To be honest, Blink 182 was kind of right. Being 23 was not the year that I made a bunch of friends, and in fact I even lost a few of them. That being said, if they were the type of friends that should be in my life, I’m sure they would still be around. The universe has a funny way of taking care of those things for you, despite how you may feel about it at the time.
If I’m really honest, no one really liked me when I was 23. I was social, but not as much as I had been in the days when I was just discovering the bar scene. I started caring less and less about the people who put in zero effort. Let’s face it we are millenials. Not only does the phone go both ways, so does texting, facetime, snapchat, instagram, facebook messenger, skype, twitter, you get it… there is simply no excuse.
The point is, the people who did like me, really fucking liked me. And I really fucking liked myself.
2015 was the best year of my life, so far. 2015 was the year I found out so many things about myself because I got to spend time alone. 2013 and 2014 were two years in a row that I slowly but surely found rock bottom. And for a large part of 2015 I was still digging myself out of the hole I had buried myself in.
There is something, inexplicable about digging yourself out of a hole. Feeling at peace is great, but for me, the true happiness comes while I’m trekking through the shit. It comes while you are figuring out what works and what doesn’t. What makes you tick, what you like about other people, how you feel about certain things, and what you hate about yourself and what you love about yourself. Most importantly, how you can use what you hate to fuel what you love and turn yourself into a badass that can succeed in whatever you try; because not only do you know yourself inside and out, you know what failure looks like.
And you are not scared of it, or anything else at all.
There’s a lot to say about rock bottom. It makes you brave. It makes you say what you want to say, it allows you to know what you want and give you the strength to fight for it. Most of all, when you completely lose yourself you have one of the most amazing opportunities life could ever bless you with. You have the opportunity to learn yourself all over again. We become ourselves so quickly as we are growing up, I think all the sudden we are these people and we don’t even know why or how, or if the person we became while we weren’t paying attention is even the person we want to be.
I got the chance to look at myself and see all the good, and see all the bad, and decide what I wanted to keep. I also got to decide what I wanted to accept, and then learn to work on. And then let go. Not a lot of people get to do that. In fact most people are so caught up in how they have been wronged by other people they never even look at themselves.
It took me 21 years, but I found the flaws in myself. My biggest concern for humanity is that most people only recognize their flaws in their last few years, when it is too late. No one is perfect, but especially with our generation, we seem to all “think” we are.
Look at yourself. Do you like who you are? Are you treating someone unkind because of your own pride? Do you use anger to cover up hurt? Are you willing to hear an opinion that may not complement your own? Are you quick to judge? Do you lack empathy, or sympathy? Do you try to understand the way someone else might feel before certain actions? Do you have the decency to work things out without violence? Are you holding on to something that is eating you alive?
Just let go.
There are so many things we can work on, every single day. When you are 23 no one really likes you, when you are 33 no one really likes you. There are always going to be people that don’t agree with you, don’t like what you stand for.
The important thing is that you like you. That you know who you are and what you want out of life, and you are not afraid to go after it.
In 2015 things fell together for me, but that doesn’t mean I’m done working on them. Quite a few people took pretty big chances on me, I will be indebted to them forever. Yet, I have to give myself some credit, they took the chance because I was confident. I landed what was my dream job, I went to a four day music festival with three of the best friends I could ask for, I surrounded myself with the people (and animals) I love most, I was encouraged to shoot for the stars, I read some fine books, I took trips. I worked really hard to allow myself the freedom of life without antidepressants, sleep aids, excessive alcohol and self-sabotaging behaviors. I met the person I could see myself spending the rest of my life with, and I began a journey that was not initially in the stars for me.
The point is, if you actually look at yourself every once in awhile, if you are willing to see yourself at face value, things will start to come together. If we were all perfect the world wouldn’t function. We need each others flaws. But if you are a good person, if you think of others as often as you think of yourself, if you give just as much as you receive, things will start to come together.
The universe has a funny way of working things out.