Before I begin, I want to let you know I’m not sorry. I’m just being honest. I’m not here to tell you that you’re doing wonderful in life. I’m not here to tell you that everything will be wonderful, even in the end. You see, that’s up to you. Being kind, and supportive to one another, only goes so far. In simpler terms, teaching a man to fish gets that man nowhere if he doesn’t actually go fishing. In the end, it’s up to the hungry man to go catch some damn fish and feed himself.
In a world in which we’re told to live as if no fucks are given, or that we should always do what makes us happy in life… why do we not? Why do we give two fucks? Why do we please everyone else in life, and never ourselves? I mean that in a very deep, and truly meaningful way. Why does the wife settle for the husband who doesn’t help around the house and treats her as if she was someone beneath him? Why does the boyfriend stay with the girlfriend who constantly cheats? Why do people who want a great life not do anything about it? There are a million reasons why people settle in life, but no reasons why they won’t. I’m here to be honest with myself, and with you, even if it costs me.
“Well if you wanted honesty, that’s all you had to say. I never want to let you down, or have you go, it’s better off this way.”
I’m going to get a lot of flack for this article from a lot of people, but I’m also going to inspire quite a few. At least, that’s the hope. If I can convince just one person to try something new, to take that leap of faith, then I’ve succeeded in this article. I’m going to rub people the wrong way, for something that is, and you’re going to love this… BEING HONEST.
Right off the bat, I imagine quite a few of you thought I was singling you out for that wife/husband comment. I’ll bet some of you thought I was calling you out for staying with the cheating boyfriend/girlfriend. Some of you even told me to “F off” because you do want a great life. The reason you thought so? It’s because I was right, and deep down, you know it. You know you deserve better. You try to justify things. You try to come up with reasons. You even think you’re the outlier and that they will change (here’s a hint, they won’t).
You post about how amazing your significant other is, then cry yourself to sleep every night over him or her. You’re getting angry at me right now, aren’t you? Good. Maybe you’ll get angry at the person who really deserves it. Maybe you’ll get angry at yourself. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll get so worked up over an article written by a lowly, wannabe writer like myself, that you will change your life.
Don’t worry, I’m not immune from the “advice” I’m doling out.
You’re not alone. Far from it. We’re all in this thing called life together. We all have great days, weeks and months. And then, we all have horrible days, weeks and months. We can go from being in love to absolutely despising someone. Why? Because of not only their words, but their ACTIONS. I am going from talking about words, to now actions. Or rather, lack thereof.
I’m calling myself out. For a good part of my twenties, nearly every woman I dated was a poor choice. I knew they did drugs, were cheaters, or lied, weren’t marriage material and stole when they could. Yet, I spent time with them over giving an actual good person a chance. I blew so much money on them, only to never even get so much as a dollar menu burger in return. I lost actual friendships over spending time with someone who only wanted my time and never gave me any. Every time it bit me in the end. “Why me?” I’d ask. Well, the answer wasn’t in the women, it was in me. Stop dating women that you know are like that. Easy right? It took me until I was 30 years old to finally do so. You receive the love you give. Love yourself before you can let love in. You know why they’re cliches? Because they’re true.
I used to weld for a living, eventually growing tired of it (physically and mentally) after 4.5 years, until I finally decided to go back to school and finish my Associate’s Degree in what I really wanted to do in life. I would rule the poker world for weeks on end, only to blow every dollar I made, and start back at zero every month. I would stop working out and go back to eating poorly, then complain I didn’t have the body I once did. All me. It’s because of the choices we make, when we know better, and can do better.
The will to change one’s lifestyle is a very powerful thing. Most people in life don’t do a damn thing to change theirs for the better. We thrive on it. We love it, actually. Let’s face facts, it’s a lot easier to post coffee memes on Facebook than it is to take time and read something meaningful. It’s a lot easier to get together with friends, drink, complain about life, and then do nothing about it every weekend than it is to stop drinking, drop the negative influences, and lead a fulfilling life. We all go through this on a daily basis. I still do.
I’m not belittling anyone or anyone’s situations in life. There are quite a few circumstances that are unfortunate and can’t be helped. It’s not always as easy as I write about. I totally get that. 100%. But, for the most part, I’m merely suggesting that some people choose to live in such a way, that it leaves excuses in continuing to live in a way they don’t want to. That’s not okay.
“But you really need to listen to me, because I’m telling you the truth. I mean this, I’m okay (trust me)!”
I asked a few people to fill me in on their lives, and what they want to do with it, versus what they are ACTUALLY doing with it. And why. I wanted to know why. Here are a few answers I received and the context behind them:
From a recently divorced, father of two (of whom he won custody), with a history of criminal charges: “I’m going back to school to better my life as best as I can.” Why? His kids. His kids have become his why. Whatever his reasons were for doing the things he did previously, he found a new reason not to. It’s never too late to find your why and stand up to negativity.
From a single woman who has four kids, no job and says her kids are why she can’t do anything in life: “I plan on going back to school or working when my kids are in college.” Her kids are all under 6 years old. Seems like a long time to put life on hold.
From a woman with two kids, a full time job, a boyfriend, and a new puppy to take care of: “I work, I cook, I clean. Sleep is my time to relax. But being a parent is a 24 hour job. There isn’t much time to sleep.” She always does what needs to be done and then some. Oh, and she achieved a Bachelor’s Degree. Quite the difference in outlook from the two women with kids, am I right?
From a man who is married with no kids: “Me and the wife never have time to do anything. Only I work, but somehow she’s always out, and we’re never home at the same time. I wish I never married.” Wow. A lot to take in on this one. I’ll let you guys play doctor here.
And after asking these brave souls about what they do in life, what they want to be doing, and why they don’t, every single one of them had the same answer as to why they haven’t. Every. One. Of. Them.
“I’m afraid to try something new.”
Think about that. Everyone I had talked to, gave me the same answer. Everyone had hopes in becoming more. Everyone thought life isn’t what they thought it would be. Everyone felt their past held them back. Everyone let their past mistakes dictate their future. Everyone thought change wouldn’t be worth the risk. Everyone feels the same. Everyone is like everyone. Hell, I’m just like everyone.
Let’s change that. Not next month, not for the “New Year, New You.” Not next week. Not tomorrow. Now. Right now. Be the change you want in life. Make the conscious effort. For the world, for your kids, for you. Stop hating your life, and start loving it.