Maybe your best friend is changing, or maybe you can’t wrap your head around algebra and you didn’t make the soccer team. Maybe you wish you were taller, thinner, more social, a blonde, a brunette, etc., etc. (I could go on for days).
I understand. I’ve been there, done that. Stressed over this, wished for that….
But you’ve gotta let it go. And here’s why.
It’s just not worth fixating on. Seriously. And I’ll prove it to you, even if that means digging up my younger, less wise (ha!) self.
1. When I was 15, my social circle underwent a major transition.
The friends I had grown up with, felt comfortable with and relied upon were changing, as people tend to do in the four chaotic years that we call high school (but you probably already knew that). Needless to say, I felt displaced, and the desire to press “pause/rewind” coupled with the anxiety that comes along with putting feelers out for new friends was stress-to-the-ful.
And yet this weekend, I’ll be celebrating a birthday and nine years of friendship with one of those very same “new” friends.
Funny how things work out, isn’t it?
2. When I was a senior in high school, I got dumped.
Oh, breakups. They can be all-consuming, no doubt. And when you’re in the thick of one, it feels like that icky feeling is going to last forever and beyond. You tell yourself things like, “I’ll never find another like him.” In fact, you even tell yourself you don’t want another, and then you rack your brain trying to decide what you can do to be #1 again in a process I call “scheming with a heavy heart.”
Ladies, for the purpose of this post, I went on Facebook and looked up that same boyfriend who dumped me in high school. He still lives at home, though his bio claims “CEO” status of an unidentified company. And just yesterday, he posted a photo of his steroid shake.
You know what I call that now? A bullet dodged.
3. I never got A’s on my math tests.
In fact, my high school trigonometry teacher actually used the word “abysmal” when describing my mathematical skills, which more or less had me convinced I would never get accepted to the university of my choice, not succeed in life to the extent that I wanted to and so on.
Guess what? I never liked math anyway, and it didn’t stop me from enjoying a successful college career or building a future around my interests—interests that don’t really require a calculator.
Oh, and before I forget, I most definitely invited the aforementioned math teacher to my college graduation. She declined to respond—go figure.
4. My parents didn’t stay together.
That’s right…when it all came down to it, they weren’t quite right for each other—and it had absolutely nothing to do with me.
Years later, I’m as close as ever with each and every member of my family. The only difference is that now, I get to add five more fabulous people to the mix, and holidays are more of a marathon than a “one night out of the year” kinda thing.
5. I was jealous of my older sibling.
My older brother landed a job fresh out of college—and a good one. Before I knew it, he was traveling the world, seeing the places I wanted to see, living in the city I wanted to live in. Meanwhile, I was still a student and in the midst of that whole “What is life?” thing. You probably know it best as “panic.”
Today, I’m in love with what I do and the city I call home, and in May, my brother and I will be taking a long-awaited trip together to a place we’ve both always wanted to see.
See what I’m getting at here?
Whatever it is that’s keeping you up at night or has you second-guessing your worth, your identity and even your convictions is not insurmountable, nor is it the end of the world. It’s really just a stepping stone to bigger and better, even if bigger and better means “different.”
Take it from somebody who has failed any number of times, but is happier than ever.
All those things? Let them go.