Sometimes it's hard for us to understand that being content also means being happy. Today's guest post, from reader Elise, helps us all understand that it's okay to show emotion, but most importantly, it's okay to let go.
It’s okay to be angry sometimes. If you’re mad, scream. Shout at somebody or don’t talk to anyone if you don’t want to. You can sleep all day and ignore every responsibility you have. Don’t sleep at all and spend your time ranting on every social media possible. It’s okay because it will teach you the importance and benefit of forgiveness. You will learn to forgive others. It will help you understand that people make mistakes but most of them don’t mean to hurt you. You will learn to forgive yourself for the bad decisions you made. Forgiveness can make a heavy heart lighter.
It’s okay to cry. It won’t make you less of a person if you’re the one to cry. Tear glands were put there for a reason and that is to wash away whatever it is that’s blocking your vision. It could be the dust that piled up on the memories you shouldn’t be keeping. Maybe it’s time for you to clean up your closet or your mind. Get two boxes and label each as follows: give away and keep. You’re going to need space in your brain for new memories and that exam you have to study for.
It’s okay to lose things and people. Over time, you will lose connection with your grade school best friend or your ex-girlfriend from college. You will remember them out of the blue and miss them. There will come a day that you’ll drop your phone in the toilet and won’t be able to resuscitate it. A friend will borrow your favorite book and never return it. These things will leave you empty but believe that this is only temporary. It will be replaced by better versions of what you had before. An upgrade of some sort – an IPhone, a more mature partner, or a new favorite book. Raise your hands to the sky and catch what the universe will give you.
It’s okay to be lost. Everybody gets lost a couple of times in their lives. It will take you days, months, or even year to get yourself out of that ditch. But it is during those times that you will find out where you really want to go. Take your time. Nobody can or should rush you. It is your life that you’ll be living out, not theirs. Try new things. If you’ve never rode a plane, go do it. Maybe a pretty girl will seat beside you and then you’ll click. Meet new people. Maybe she knows a way. Maybe she wants to walk with you until you find a way. Ride cars, busses, boats, cruise ships, trucks, space shuttles, and bikes. You’ll get there someday, wherever it is.
It’s okay to be alone. There are days when you’ll need to be away from people even when you don’t want it. You’ll learn to take care of yourself more. Nobody knows your needs more than yourself but you can’t do that when you’re too focused on other people. They can take care of themselves and so do you. So walk by yourself. Eat by yourself. Sleep by yourself. Get a beer and spend the night watching people interact. Go see a movie alone and appreciate the fact that nobody keeps asking you to explain what’s happening on screen.
I usually avoid negative feelings thinking that it will only drag me down. I thought that ignoring them would make them go away or I would just forget about it. While the negativity is still there, I waste my time in front of the laptop and distract myself with cat gifs, tips for the 20-somethings, and endless list of irrelevant things. I do that until I fall asleep at four in the morning and do the same routine the next day. But I’m getting tired of it and I feel like I’m beating myself up. You and I can’t lose to ourselves. You and I should start seeing the negativity from a different perspective.
You need to accept that things happens but they happen for a reason. It happens and it will leave you with experiences and lessons for the next 50 years of your life. Tread lightly. Let things go, let things grow. Be kind to the people you meet along the way. Be kind to yourself, most of all.
Elise Benito gets ideas for her essays and stories while riding any kind of public transport. She loves food and eats a lot to prove it. She is learning how to use the semi-colon. Ask her questions at @idgafe. She’ll try her best to help.