Millennials get a lot of shit. We get a lot of pressure from our communities, the media, our parents, and we place a shit ton of pressure on ourselves. People are surprised that our generation is more anxious than generations before us, but it makes sense to me. We are constantly being bombarded with expectations and standards that we aren’t meeting, and we care about that negative perception of us, so we place pressure on ourselves to be absolutely everything. But by doing this, we’re making ourselves sick and miserable.
It’s time to cut the shit. I’m talking to myself and I’m talking to you. Everyone needs a tough love pep-talk every-so-often. So, here it is. The following five things are what I need to hear every single day of my life in order to calm down and just fucking live. Hopefully, they can help you too, so we can all move out of this toxic cycle of trying to be everything that everyone else wants us to be and move on to live our best lives.
Don’t put so much pressure on the future.
I struggle with this daily. The truth is that we don’t know what the future is going to hold, we can’t know, that’s not how it works. An unfortunate reality, but also a blessing. The uncertainty of the future is what makes life exciting. If I knew that I was going to be a millionaire in ten years, I would just sit on my ass and wait for it to happen. Which, of course, would screw my chances of actually getting to that place in my life.
The only control that we have or the only actions that we can take are in the now. All we can do is approach today with the intention of creating our future. Dreams and goals are great (and fun!), but fixating on them is not. When we refuse to let go or focus too deeply on the future, we sabotage ourselves. Suddenly what we have now, and how far we’ve come already becomes not good enough. We create a scarcity mindset and forget to be grateful for how abundant our lives are right now.
Do today, and do today right by you. It is all you can do. The rest will come from what you choose to do today.
One step at a time.
Along the same lines of not fixating on the future, we tend to overwhelm ourselves by putting too much on our plates. I know that I get so caught up in trying to “adult” properly that I place too many expectations and responsibilities on myself that I just add to my stress levels unnecessarily. At the end of the day, the bills just need to be paid. That’s it. Everything else will wait if I want it to. I don’t need to be a domestic superstar.
They say that Rome wasn’t built in a day, which is obvious. Split your larger tasks into smaller ones. It is great to have an idea of where you want to be later on, or what you want to accomplish but it is impossible to think that you can get there all in one leap. Have some patience, and be easier on yourself. You’ll get there, one step at a time.
All anyone really cares about is if you’re nice to them.
No one cares if your hair is a mess or what you’re wearing. They don’t care if you’re bloated or if you think you’ve put on weight or if your elbows are too pointy. All they care about is how you make them feel. The truth is that people are self-centered (not in a bad way). They care about how they look, about their elbows, and if you like them or not. So, take that pressure off of yourself to be the best looking person in the room and just be nice. Smile, chat, laugh at jokes that are funny, and genuinely care about the people around you. They are all trying to be noticed, to be appreciated, and to be happy, just like you are. Give them a little confidence, and just be fucking nice. You’ll feel better for it.
Be nice to everyone, especially if they don’t deserve it.
I’m going to put it right out on the table, this one is hard for me. I like to think that ignoring people who fuck with my vibe is a version of being nice, and not entertaining people who are not my cup of tea is somehow better than acknowledging them. It’s not. Its non-confrontational and it just makes me look and feel like a miserable bitch.
So, just be nice. It’s so much less work anyway and these people are the ones that need it the most. If someone makes a bad joke, instead of rolling your eyes and brushing them off, take it lightly and make it a little better if you can. When that girlfriend you’re not a huge fan of asks you how you’re doing, just fucking answer her. You don’t have to be her best friend, and who knows, you might just learn something. She might prove you wrong.
If you want to be a nice person, you can’t be selective of who you’re nice to. Transcend the bullshit, and be the bigger person, even if most of the time it sucks. You’ll be happier; everyone else will be happier. It’ll be a much better time without your arrogant, non-confrontational attitude spoiling the mood.
For the love of god, have some fun.
There is no need to be as serious as you are. If the adults in your life think you’re being irresponsible or reckless or you’re not taking your life seriously, then so fucking be it. Are your actions putting you in danger? Are you having fun? Is this what you want to be doing right now? As long as you are safe and you are having a good time, do whatever you want. This is your life. You decide what you get to do. Be kind. Be funny. Be a little reckless. Be whoever you want to be. Do whatever you want to do.
Bonus: Call yourself on your shit.
If you’re lucky enough to have someone in your life, like I do, who does this for you, appreciate them and cherish them. Telling someone that they’re being an asshole lovingly is a necessary but difficult task. Whether you have someone like this or not, learn to do it for yourself. Just the other day one of my best friends called me and we talked about how we’ve reached a point where we can tell ourselves mid-cry that we’re being fucking stupid and just stop crying, just like that. Stop wasting your own time by entertaining your bullshit. You don’t take it from anyone else, so why are you taking it from yourself?
Some of you might think that this post is a little harsh, but it is important to knock yourself off of your high-horse. If you do it right, it is not self-hatred, but a form of self-care. Push yourself to be better by checking yourself when you’re being a lazy-sack-of-shit or a whiny bitch. Do this until you let go of those habits.
Live your life the way that you want to, and be nice to yourself and everyone around you. The most important thing in this life is to surround yourself with people who you can enjoy it with. The expectations from media, our peers, our parents, and everyone else are just suggestions. Take the advice you like and forget the rest. Make goals and dream of your perfect future, but have fun on the way there. None of us are making it out alive anyway, and no one wants their tombstone to say that they had a clean house.