If there’s one piece of advice I could give to my younger self, it’d be to stop wasting so much time feeling bad for myself. I didn’t have a boyfriend. I wasn’t popular. I didn’t feel pretty. I did poorly in school. So much time that could have been spent improving myself was spent moping and wallowing in my own short sighted self pity. I hated everyone and everything for not giving me what I thought I deserved instead of making the necessary changes. And I can’t help but shake my head when I think about the person I could be by now if I had gotten this through my thick, stubborn skull earlier in life.
There is always an excuse that can be made. For argument’s sake, let’s say you’re a fat pill head making minimum wage. If you think long enough and hard enough, you can always find someone or something to blame for your shortcomings. But then what? Even if you decide that it’s someone else’s fault that you’re poor, out of shape, and on drugs, you’re still the overweight impoverished addict, probably hating yourself. And ultimately, you’re the only person that can change that.
You can choose to blame corporations, patriarchy, your dad, your dead dog, or anything else under the sun for whatever’s wrong with you, and you can demand that the government babysit you for the rest of your life to save you from yourself, or you can hold yourself accountable and be your own hero.
I’ve lived a blessed life, and I’m grateful for all of the privileges I’ve enjoyed. But everyone, including me, has a story, and whether they use that story as an excuse to deteriorate into nothingness or the incentive to be the best they can be is entirely up to them. Obstacles aren’t oppression, and overcoming them isn’t impossible.
Life isn’t fair, but it is what you make of it. And the more time you spend pouting because you think you got the short end of the stick, the less likely it is that you’ll ever make anything of yourself.