The importance of ‘YOLO’

As much as it annoys me when I hear people saying ‘YOLO’ for stupid shit, there’s also a tiny little voice in the back of my brain saying ‘they’re right, so listen to them’.

You only get a limited number of days, a limited amount of time. Don’t waste those days and that time on people who aren’t worthy of being in your orbit and jobs that aren’t challenging you, or making you happy, or fulfilling your life.

I had a really good conversation with my sister-in-law last night. It was one of those conversations that went well into the wee-hours of the morning where it seems as though everything under the sun gets discussed, so to speak. It was really nice. I don’t have a lot of people like that in my life who I can just talk to. Anyways, the point of this tidbit is that we got to talking about happiness.

What makes you happy? What doesn’t? What do you do because you have to and what do you do because you want to? And if there are things in your life that you’re doing that are making you miserable but you don’t have to be doing them, why are you?

My sister-in-law has a younger sister who got married at 20. Not only did she marry at an age which we consider to be young, but she married a man 28 years older than her. He was the first man she’d ever been with and she’d dated him since she was 17. (Yeah was and still is pretty gross. It’s a whole big family-drama story for another time) Now, having been married five years, she’s 25 years old wants kids and is with a man who’s ready to retire and live out his days lawn-bowling and spending winters in Arizona. She’s miserable. And she’s too damn afraid to leave him that my sister-in-law doubts it’ll ever happen.

She’s miserable. She’s 25 and she’s too afraid to do anything to escape the misery.

The thing is, she’s 25. She’s got soooooooo much life left to live. I wish I could knock some sense into her that she’s capable of leaving him and more than strong enough to do so. Why? Because YOLO.

Life is far too short to live it being miserable. I say that in funny situations and I say that in serious situations. Being 25 and married to a man who’s 53 who you don’t want to be with anymore, that doesn’t have to be your forever.

She owes it to herself to be happy.

You owe it to yourself to be happy.

I’m sure that we all have things in our lives that we can’t escape. That’s life. But honestly, when you can cut the ties with what’s weighing you down, do it. Whether it’s a 53 year old man you’ve grown to hate, a stupid job that’s making you miserable, friends that tear you down, or whatever it is that is weighing you down, you are strong enough to move past it.

You owe it to yourself to be happy.

You only live once. It’s far too short to waste your days with someone or something that doesn’t make you happy.

For what it’s worth, it’s never too late or too early to start over. Begin again, chase the life that will make you happy/happier/happiest. Eat that piece of cake, take that trip, buy that ________(insert expensive object here), be the most fulfilled version of yourself that you can.

At the end of the day, the best thing that you can give to your future self is the memories of a happy life, and the knowledge that you lived it to the fullest.

YOLO

When life hands you lemons…


Something happened this week that I was not expecting.

See, I’ve been afraid to tell anyone of my upcoming trip because I feared judgement for booking a plane ticket when I don’t have a steady stream of income. If there’s one thing I’m certain of in my life, it’s that the people around me can be extremely judgmental. And, though I know it comes from a place of love, it still comes… at times being really hard to deal with.

Moral of the story is that I didn’t want to be made to feel badly for doing something for myself.

I kept waiting for the right moment in which to break the news and continued to find excuses as to why it was never the right moment. As my date of departure draws closer, I knew the news needed to come out soon otherwise people would notice when I disappeared for multiple days.

Then, out of the blue, I was invited to an event this weekend. Knowing right then and there my time was up, I faced the music and admitted that I was headed on a trip. What I did not expect was the gracious and kind responses I received in acknowledgement of my trip.

They were kind. So kind. Telling me things like ‘Good for you! You deserve this’ and ‘I’m so happy that you’re doing something for yourself’. One of them even offered me money to help pay for the trip. To be honest, I was quite shaken by these responses. Happy, but shocked. I guess it goes to show though, as much as you think you might know someone, people can always surprise you.

That’s a huge weight off my back leading up to my trip. As much as I want to believe that the only opinion that matters is my own, the opinion of those that I love still plays a large role in my life. And I can now leave on Saturday knowing that the people in my life are supportive of my decision, my mom will be looked after, and the wanderlust in my soul can be fulfilled, at least for a few days.

When life hands you lemons, buy a plane ticket. Go somewhere that’ll make you happy, that’ll make you smile and that’ll set your soul on fire. You deserve it, damn it. Take advantage of the here and now and just go.

Smooth transition into a new topic:

On the recommendation from followers on this blog, I purchased some Apple Cider Vinegar last week in hopes that it would help with my adult acne. Though I’ve only been taking it for one week now, I have to say that I have noticed a difference in my skin. My acne has always been the large painful, red, blotchy sores around my lips/lower cheeks and chin area. Over the past week these spots have transitioned into much smaller, less swollen spots on my face. It’s not gone, no. The spots will be there for a long time, I am sure. But it’s nice to see some improvement in my skin. It makes me feel better about my appearance, even just in the small changes happening.

So, thank you. Thank you for reading, thank you for leaving a comment, thank you for being kind and thoughtful and helpful.

On ‘shattering glass ceilings’

I remember the excitement I felt when my nephew was born. While my sister-in-law was pregnant, we had been told while my that he was going to be born with some pretty serious health issues, so the day he was born a healthy, happy baby boy with ten fingers and ten toes and seemingly, perfectly healthy, I couldn’t help but think we had been given a gift from the universe.

I promised myself that kid was going to know everything good in life. I wanted to share with him a love for things like Frank Sinatra, the smell of old books and the feeling you get when you walk in the rain. More than that, though, I wanted to share with him a desire. A desire for what he loved, for what he wanted, or for more. Always more. See, if I could teach my nephew just one thing, it would be that he never settle. He’s capable of so very much, and I say that in part being a biased Auntie and in part being an optimist who believes, with the right motivation, he can be whatever and whoever he wants to be in this life.

I remember the excitement I felt when my niece was born. I was over-the-moon at the prospect of a little girl gracing this family of boys that I’d been living in for so long. (The female gender is grossly underrepresented in my family) The day that I held her in my arms for the very first time, I remember thinking that I’d never seen anyone on earth more beautiful than she.

I promised myself that she was going to know everything good in life. I wanted to ensure that, as a girl growing up in a family filled with men, she was given every opportunity to be whomever she wanted to be – whether that girly and dainty, or rugged and strong (or all of the above). More than that though, I couldn’t help but think about how different her life was going to be from that of my nephew. See, if I could teach my niece just one thing, it would be that she seek to shatter glass ceilings and not fit into glass slippers. There’s no need to fit in to a world in which she’s born to stand out, stand up and create her own kind of incredible. She’s capable of so very much, and I say that in part being a biased Auntie and in part being an optimist who believes, with the right motivation, she can be whatever and whomever she wants to be in this life.

This year I’m soon to have another niece. I’m also going to have one more niece or nephew (we won’t know which until that baby is born, as my brother wishes to be surprised by the gender. I think it’s a girl. Cough. Totally a girl. Cough). My brother, Aaron, has asked me to write something for his baby-to-be. He said, if I could teach his soon-to-be little girl just one thing, what would I teach her? Honestly, I think if I could teach her anything it would be that she seek to shatter glass ceilings, not fit into glass slippers. I know that it’s cliche, but I stand by the statement.

Girls are raised differently than boys. We’re taught to be quiet, to not be too opinionated and to worry more about how we’re perceived on the outside than how we’re perceived on the inside. Boys are raised to be strong, opinionated and with the notion that the world is at their fingertips. It’s just a fact of life. I think if I could only give one thing to my nieces it would be that they know they’re strong, can be opinionated if they want to be and that the world is also at their fingertips.

I have no worries for my nephew. He’s growing up to be one hell-of-a kid. He’s articulate, intelligent, strong, loves sports and all the good music, he thinks it’s cool to dye his hair purple. He knows the world is his oyster. Presently he’s talking about wanting to be an astronaut and go to space when he grows up. And, if he still wants to in ten years, I have no doubt he will.

I worry about my niece, and my niece to be. While my niece is one hell-of-a kid, I can’t help but feel as though we’re sending the wrong message as a society when she tells me she’s not allowed to play hockey because it would make her too manly. How does an eight year old come to these conclusions? They’re taught to her. They’re taught to too many girls and I don’t think it’s right. In 2019 a girl should be able to be whomever she wants to be, and it’s time we start teaching that to the female gender.

And if, in time, she decides that the glass slipper is what she wants to wear, I’d be more than happy with that fact. So long as I know she’s not settling for it, and that it’s her choice, her desire and her dream.

The world is your oyster, my dear. All you have to do is believe.