Thirtysomething

Some of Us Have to Work for Happiness

Image result for trying to be cool gif

I am not a chill person. I am not laid back. I do not let inconveniences, whether big or small, simply slide away, easily forgotten. All my life, I have wanted to be this person. I wanted to be the cool chick. The one who didn’t stress about minor things. After 33-years, I have accepted the fact that I will never be the cool chick. I am too anxious for that to ever be me.

My anxiety and my inability to let things go tend to have a negative affect on my happiness. My default reaction is to ask, “Why is this happening to me?” When things are going bad or someone upsets me, I will immediately think about all the other things in my life that need improvement.

Happiness is something that I have to work on. I hate to admit this but it doesn’t come naturally to me. I’m not saying I’m always miserable. I have a lot of things in life to be happy about and a ton of things that bring me joy. I just need to spend more time reminding myself of these things than other people do.

While there are plenty of people out there who are genuinely upbeat and always look on the bright side of things, I doubt that I am alone in my battle for happiness. If you’re like me and have to work a little bit harder to be happy, I hope that the following tips can help when you need to remind yourself that things aren’t always so bad.

Remind yourself of all the good things in your life and all that you have to be grateful for. It’s so easy to dwell on the bad stuff. When your car didn’t start and you spilled coffee all over yourself and it’s Monday, it’s hard to think, “Well at least I’m breathing and have a roof over my head.” But you are breathing and do have a roof over your head.* Those are things to be really fucking thankful for. 

Remind yourself daily of the things that do make you happy. Make a list if you need to because I know how hard it is to think of those things when you all you want to do is have a breakdown. Read the list everyday. Read it multiple times a day if you need to.

Don’t ever forget that list of happiness but also allow yourself to feel sad. It’s a normal human emotion and you’re not less of a person for feeling blue from time to time. Just don’t dwell on it for too long and don’t let one bad thing spill over in to so many other aspects of your life.

Don’t beat yourself up if your default reaction to life isn’t calm coolness. That’s just another thing to stress about. Instead, focus your energy on happiness.

*I recognize wholeheartedly my privilege in writing this. I have the luxury of being sad and dwelling on trivial things because I don’y have to worry about the heavy stuff like where I’m going to sleep at night.

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Thirty Things I Learned in My Twenties

So it’s February. This is my birthday month! The big 3-0 is exactly 16 days away (not that I’m counting or anything). I am not as stressed out as I thought I’d be. I do get a little twitch every time I realize that I’ll no longer be in my twenties but overall I think I’m handling it pretty well. I’ve even decided to actually celebrate my birthday which I don’t always like doing. I’ll be doing a dinner with a bunch of my friends.

Being almost thirty has mostly made me feel very reflective, which I guess is natural. The next series of posts will probably be a lot of me reminiscing and thinking about things that have occurred in my twenties. Today I want to talk about all the things I’ve learned in my twenties. Sure I’m not done and there are some things I’ll probably never learn. (Like folding a fitted sheet. Does anyone actually know how to do this?!?) But there are a lot of things my twenties have taught me.

  1. Always bring something when you go to someone’s house for dinner. You can never go wrong with a bottle of wine.
  2. Do not max out your credit cards. Splurging on certain things is fine but do not abuse your credit cards. You will regret it.
  3. Thirty is not that old. Don’t spend your twenties stressing over turning the big 3-0.
  4. Bad times will always get better. Humans are pretty resilient. Your twenties will be filled with a lot: rejection, heartbreak, loss of loved ones. But even if it feels like your entire life is in shambles, things will eventually get better.
  5. Your body is at least ten times better looking than you think it is. Odds are that ten years from now you will look back and wish you had the body you do now.
  6. You will never have it all figured out. Life is amazingly confusing. Things can change in an instant. Anyone who claims to have it all figured out is a big fat liar!
  7. You don’t always need to give a reason why you’re no longer talking to someone. This could be friends or someone that you’re dating. Sometimes it’s nice to give people an explanation but if it’s better for your mental health to just walk away, then do it.
  8. Eating a cupcake is not going to kill you. That one cupcake is not the reason for your muffin top. A cupcake everyday and not exercising may be the reason for that muffin top but not just one.
  9. You will never be rich so go to that fancy restaurant or go on that vacation. Don’t completely live outside your means but don’t spend your life waiting until you have enough money to start doing things.
  10. Your love for Nsync will never, ever go away. In fact, it will just get deeper as you get older and your 13-year-old Nsync-loving-self is further and further in the past.
  11. Accept that student loans will be a way of life for at least the next ten years. You have to get over bitching about it eventually because they are never going away.
  12. Store brands can be great but there are some things you don’t want to go generic on. Toilet paper is a big one. Splurge a little. It’s an essential item.
  13. Learning how to cook a few staples is crucial. You don’t need to be the next Gordon Ramsay but you should be able to feed yourself without using Seamless all the time.
  14. You can get the things you want but it’s going to take time and patience. That dream job is not going to just fall into your lap.
  15. Social media is the devil if you’re going to use it as a way to compare how unaccomplished you are in your life. Never compare your real life to someone else’s highlight reel.
  16. You will never comfortably walk in heels but sometimes they are just so worth it.
  17. Being tan is not worth it. You may look better sun-kissed but it’s not worth the risk of skin cancer and wrinkly skin.
  18. Turkey bacon will never be good and there is a special place in hell for people who think it’s better than REAL bacon.
  19. A $10 bottle of wine will do the job just fine.
  20. Staying home Saturday night is glorious! No shame in Netflix and Chilling all by yourself.
  21. There are a lot of people in this world who have a worse life than you. It’s important to recognize just how lucky you are. However, this does not completely negate your problems, no matter how trivial they may seem. You’re allowed to be upset about things in your life even though others have it worse.
  22. Hanging out with girls is not all annoying and drama-filled. If you still believe this myth, you may be the drama Queen, mean girl.
  23. Getting hand-me-downs for your apartment is great. Nothing wrong with asking friends and browsing yard sales for a good deal but always go new with a mattress.
  24. If you don’t want to do something, say no. And you don’t automatically owe the person an explanation why.
  25. Start a savings. Even if you’re only putting away $10 a month. It’s better than nothing and it has to start somewhere.
  26. Your friends are amazing, make time for them. If they are still around by now, they are worth at least a phone call once a week to talk.
  27. Stop getting bangs. You hate them and always think you look bad.
  28. The definition of success is not a universal thing. For some it’s getting married and having babies, for some it’s having an office with an amazing view, for some it’s waking up before 10am. Be happy with the things you have accomplished.
  29. It really doesn’t matter what other people think of you. And spoiler alert: 99.9% of the time they aren’t thinking about you anyway.
  30. Turning 30 is not the end of the world. There is still plenty of time to go back to school, get married, have babies, buy a house, land that dream job. Your twenties are just the beginning.