I’ve noticed lately I’ve been a bit of a complainer. If I feel uncomfortable in a situation, I find something or someone to complain about. It’s weird, I guess. Humans are really great at bonding over misery. Then I started to notice everyone around me was miserable. I noticed I was anxious about everything – what if everyone around me was thinking the same negative things I was? Was I contributing to the misery?
I noticed most of my focus was external. I was doing things with other people in mind. I worked out because I wanted other people to think I looked good. I posted on social media because I wanted other people to think I was cool. I knew I needed a change, and I wasn’t sure how to get there.
I started with deleting social media. The fun part about living so far away from my friends is I’m pretty much always lonely. I tend to use social media as a crutch to feel social without having to get out and experience social anxiety through being around other people. I also have a tendency to compare myself to everyone else with an account. So I just deleted it. I can’t say it helped me keep off my phone any (reddit still exists) but it did help me to start getting my mind right.
Second, I noticed I wasn’t taking care of myself internally. We all have things we have to make budget decisions on – both financially and with time. I had, for a very long time, been letting the “me” specific things slide. The only time I would, say, treat myself to a skin care routine is when I knew I had an event coming up where I would see people. Those events are few and far between, so I really haven’t been taking care of me much at all. I decided to change that. I started framing workouts around seeing what my body can do instead of around building a specific body part. I started buying myself new clothes when I needed them. I started trying to find healthy food that I enjoyed instead of trying to eat the same meal and starve myself until I couldn’t anymore.
Last, I noticed I seemed to really hate everything. I can remember one of my best friends calling me a social butterfly in high school and all I have wanted to do for years now is sit at home and see no one (or drink heavily when I do have to be around others). I couldn’t think of a single thing about my life I liked doing, so I started changing it. I forced myself to say “yes” to more social things. I forced myself to say “no” to things that left me feeling drained and overworked (sometimes). The things I haven’t been able to change, I’ve tried to change my outlook on. It’s corny, but every time I find myself saying something bad about myself, I cut that internal thought process off and just repeated something nice to myself.
I started asking myself what would life be like if, instead of complaining about a frustrating thing at work, I reminded myself how much I love this place? What if I started every day with a reckless enthusiasm for everyone and everything around me? I mean, really, I get paid to teach people how to pick up heavy things and put them back down – literally doing the job I said at 20 years old I would be happy every day if I could do it. I look at everyone around me, whether I have known them my whole life or have just met them twice, and realize I’m surrounded by some of the most insanely kind, funny, interesting people on the planet. I’m blessed and lucky and it’s time to start giving my world the love it has given to me.