PSA: No One Has It All Figured Out

PSA: No One Has It All Figured Out

For anyone who has ever wanted to just crawl into the fetal position.


Today I went to the library to do work because I am a college student, and that is what college students do. As I banged my face on my keyboard, hoping my forehead would be a pal and fix my essay, I sensed that the business school student at the adjacent desk was judging me (I could tell he was in the B school because he was wearing a suit and had elegantly coiffed his hair). Who was he to judge me? Ok, he had nice hair and was clearly very smart because he had many papers with words AND numbers on them, so I allowed it. During a dilatory coffee run, my friend Olivia and I chatted about how everyone seems to have their lives figured out. It was then that we saw the fluffiest, man-sized wolf-dog outside of Starbucks. As we discussed the healing properties of puppy love, I searched my phone for a picture of my dogs. Instead of finding one though, I stumbled upon a deplorable picture of myself. It was a photo my mother took of me the summer after my junior year of high school. This infamous image resurfaces from time to time in family group chats to remind me that I might be overreacting (or to make fun of me). Take a gander at this bad boy.

So why have I put this glorious picture on the Internet for everyone to see? Well, to justify showing the world a picture of myself distraught in the fetal position*, I need to explain how I got there. (*I'm aware I’m not in full-fetal because my left leg is up and a fetus would surely injure it’s mother splayed out like this, but just go with it, ‘aight?)

If you have ever talked to me for a prolonged period of time, then you have probably learned that I competed in high school speech and debate. I devoted myself to the activity and cared way too much about how I did at tournaments than I should have. I sacrificed friendships, grades and sometimes my sanity to succeed. The activity meant the world to me and I would stop at nothing to achieve the extracurricular’s highest accolade: being a finalist at nationals. After school ended in June of 2015, I had two weeks to prepare for the national tournament. My mom snapped the beautiful image above during a conversation she tried to have with me two days before nationals—yes, this was how I decided to converse with my mother. As I attempted to explain what reaching the final round would mean to me, my anxiety took over, and I began to unravel. I would venture to say that I was having a mental breakdown, but that insufficiently describes the scope of my neurotic display. For a kid who wanted to do well at a speech tournament, I was doing a terrible job at communicating.

I remember whimpering to my mom about how I felt inadequate, telling her that I didn’t think I could measure up to the other competitors. My mom, like most Jewish mothers, has a dichotomous parenting style that alternates between coddling and tough love. Expecting the former, I felt hurt when my mother laughed at me and began taking pictures.

“What the hell, mom?”

“I want you to see how ridiculous you look. Do you think the kids who make it to finals do this shit?”

I knew what she was trying to say, but her sarcasm precipitated several new concerns: "the people who usually reach the final round most likely don't crawl into the fetal position. But what if they do? If so, how often and for how long? Do they cry or simply mope? Is there moaning or keening involved? I should keen!" (*Keening is an Irish tradition of wailing to express grief)

As I let out my first big “AhaoAAh,” my mother sat down next to me and showed me the aforementioned picture. I tried very hard not to crack a smile; I looked like an idiot. What the hell was I doing to myself?

After my mom smacked some sense into me—that’s just a colloquialism, my mother is a very loving woman who would never hit me— I took a shower, napped and calmed down. I finished prepping over the next day and a half, and then I went to nationals with my head held high. Well, not really, I was still a nervous wreck, but one at a socially acceptable level of nervousness. I made it to the final round and got to take a new picture!

(My family after the awards ceremony. We were all pretty happy.)

SO WHAT’S THE POINT? Thanks for keeping me on topic. The speech and debate community has a tendency to exalt that year's finalists, so I found that my peers were suddenly looking up to me. If only they knew that, not even a week prior, I was on my couch keening. The point is that even the people we look up to may not have their whole lives together. During the walk to Starbucks, Olivia and I were discussing how everyone around us seems to just know where they are going in life. At college it’s so easy to feel as though you are surrounded by a bunch of people who have it all figured out, but that’s definitely not true. And then the picture of me in fetal position was on my screen, reminding me that there is no reason to spiral or think that I can’t measure up to my peers.

Even if everyone looks like this:

Chances are they felt like this at some point:(These are some pictures of me performing because in what other scenario would I ever use these for anything? They are absurd.)

If you are a fellow college freshman and feel like you're the only one still trying to sort out your life, I am more than willing to confess that I am totally lost.

If you do speech and debate (hi friends) and think you’re the only one who was on the verge of tears the day before a tournament, now you know you're not alone.

If you’ve ever crawled into the fetal position and thought that hope was lost, just photoshop your face onto my body and see how stupid you look. Here’s an example:

Beyoncé, why are you in fetal position? You are so amazing!

See? Everyone—even Beyoncé—wants to ball up and cry sometimes, but it’s usually unwarranted. So I guess the point of all of this is that no one really has it all figured out. If someone does, it’s probably Beyoncé, but I’ve just shown you an actual picture of her in fetal position, so now there’s a big hole your theory. There is no need to mope or cry or keen, just focus on doing your best with the task at hand. As Tina Fey wrote (and Lindsay Lohan said in the movie Mean Girls), “All you can do in life is try to solve the problem in front of you.” And if you need a quick alternative to transforming into a fetus, playing with puppies really does the trick.

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

10 Etsy Father's Day Gifts Under $40 To Support Your Dad And Small Businesses

Stores may still be closed, but the internet is still wide open. So, while you're already shopping online check out Etsy for your Father's Day needs and support small creators.

As June approaches, Father's Day is coming up quickly with it. While they may not ask for much, it's always a nice gesture to give your dad something special to share your appreciation. Although, at the same time, it might be difficult to find the perfect gift either for their humor or that will be practical.

On a normal occasion, it's simple to find a gift for your father figures in stores, but for the times we're currently in our access has become very limited. Small and independent businesses need help now more than ever, so what better time than now to support them? If you're still stuck on what to give for Father's Day, look to this list for some inspiration that won't hurt your wallet too much.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Helpful, Effective Mental Health Resources Specifically For The Black Community

These organizations are qualified, caring, and acknowledging the mental trauma individuals are experiencing.

On May 25, George Floyd died after being pinned to the ground by a Minneapolis police officer. In the last week, protests have sprung up across the nation, demanding justice for Floyd and accountability for police brutality. Social media has also seen widespread conversation regarding Floyd's death, Black Lives Matter, and racism in the United States. Today is #BlackoutTuesday, where many are sharing a single black square to represent unity and support for Black voices.

In light of the heavy climate that our country is facing, it is a safe assumption that many individuals' mental health may be suffering. We wanted to highlight mental health resources and organizations that are Black-owned and prepared to assist in whatever you're going through.

Keep Reading... Show less

15 Black-Owned Haircare Brands That Cater As Much To Inclusivity As They Do To Your Locks

Championing Black entrepreneurs who make some of our hair favorites.

The haircare industry is vast. With the rise of social media came hundreds of thousands of empowered, niche brands. Single entrepreneurs came out of the woodwork with hair brands that now, years later, have dedicated cult followings.

Of those multitudes of brands, few cater to all hair types, most made without regard for curly or coily hair. These brands, however, are different.

Keep Reading... Show less

4 Women Of Color Share How Racism Affects Their Dating Lives, And Everyone Needs To Listen

"My race is typically a factor in almost everything I do, and with dating, it's no different."

Racism affects the daily lives of people of color in the United States, and other parts of the world, in some capacity every day. When it comes to dating and relationships, this is unfortunately no different.

Keep Reading... Show less

13 Movies And Shows On Netflix Directed By Black Men And Women You Need To Watch Now

Take the time right now to watch these fantastic films and TV shows directed by Black men and women.


Netflix is notorious for getting us insanely addicted to watching TV and films. From documentaries, true crime, reality, and fiction, we get very sucked in.

Right now the American people are fighting for the lives of our Black brothers and sisters, so instead of watching "The Office" for the 30th time, take the time to watch these 13 films and TV shows directed by Black men and women.

Keep Reading... Show less

I love working out, it makes me feel great. It helps my mood, sleep schedule and I just feel overall healthier. Recently I wanted to focus more on my glutes than I previously had been. At the gym, I would just go to the squat bar to do my thing and call it a day. But since we have been home in quarantine I feel like squats just aren't doing it for me but even if I love doing them. Doing squats I always have felt does more for banging my thighs than it ever did for my butt. It made them so big, which I didn't mind except I felt it made my butt look pretty much the same. Straying from squats, and the fact that gyms will probably remain closed for a while, sent me on a fitness journey to see what other exercises I could do at home with no or very little equipment needed. Hopefully, these exercises will help keep your booty banging.

1. Diamond Leg Lifts

Keep Reading... Show less

10 Podcasts On Race Everyone Should Listen To In Order To Be A Better Ally

Listen and learn, because knowledge is power.

Podcasts are such an integral part of some of our everyday lives that it can be hard to recall a time at which they didn't exist. Podcasts exist on about every single topic, from dating to celebrity gossip and Harry Potter.

Now more than ever, it's likely you're reeling from the news, and (hopefully) wanting to do something about it in order to educate yourself. Podcasts are one of the best ways to get the most up-to-date information in a conversational, personal way from some of today's top educators, scholars, and theorists.

Keep Reading... Show less

Stop Pitying Me Because I'm Single, I'm Very Happy With My Relationship With Myself

I don't need your opinions on why I'm single and you're not. We are two different people.

I'm so happy for my friends when they get into relationships, but that doesn't mean they get to have control over my love life, and that is what bothers me. For the record, I've been in four relationships, one lasting for three years, so I do understand relationships.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments