So I decided that I was going to write a blog post tonight as I sit and listen to the rain (and horrendous thunder) fall outside my windows. Little did I know, I was about to take a walk down memory lane. If you know twenty-year old Hope, bless you, because seventeen-year old Hope was not only sappy, but incredibly depressing. I mean really, looking back at two or three blog posts, I can’t help but feel a little inkling of pain as I listen to my younger self talking about love and heartbreak and new-found happiness. Seriously you guys, she was way too serious for her own good. Who am I kidding? I still am.
Anyways, the point is, we all get sappy every once (twice, three times, [x] amount of times) in a while. So tonight, I’m going to talk about a few things that one only really dwells on when it’s pouring rain outside and life is flying by.
Money. So coming to college has been both a blessing and a curse as far as money goes. A blessing, because hello financial aid, you are looking FINE. A curse, because that financial aid you were just gawking at? Yeah, it’s going, it’s going, it’s gone. In. A. Hot. Minute. I’ve been looking at my bank account less and less lately because I’m actually not really into that whole “wallow in the despair that is my financial life” thing right now. I keep reminding myself that most college kids are in the same bucket, and we just have to keep on truckin’. Regardless of how big of a problem money can be, I know that my life will not and cannot be measured in monetary value, because that’s not who I am or who I want to be. So there.
Soap Operas and Sitcoms. The two most important “S’s” of your college career, ladies and gentlemen. My computer crashed at the beginning of the semester, so one good thing that came of that was not being able to watch netflix for a few months. (It’s possible, I swear.) So now I’m watching Grey’s Anatomy like there’s no tomorrow and dreaming of Friends and Gilmore Girls while I’m at work entering ISBN codes. Take a little time to relax and feed your guilty pleasures every once in a while, because life can be overwhelming and stressful. Everyone needs time to relax.
Family. So I’ve been through a lot with my family over the last few years. We’ve basically been through hell, and we’re still finding our way back up to the surface, but we have learned so much. My parents tend to think that they haven’t done enough, or that they’re not as good as other parents because they can’t financially support me how they’d like to or they haven’t “done enough”. Honestly? I’m so much stronger because of that. I don’t expect a monthly deposit in my bank account or a brand new laptop at Christmas, and that’s fine. I know that my parents can’t give me much when it comes to materialistic stuff, but is that really what makes someone a good parent? Will my success as a mom be measured by how many pairs of shoes I buy my kids? I sure hope not, because my goal isn’t to be a money tree. Sure, I want to provide for my kids and I don’t want them to worry like we have at certain points, but I also want them to know the value of a dollar and hard day’s work. My parent’s provide me with wisdom, laughter, love, and humility. Maybe that isn’t enough for some people, but for me, I am happy to see my parents alive, healthy, and happy. Those are the gifts I live for.
Comparison is the thief of joy. SO. Dang. True. I need to tattoo this on my forehead or something, because I am constantly comparing myself to other people and it is EXHAUSTING. Comparison is one of my biggest issues. In the world of social media in which everyone posts about their new job, new boyfriend, new body, blah blah blah, it’s nearly impossible to not compare yourself to others. It’s pointless though, because there will always be someone who has more, and there will always be someone who has less. So I’m challenging myself to not use comparison to deprive myself of success. I am who I am, and I need that to be enough, which leads me to my next and final topic.
Body image. Yuck. So this so called “body image” thing? I suck at it. In fact, if we could be ranked on a world-wide scale, I might fall in dead last. I constantly tell myself that I will look like “that girl” or I will do “that diet”, but what I’m really saying is, “I hate how I look and I will not settle for it.” So yeah, I shouldn’t settle, but I also shouldn’t constantly degrade my self esteem. I’ve been seeing/hearing a lot about lifting weights lately, and I’ve been so inspired by women who aren’t starving themselves and doing cardio every single day. They lift weights and tone and eat clean. Sure, eating clean is difficult sometimes, but it’s better than not eating anything at all. I’m challenging myself to stop saying, “I look fat” and “I feel big”, because I tear myself down and enough is enough. Body image is an important issue, especially in an age where air-brushed models and “plus size” clothes exist. The moment we stop labeling ourselves and sticking each other in these harsh categories, we will be able to step back and begin accepting our bodies just how they are.
So the rain is starting to lighten up (which is good, because I swear there was a dragon outside of our house, the thunder was so loud), and as I bring this blog post to a close, I want to let go of my inadequacies and baggage and start embracing what the world looks like when we change our lens. Some days, the world seems bleak and sad, but other days, the sun is shining and we just have to really take it in instead of looking past our happiness. Forgive your younger self for being so sappy and move forward with the wisdom that has been bestowed upon you.