The "struggle bus" - almost everyone has taken a ride on it. Some of us are more frequent riders (guilty!) than others while some get on and ride for maybe four stops. Either way, we've all been there (done that). Society has this false reality that we, as individuals, have to have our lives together from a young age and that we not only need to succeed but struggle as little as we can while doing it. WRONG.

I'm gonna be honest: while I joke around that I "own the [struggle bus] company", I struggle just like everyone else. The few times when I've been told that I look like I have my life put together, I get surprised every time. It makes me want to laugh because I know just how far I am from actually "having my life together".

And I'll admit, I like feeling like I am "put together" and even something as simple as feeling good in the way I look makes me feel put together. It sounds weird, I know. And this might be the most surprising part- I honestly do worry about the way people see me. Something as simple as the outfit I'm wearing and the way I look is nice- it creates this "fake it 'til you make it" idea in my head that if I can feel put together, I am. I don't specifically have this image I want to appear as, but if the person I am and the appearance I have can make me more confident and feel like I have some sort of grip on my life- it helps.

Some of my friends really do know the struggles I go through daily. I'm not a graceful person. I mess up. I work too hard on the simplest things. I don't pretend to have my shit together. Geez, it even took me probably way too many drafts to put together this one article. Side note: you know that movie scene when someone in a high school hallway drops all of their books and papers and everything goes flying?? Yeah, that's basically how my life is sometimes.

Yet, the most important thing that I remember? Progress is progress. It unintentionally became my motto and is something that's stuck with me through whatever I go through. It's something that keeps my mind moving and helps me to focus on the fact that as long as I'm moving forward, I'm doing something right. But, It is okay to struggle. It's okay to ask for help (trust me, ask for the help, you'll thank yourself later). It's okay to want to do things on your own. What's not okay? Pretending that everything is really okay when it's not. I'll be the first to admit that I'm guilty of this and it sucks as much, if not more than it sounds like it does.

But remember this: know that however long you ride the "struggle bus", eventually you'll get off. And while your rides might be infrequent, a "regular", or even driving the bus- you'll get off and know where you are. You can't rush the "struggle bus" - it doesn't work that way. And as much as it sucks, there are times when the bus you're on (or driving) is gonna run some stop signs and panic- but it'll be okay. Just remember that the ride doesn't last forever and eventually, you'll find your stop.