Guys, it's honesty hour... I have been a mopey mess this week & you know what? I am over it. I let myself have one good cry, I finished off a bottle of good whiskey, I took myself down roads that lead to nowhere, & on trails that lead to mountaintops. And you know what? I finally feel better. Because I have finally learned & accepted that in all of the world, I am only responsible for myself. That's it. I can't control other people or their decisions, & that is something I have to remind myself of every single day. Whether it's at work with a cranky customer or handling relationships near to, or far from, my heart, I can't control other people -- I can only control my reactions to other people.
So here I am again, sharing life advice while wearing sweatpants. The truth is, we are all trying to figure out life. We aren't supposed to all be the same, nor are we supposed to be the same things at the same times. Despite having the Google at our fingertips to answer everything from medical advice to the best deal on plane tickets to Cabo, Google doesn't know shit about real life. Facebook, Snapchat, & Instagram will lure you into believing that they know everything about real life & how to be happy, but they're actually just creating a false reality about how "great" everything is for everyone except you. Stop believing it, because life is hard enough without the constant cat & mouse game of who is happier, of whose life is better. Stop comparing your life & your situation to everyone else's. Would you read the same book or watch the same movie a billion times over, every single day? No, you wouldn't, because that would be boring. And you were not created to be boring.
Go out there & live your life like no one has ever lived life before. When you hear yourself filling your mind with doubts & negative thoughts, you better turn it around & think of five things you're thankful for, & you better say them out loud to yourself. Compliment yourself, love yourself, because life is too short to be sad, too beautiful to take for granted, & too crazy to watch from the sidelines. Live boldly, live without regrets. Never be afraid to lose someone who isn't afraid to lose you. Trust me when I say that you are a glorious diamond in an ocean full of mediocre stones.
Don't chase after love, chase after a life you love. Our culture obsesses over the fairy tale in finding "the one", but that one should be yourself. Learn, read, research, observe, ask yourself the hard questions, & be willing to answer honestly. Never stop growing. Take care of yourself with the same amount of care that you give to others. Find joy in the morning & gratitude in the sunset, because every ending is a beginning in disguise. No matter how hard you have to look for it, always look for the shimmer of the silver lining... it's there, I promise you. The harder you look for it today, the easier it will be to find tomorrow. Make every single day the greatest day of your entire life -- you have the power to do that, even if you don't believe it, I swear.
Always walk with confidence in the decisions that you make. Your life is made up entirely of the decisions that you have made -- a decision made on your own, or as a reaction to the decision someone else made. Mend your heart, be kind, forgive others, find your purpose, & compete with nobody else except yourself. Life is out there. Go get 'em, tiger.
In light of my earlier advice (see paragraph 3), here's what I am thankful for today:
1. My home & the people I share it with. I live with my best friend, her husband (he's a whiskey drinker too, so we're basically best friends), & their two-year-old daughter. I have a place in the heart of a family who I'm not even related to & it's an incredible feeling. All the feels.
2. Bumper stickers. Everyone makes fun of me for the accumulating amount of stickers on Chuck's rear window & for my "YAY! 14'ERS!" magnet, but by God, I like those stickers!
3. Sour patch kids. I bought a bag for my hike yesterday, but I forgot them at home... so I ate them at work tonight instead. De-freaking-licious & just what I needed.
4. My coworkers. My job has been extremely stressful, especially these past few months, but we have held it together through all of the challenges. Even treated ourselves to a nice patio breakfast last weekend.
5. I see mountains every. single. damn. day. I don't think this one requires any further explanation.
Megan Elizabeth is a storyteller based in Kalispell, Montana. Take a peek at her blog & portfolio, drop her a line, & follow her story on Facebook & Instagram.