Thinking that everyone else has their shit together sucks

Okay, I’m about to get very honest and go on a rant here. So brace yourself.

Nothing pisses me off more than people giving off the illusion that their life is a perfect little story book. That it’s all sunshine and roses. That they “woke up like this”. That they can actually afford the lifestyle they choose to live. That their relationship with their partner is perfect. That they are super happy like “oh my gosh!”. I actually hate it. Hate, hate, hate.

I’m a hypocrite, I know. Because up until the last few months, that person, pretending to have it all together, and only allowing the world to see the accomplishments, without also showing the blood, sweat and tears that went into it all, that was me.

I recently went to an Urban Day Retreat at the Peace Room in Ottawa (you should check it out: https://www.thepeaceroom.com/). During one of the workshops, one of the presenters introduced us to something called “shadow work”. Briefly (and my understanding of) shadow work is the awareness that the things that triggers us the most in other people, are actually a reflection of our own insecurities.

My mind was blown. Like Holly shit, so you’re telling me, that the people that piss me off the most, actually represent things about myself that I don’t like!? For example, I can’t stand how people are too lazy to properly put their carts away at the grocery store 😀. Like seriously people? You can’t take 10 extra steps and 30 seconds of your life to put your grocery cart where it belongs?! My mind jumps to the thought that society sucks. Can you imagine if everyone put their carts away properly? And if everyone paid their bills on time? And everyone recycled? And everyone helped each other? And we all actually took responsibility for our actions like the adults that we pretend to be!?? CAN YOU IMAGINE!?

This world would be amazing!!!

Alas, I digress. The point here is there is a lesson to learn. Maybe this whole cart thing actually reflects how embarrassed I am that I too, get lazy at times and take short cuts. I too, when no one is watching, fail to do the right thing. And that bugs me. Because I know I can do and be better.

Now back to people that pretend to have their shit together (smh).

The problem that I have with that, is the impression it creates for the rest of society. The impression that your neighbor, your sister, your cousin, your friend, your co-worker, heck even your life partner, has every little thing figured out. Because they don’t. No one does.

While the rest of the world seems to be just chugging along through life effortlessly, building their perfect little sand castle, I sit here on my beach towel, with my unshaven legs, trying to figure out how I’m gonna make money to pay my bills next month. Trying to figure out why my last relationship failed. Wondering when I’ll ever be mature enough to buy a house. Worrying that I’ll never be good enough to be a mother.

A few weeks ago, when I was living at my brother’s place, we had our dad over for dinner. It was the first time I saw my dad in more than 2 months. The first time I saw him since my breakup and since I announced my resignation at work.

Some time after dinner, as we sat in my brother’s kitchen talking about life, I started bawling my eyes out in my father’s arms. I felt exhausted, and my dad has this way of making me put my guard down. I cried because I was heart broken. I cried because I was tired. I cried because I felt lost.

“Dad”, I said as I pulled away from his embrace and looked him in the eyes “sometimes I just feel like I don’t know what the fuck I am doing in life”.

“Sweet pea”, he replied, “None of us do”.

That is the most memorable thing my dad has ever said to me. So you mean, that this feeling that I’m just tumbling through life, not sure about my direction, and definitely not feeling in control, is common? And even normal?

Yep. Oui Madame.

Oh shit. Well then. It took a while for this truth bomb to really sink in. But slowly, I have learned to loosen my grip on this idea that I need to have everything figured out. It’s okay to not know where I want to be in 5 years. It’s okay to be unsure about whether I want to have kids. And then realize in 7 years, at the age of 35, that I do want to be a mother.

It’s okay to quit your job because it’s making you miserable. It’s okay to change your mind. It’s okay to trip and fall. And fail. And fail again.

This. Is. Life.

So you better learn to embrace this shit, my loves.

There was this quote at the beginning of a chapter of a book I read a while back. I think it perfectly illustrates this idea and so I’m just gonna leave it here as a way to wrap up this post:

“For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life” – Alfred D. Souza. From The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Depression

3 thoughts on “Thinking that everyone else has their shit together sucks

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