Faith Forays

How to Remember That You're Actually Okay

Sometimes the universe likes to really, really, really poop on my face. In the span of the last two weeks, I endured almost an unfathomable amount of things. I had an awkward not-break-up with a not-boyfriend, in which we broke my best friend’s guest room bed; I returned home to discover an apartment completely devoid of furniture, due to my roommate unexpectedly moving out, and was alerted to the possibility of being kicked out of my apartment; I learned of a really nasty, completely untrue rumor circulating about me; received several hate emails bizarrely focused on my pink hair; I was confronted with having to choose a senior thesis; I acquired a new internet stalker; I overdrew my bank account buying textbooks, and have been eating the same type of sandwich for six days because that’s all I’ve got, and oh, I’ve been washing my dishes with hand soap because I am literally too broke to purchase a 97 cent bottle of dishwashing liquids.

But the bonus is that I have that 60 pack of K-cups that I got for Christmas, so I have been drinking a lot of coffee. Without creamer. Because I can’t afford any till payday.

If there is one thing to be learned from all of the absolute chaos that is happening in my fragile life, it’s that there is really absolutely nothing I can do about it. Really! The only thing I have control over is my own attitude and feelings. I have a distinctly different set of choices in front of me: freak out and devolve into a lower state of being, which would involve throwing everything I own out a window and running around with someone else’s underpants on my head as a security blanket, OR I can recite my inner mantras of peace and calm and just stay standing through whatever else the universe decides to flush out of its toilet onto my lap.

Something I find exceedingly helpful to do when faced with life choices is to ask myself, WWBD? You’re not familiar with the phrase? Oh, I’m sorry. Let me just CHANGE YOUR ENTIRE LIFE: What Would Beyonce Do. No, seriously, this works. Trust me. Think about it. Stay at crummy job where your boss hates you because you one time, one time, told her she couldn’t be pregnant because she already had grandkids? Or go searching the world for a slightly less miserable job that pays slightly better? Exert that effort, with no promise of returns? It’s easy: funnel it into the WWBD filter and you have your answer. Beyonce would obviously search for a better job, and on her way out the door, she’d toss a casual, “See ya, Granny” over her shoulder as she waltzed away in her thirty-seven inch heels.

If WWBD just isn’t your thang, you can always use my other handy trick. Inhale. Exhale. And now say to yourself, “Embrace your inner Zen goddess! Embrace her!” and say it like it’s a command, like if you do not obey your own self you will end up being forced to wear the tightest, most uncomfortable pair of spanx ever for the entirety of the rest of your life and you’ll never be allowed to take them off and just wear sweats and be free. Oooh, that was actually chilling. I just scared myself. I ought to note that I understand Zen is like, an actual thing and is part of some religions and I’m not trying to make fun of it by using it in a slightly irreverent context here.

So, how, exactly, do you embrace your inner zen goddess? You accept that there are certain things entirely beyond the sphere of your control and influence. Those things would include not-boyfriends who not-break-up with you, roommates who move out suddenly, utterly devastating hurtful rumors others choose to fabricate, and the housing department who holds the fate of your place of residence in their meaty palms. You gather all those things up, and you let them go. There is absolutely nothing you can do about the things other people choose to say and do that hurt you. And then, then, dear friends, you sit down and remember the things that you do control, and how they can be changed by you. You plan out a savings strategy, so as to not be taken unawares by the unexpected demands that pop up. You harness your attitude, your spirit, your mind. You gather good friends around you, and laugh together. Your choir of loved ones will sing louder than ever, and they’ll help you pack all your things and move out if you need to. You can choose not to text that boy, because you know that communication will only end in heartbreak for you. You decide whether or not to give credence to the mean things people are spreading around about you. And you sit tight in the knowledge that in the end, you are on your own side, and you, my dear, are fairly, ridiculously awesome. Embrace the inner zen goddess living inside of you, and know you will always be alright.

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