It’s May first, I’m about to finish my first year of college and it still feels like summer camp- not my “home away from home”.
Around my birthday this year in late March, I started writing an article called “It’s my birthday and I’ll cry if I want to.” Not the most original title and definitely one of my whiny-est. Granted I have awesome friends and great parents that made my first birthday away from the people I love easier, but I still just wanted to cry. I wasn’t ready to be nineteen because I still wasn’t the girl I was hoping to be at nineteen. At nineteen I shouldn’t have been suffering at a college that I hated from the moment I stepped foot onto the campus. At nineteen I should’t have been making plans to move back home. At nineteen I should have had whiter teeth, a better complexion that would rival that of the entire Kardashian clan, and I should have been taking the streets of some metropolitan city by storm in a great outfit and with a confidence that could make Anna Wintour shed a tear. But, I wasn’t. Instead, I was stress eating four mini pies and thinking of everything I haven’t done, when I should have been thinking of everything I have done and will continue to do.
I think I have a tendency to look back too much. I mentally say oh “I should have done this or that” or “I would have been happier if…”, etc. It may sound pathetic but hey, it’s the reality of a young adult with the advantage and disadvantage of seeing everything that everyone else is doing 24/7. So, although I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, I made a list of things I want to do for myself with the date of my twentieth birthday in 2018 above as a reminder of the entire 365 days I had to complete the things on the list. Some of the things on the list are big and some are small, but I’m suddenly not scared about the things I haven’t done or the things I have yet to do. Thankfully, I know I’m not the only person who’s this hard on themselves. Just this morning I read an article about a study conducted proving that those who wish they could “do better” are only making things worse for themselves by forging a competition with your internal self control and your lack thereof. So great, hopeful thinking even hurts sometimes…so what’s a grrl to do?
I’m not trying to discourage our readers from wanting more for themselves or setting goals because I want each and every woman to know that they can be the grrlboss of their dreams, but it just always seems to be such a slippery slope between setting goals and feeding into the mother of all anxiety attacks. So, I wish I had a clear cut answer for you on how to avoid the terrible things that grrls make themselves think and feel sometimes, but an answer to this day old question doesn’t exist. I know we’re all insecure and we’re all scared. Some of us are graduating from high school and preparing to abandon everything we’ve grown so comfortable with. Some of us are preparing for our last year of high school with a life changing year ahead of us with hundreds of decisions to make. Some of us may not even be going through a huge life change, but still can’t sleep at night because we want to know what’s next. But this is when you need to look and GrrlPunch and look around you and start indulging in yourself because you truly are not going through this alone. Make a list like me if that helps, take up a new hobby, or start watching a tv show with 9 seasons to distract yourself- stop letting other people tell you how to make yourself feel better and start listening to and catering to your own needs.
If those words of “wisdom” didn’t help here is a quote from Joan Didion that’s helped me a lot recently: “We are imperfect mortal beings, aware of that mortality even as we push it away, failed by our very complication, so wired that when we mourn our losses we also mourn, for better or for worse, ourselves. As we were. As we are no longer. As we will one day not be at all.”