Sometimes we wake up on the wrong side of the bed, and that’s okay. Sometimes, things aren’t perfect and while there may be many things that we can change, we need to realize that sometimes control is out of our reach, and that is okay too.
Someone very close to me told me that yesterday. Before he said that, I was moody, emotional, angry at the world and depressed with our current living situation. I felt helpless, so I snapped and immediately felt guilty for taking it out on the only person who was around to listen.
For as long as I can remember I have held myself to a fairly high standard. Always the perfectionist, always the one trying to prove herself. It wasn’t so much proving that I could do better than other people, as proving to myself that I was doing the best for me. It was like I was always in competition with myself, because I knew I was capable of doing things at a high standard so if I didn’t meet the preconceived image in my mind, I felt inadequate.
In high school, especially in the later years, I would often be up late working on reports or projects. My mom would walk by and say something along the lines of, “That looks great honey, looks like you’ll be done soon so make sure you get some rest.” To which I would evidently respond, “Mom, this is only the second draft.”
I don’t remember all of those moments, but it doesn’t surprise me. Even if I knew the project was already good, more often than not I was convinced it could still be better.
This habit/lifestyle has carried over into my adult life, in more ways than one. It kills me to be late for work. It didn’t matter if I was working minimum wage at a gas station or working at a center with clients who relied on me to be there at my best. Either way I would plan to arrive way in advance, planning out how long it takes to drive, packing food, making sure I had materials, etc. If I wasn’t going to show up early and 100% prepared, then I would rather not show up at all. That’s how much of a control freak I was (and still am, to some extent).
Until now, I never really realized that this also applies to my feelings and how I hold myself to an emotional standard as well. Don’t get me wrong – I cry; I have many moments of anger and frustration, but the thing is that I almost always experience guilt for feeling that way and expressing it, even if it’s only to myself. I know I’m allowed to feel sad and cry, and yet after I do I often feel embarrassed for showing any weakness.
If I ‘get up on the wrong side of the bed’, as they say, I do everything I can to put myself in a better mood and not allow it to affect my productivity for the rest of my day. I watch a funny video, listen to music, exercise, read inspirational quotes, etc. I think there is definitely something to be said for making an effort to make yourself feel better, but at the same time, my God sometimes it’s exhausting.
Do I really have to be happy-go-lucky all the time? No. I’m not saying that I want to wallow by any means or dwell on any negativity, because that’s not necessarily healthy. But the point is, especially in times like these in which our routines are interrupted, the present is in limbo, and the future is uncertain, negative emotions are valid. I’m allowed to be angry. And sad. And scared. I’m not going to let it govern my life, but I’m allowed to feel bad.
So if you’re like me and guilt-trip yourself into trying to be positive all the time, do yourself a favor. Give yourself some credit, and cut yourself some slack.
If you get up on the wrong side of the bed, it’s okay. You can be pissed off at the world for a little while. Just don’t take it out on other people.
We live and learn. I’m going to take each day in stride, getting done what I can but also making an effort to put less pressure on myself. Because honestly, life is what you make of it and while I don’t want to live in anger, there can be no sunshine without a little rain.
So even when it sucks, I have to learn to embrace the rain.