend and we got to talk about some really serious things. I took some hard stuff that happened in my life and used it to help me connect with people and really open up.
Immerse yourself in what you love. This week I've been focusing on doing what I love. I took myself downtown because I love being surrounded by tall buildings. I bought a ticket to see one author talk about another author and mental health (so basically a big nerdfest I am going to LOVE). I talked to people - a lot. I live in my sorority house, so I went to the common spaces and I talked to people who I enjoy. So when things suck, treat yourself. Remind yourself what you love to do and do it. Get out your camera or paint supplies or whatever makes you happy.
Work on self-validation. I'm just focusing on recognizing that I'm awesome without waiting for someone else to tell me. I've been doing so much homework and reading nerdy non-fiction books that I love. I'm in college, I'm here to learn stuff. So I've focused on some school work and remembering why I chose to study what I do. Make your major life focus your MAJOR again!
The way you handle a situation is everything. The personal issues I've had recently could have easily ruined my week and brought me down a million pegs, but I just turned it into fuel. I let it motivate me and I kept going. I actually had an incredibly productive and fun time.
Feeling hurt or upset happens to all of us, and it's never when we want it to happen. Your dog dies or you fight with your significant other or something else happens at any time. What matters is how we move through it.
If someone upsets you, the best way to get "revenge" is to live your life. Kick some butt and do what you love, and show that you're OK. A fight with friends doesn't need to destroy you.
When life gives you lemons, make rocket fuel. Or something inspirational that makes more sense.