Welcome to high school, where you thought you’d have more freedom and a busy social life and really good hair! Welcome to the position you really didn’t want in this club but were told would honestly be better for the “kind of person you are” (and then it wasn’t)! Welcome to that Thai food you’ve been really looking forward to but wish you’d actually never consumed!
Life is full of really little and comparatively large letdowns. My life is, and your life is, and Mick Jagger’s life is, and Novak Djokovic’s life is, and Emily Blunt’s life is! And everyone else’s life is, too. Everyone deals with disillusionment. We are equal on that front, BUT we are different in how we choose to handle things that want to knock us down. BUT WE ARE ALL HUMANS, AND WE PERSIST BRILLIANTLY. This is how I persist brilliantly, as a natural human.
- 1. I take a shower. I am the kind of person that has to cry to feel like I’m being productive in turning my sadness into happiness, and the best place to do that is in the shower. You cannot see yourself looking pathetic in the mirror; you cannot anticipate anyone ripping back the shower curtain and seeing you showering in both recycled groundwater and recycled eye water. Take a (not too long, but long enough) shower.
2. I like to remind myself that disillusionment is what’s going to prepare me for much larger letdowns in the future, like flopping my chance at an internship or meeting a soulmate and then dumping them eight years later when I’m in my mid-thirties. Idealization is something that gives us security because it makes us well-rounded. All college applications want you to be well-rounded, so idealization but be helpful!
3. It is important for me to recognize when I am being let down way too often. This is a sign that I need to step back and reevaluate the magnitude of things I’m getting at. I might ask myself, “Is this AP calculus extra credit really going to keep me from failing the unit? Or the entire class???” Alternatively, “Is going to sleep now without reading the last act of Othello actually going to kill me?” A little hurting is good, but full-blown anxiety is not the same as being disillusioned. Know this.
4. Just because I am being let down does not mean I am stupid or weak. I can remind myself that I am smart and strong by learning a piano song or reading a deep book. It is extremely important to remember that being let down is not a sign of inferiority…and it is very normal.
5. Finally, I like to get a blanket and warm up a cookie in the microwave. I am a huge believer of chocolate making people feel better. By getting comfortable in the way I know how, I can show my body that I am moving on – and that’s all I can do. Dwelling does not make things better. Only moving can do that.
These tips are perhaps very obvious, or maybe more infuriating. I know what it feels like for what someone calls “help” to feel more like it’s making everything worse. This is why I hate guided meditation. Remember that disillusionment is not your fault, and it’s also not the fault of the soulmate you might be bound to dump in your mid-thirties. It is an occurrence of life, and life is very bad sometimes. But chocolate, or whatever you indulge in, makes very bad times not feel so much like a pathetic guided meditation. Use these five tips wisely, as while I’m not official, I have had my fair share of let downs. Happy brilliant persistance!