Guys – I have a confession to make. I have no idea what the hell I’m doing.
I feel like I haven’t seen the sun in ages. I’m tired all the time. My feelings about most things this days are best described as “meh.” I’ve officially reached the inevitable and dreaded quarter-life crisis. Exhibit A: I already chopped off all my hair. So why don’t I feel any better? Isn’t that supposed to be a prerequisite for “getting your life back on track?”
I know this is all hard for you to believe. I mean, I clearly live a life solely comprised of pumpkin muffins and cute clothes. I hope you sense my sarcasm.
Here’s my point: I often scope out fashion blogs and their respective authors on social media and I think to myself, “Damn, these girls have really got it together.” And then I stress out because I feel like my life is exactly the opposite of these girls I frequently see throughout the interwebz, with their fresh-cut flowers adorning their clean-as-a-whistle, stark white desk spaces and macaroons neatly stacked on top of one another on the teensiest, cutest little chevron-patterned plate.
And then I realized – F that. Seriously, that ain’t me. Antrophologie is way too expensive for my taste, and I don’t even know where I can buy macaroons ’round these parts.
I’m not even really a competitive person. I just think people subconsciously compare themselves to one another from time to time. It’s natural, but the trick is to not let it get the best of you.
How? By not worrying about what everyone else is doing and focus on yourself. That’s what I’m trying to do these days, anyway.
Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, here are some other pretty basic things I’ve made a point to do that have helped me
overcome deal with my first-world quarter-life crisis.
- Stretch. When I get stressed, I tend to tense up, resulting in unnecessary ache throughout my body. As of late, I’ve been making a point to do a few stretches right when I roll out of bed in the morning. Sun salutations (just the first three steps – I’m not that ambitious in the morning) are my go-to. Oh my God, the term “sun salutation” sounds so pretentious. But really, incorporating breathing with a few simple stretches does wonders for my body and mind in the morning.
- Chin up. Literally. As the workday wears on, I find myself slouching over more and more. My mom always used to tell me to “sit up straighter,” but I’ve found that a better approach is to slightly lift my gaze. As my chin lifts upward, my chest naturally opens wider and my body raises itself higher, allowing more room for me to breathe. Try it when you’re in a slump. (Baha!) You’ll be surprised at how revitalizing this can be.
- Be human. I’m sure those girls with the fresh-cut flowers and ridiculously overpriced French desserts still do human things like poop and drink too much and binge eat pizza in their sweatpants every once in while. While I typically make a point to be uber productive after work (working out, freelancing, making meals from scratch, being Supergirl), I finally relished in a nap yesterday right when I came home. I couldn’t fight it anymore – I was burnt out from trying to do too many things in so many hours. After being knocked unconscious for 90 minutes, I woke up and ate a bunch of carbs while watching Zoolander. You need to be able to relax and not beat yourself up over it – it’s OK to not be Supergirl.
- Rediscover the world. No, you don’t need to drop a thousand dollars and spontaneously jet-set off to Europe. Go outside – it’s my favorite place to be. Visit your local park, admire the scenery, get lost in the woods, BREATHE and realize that you’re smaller than you think. And if you need to get further away, take a little road trip. From Akron, you can get to Pittsburgh in roughly two hours. Niagara Falls is also only about three or four hours away. Driving is a good way to clear your head, but going on a walk is just as effective.
- “If you don’t like where you are, MOVE. You are not a tree.” I stumbled across this quote on Instagram and I couldn’t have said things better myself. If you are unhappy, find out why. When you pinpoint a reason, ask yourself, “Is this something I can change?” If yes, do it. Yes, I know, life is complicated, and it’s easier said than done. But make a goal. If you’re unhappy with where you live, save up X amount of money to move out. If you dislike your job, look for something else. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s doable if you put forth the effort. Again: you are not a tree. You are not “stuck” here.
I hope that I don’t come across as a total dickhead. Like I said, I’m no expert – I have no idea what I’m doing. But I hope that I can at least offer some perspective for those other wayward souls out there.
Have a wonderful day!