i like lists. a lot.
- Just fucking say no.
- I thought I had learnt this sooner. But I’ve only just really put it into practice this past year. When I don’t want to expend my energy on something (doing something, going somewhere), I finally fucking say no (well, usually – it’s all a learning process, yo). Though I’m still working on saying no in the workplace – I think I’ve learned to honor my capacity, energy, and wellbeing to say no to going out, trips, whatever it is that I don’t want to do. I’m still working on not giving a reason for my no but one step at a time, I’ll get there.
- I’m still working on this one, too… but, damn, a year ago I would’ve let people treat me like shit and get away with it. NEVER OKAY. You are fucking worth it, you’re intelligent, you’re a boss ass bitch, you’re funny, you’re creative, you’re valued, you’re a fucking princess. Don’t forget it, own it. This is so easy to say but so hard to truly believe and act upon. I try to give myself positive affirmations in the morning and in the evenings. Sometimes I write them down, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I find myself thinking “fuck, I’m so dumb – why’d I do that?” and sometimes I try to change the negative into something positive… “I’m not dumb, I wanted to do that – it just didn’t work out the way I wanted… hey it’s actually kind of funny.” Whatever, figure out what works for you because you’re awesome and you need to do what works for youuuuuuu!!!
- (Cis, Hetero) Men suck.
- Yeah okay this one contradicts my last point but generally speaking, they do and I don’t trust them. Not to say I don’t have compassion for men or that I wouldn’t be friends with any men… I have mentors that are men and homies that are men but I – for the most part – don’t keep too many in my close circle of homies. Not sorry. I just don’t need any macho male violence in my life right now, thanks.
- Memorize housemate’s numbers… or be prepared to waste three hours locked outside of your home in the rain with no phone, no keys, no bra on your body. True story.
- Mindfulness, to be present, to bring my head back down to the ground. This one has been a game-changer for me. As an introvert, I’m often kickin’ it in my own head, whether it’s just me thinking about existentialism or over-thinking a situation or daydreaming about another time and place, I forget to stay present in the moment I’m in. I’ve made a practice to ground myself in every moment I’m in when I feel my thoughts and anxieties run amok… and it has made a world of difference.
- The importance & necessity of compassion. I have made it a personal goal and intention to practice compassion in all that I do, to unlock my inner empath and truly put myself in another person’s shoes before making any decision. Having compassion for myself and for others is so integral for me to live a happier life and since I’ve begun working on this, I’ve been a little bit less anxious, a little more carefree… Compassion is a whole nother blog post for another day, though.
- Accept all of me – even parts of me that aren’t considered desirable traits by the mainstream. I’m quiet, I’m introverted, I like to hang out with myself… and I’m finally so fucking okay with all of these things. To get here, too, I’ve been taking the time to learn more about myself. To ask myself hard questions about my past. I’ve also had to accept and own my mental health. To be open about my social anxiety. To not let people tell me that my anxieties “aren’t real”… when in fact, I’ve had a problem of heart palpitations, sweaty palms, and over-thinking in classrooms and social settings since I was ten years old.
- Brush (AND FLOSS) my teeth and be careful when parking my car.
- You know… these might seem unrelated but they ain’t. One day, you’re going to go to the dentist for a biannual cleaning and they’re going to let you know at the end of the appointment that, hey, you might want to book an appointment to fill those cavities, and yeah, by the way – evenwithyourinsuranceitsgonnacost600bucksthanks! Just a week later, you’re gonna get your car towed because maybe you were running late for work and didn’t pay too much attention to where you parked. Suddenly, you’re forking over 500 bucks (that you kinda wanted to spend on a ticket to Costa Rica… oops). Next thing you know you’re wondering why you ever thought it was a good idea to ever go to Happy Hour or go to that wine tasting with your friends… Or maybe not, maybe that won’t happen at all. Maybe that was just me. Moral of the story is: take care of you & your shit.
- BE OPEN & VULNERABLE (let those walls down, girl!).
- Affectionately, deeply, wildly love your best friends, your homies, your chosen fam. Love ain’t just for your partner or significant other. It ain’t just for the family you were born with. Fall in love with your best friends and you will never feel alone, even when they are 300 miles away. Fall in love with your best friends and treat them like the goddesses that they are. Nurture these relationships. Check in with one another. Plan trips together. Prioritize them.
- Keep cash in my car and wallet… at all times.
- Because who fucking knows when you’re randomly going to be driving and hit a toll road… am I right (was that also just me?)? A lot of places are cash only, though… you never know. Emergency cash is so important. Plus, it’s great to have cash on hand when you want to give money to someone in need.
- My productivity does not equal my worth. This one’s hard to truly internalize in a capitalist society that is constantly pushing us to create more, make more, want more, consume more, do more, more more more — but I try to be intentional, honest, and gentle with myself. It’s okay to do nothing. It’s okay to want to do nothing.
- Draw, write, print and paste my dreams, visions, and goals all over my room and laptop. I don’t know bout y’all but it’s so easy to fall off track from what’s REALLY important to you. Reminders are key.
- But most of all, through all of this, stay gentle with myself and others. Stay soft. Life is fucking hard. I know you’re battling daily micro and macro aggressions. I know capitalism sucks. I know you’re dealing with stupid shit at work, on the streets, at the club. Housing is a struggle, there are bills to be paid, something randomly hits the fan. But I’ve learned, with the help of mindfulness and practicing compassion, that it’s okay, that we gon be alright, that I am so blessed and privileged to be where I am – despite all the BS. I remind myself of the people I love and care about and the beautiful home I live in and the beautiful people that surround me and the trees, the water, the food that sustains me…
A year ago, I was struggling to get myself to therapy (and now I’ve begun). I was struggling to love myself (and now I’m falling). I was struggling to honor the pieces of me that I felt were unworthy to the mainstream (and now I mostly don’t give a fuck).
Yeahhhh, I’m gonna be alright. And you are, too.