I recently had an unexpected awakening. It was a routine weekday morning and as I was preparing for the workday, something just hit me. There’s really no way to explain what I felt without sounding a like a cheesy Pinterest quote, but I had this moment where I felt like this is it, this is my life, I get to decide how I feel everyday. Too many times we value our lives or relationships after something traumatic has happened -an illness, a death, a breakup. This awakening made me wonder, why wait until then? Start valuing your time, your life, your health. I don’t want to blink and realize that another decade has gone by and meanwhile I’m still worrying about the same old things. In that bizarre moment of clarity, several specific examples went through my mind. This post, ridden with Internet acronyms, outlines the six effs I decided to leave in 2016.
My body image
I’ve had these bursts of empowerment before , but I never truly felt it until I came across a journal I had from ten years ago. I was in my early twenties complaining about the same exact body image issues I’m struggling with today. It made me sad. It made me tired of feeling wound up tight about this all the time. It’s exhausting. All I can do is my best and let the rest be. It’s time to stop being so hard on myself, (my face will always be heart-shaped and slightly round!) and pay more attention to the internal happenings (making sure my blood sugar or hormone levels are in check!) in order to focus on what’s really important: being healthy.
Let’s be real, who hasn’t experienced FOMO online? So much wasted energy goes into not being happy for other people’s journeys. When we release ourselves from FOMO and constant comparison, we realize how amazing own journeys are, in their own way. What an amazing feeling it is to be genuinely happy for someone. If the person is a jerk and you feel your eye roll is justified, then unfollow them. You’re wasting space on the Internet being friends with them and your valuable energy when you could be scrolling through a feed filled with love and positive energy. Which leads me to my next point.
Social media friends who aren’t your friends IRL
The first time this happened to me, I actually got kind of pissed off. I ran into someone I’ve been friends with on social media for a few years and she flat out ignored me and refused to say hello. I had no intentions of starting a full conversation with this person and it wasn’t one of those “maybe she didn’t see me?” situations. I nearly had on a head-on collision with this person on the sidewalk. I smiled, said hello and she ignored me. It was weird and confusing. The second time this happened to me (just last month, in fact) I laughed to myself and shortly after removed the person from my friends list. This isn’t intended to be a sassy, snap of fingers move. It’s real. I love people and enjoy my networks of friends very much. But I also value my social media space and if you’re going to avoid the fact that you know me in IRL, then I don’t see a reason for us to be friends online.
One of the things that makes me cringe about our culture is our obsession with being busy. We glorify it. Our first response when someone asks us how we’re doing? Busy! There’s always going to be a project, to-do list, errand, deadline, task, but I realized how important it is for me to learn to let things go. Is it really that important? Is this anxiety over this work deadline really justified? You know you’re going to get it done, so stop stressing! (That’s me, giving myself a pep talk). I’m a pretty big extrovert and a lot of my energy comes from being around other people, and I enjoy community involvement very much. However, I don’t have to be everywhere all the time. This past winter break made me value the time I spent with my traveling husband more than ever. It was simply amazing.
Being afraid of doing what I really want to do
In other words, I’ll do what I want! To avoid sounding like a five year old throwing a temper tantrum, hear me out: we spend SO much time pleasing others. We end up in situations where we feel uncomfortable, guilty, and I hate it. If I want to travel, I’ll travel. If I feel like I’m stretching myself too thin by accepting a meeting or social event, I’ll decline the invitation and won’t feel guilty about it. If I don’t want to eat something someone is offering me, I won’t. If I don’t want to fill the silence in a painfully awkward conversation, I won’t! Of course, my disclaimer here is to do all of this with grace and reason. We can set boundaries without being jerks.
Tell me! What kinds of things are you letting go this year?