My #1 Lesson Learned from the Previous Decade

Well, we’re now living in a new decade. I know some people dispute that. Some people believe that 2020 is the last year of the decade and that the new decade doesn’t start until 2021. Whatever. I’m not into hairsplitting. I am also not into “new year, new me” bullshit because, frankly, you can make changes any damn time you decide to own up and make some fucking changes.

Related: Unfuck Yourself: Motivational Speech of the Day

Because believe me…I’m 41. I’ve lived through some shit. I’ve seen some shit. I’ve dealt with some shit. I’ve changed some shit. I know what it is like. Shit is hard. It is work. And people do not like to deal with it and so they quit and prefer the route of, “You don’t know! It’s hard!” Yeah, I do know it’s hard. That isn’t me invalidating anyone’s trauma or shitty experience. It’s me validating it while also empowering them to make a change. Here let me say that again for those in the back:

I am not invalidating anyone’s trauma or shitty life experience. When I say I know it is hard, I am validating you and also empowering you.. I am handing you back your power so that you can change the fucking game.

Because no one is coming to save you. There is no trophy for the most injured. There is no winner for the most hurt or traumatized. We get nothing for sitting around and hurting. We don’t. If you want your life back or if you want to build a life, you must get up and do something about it…which leads me to my #1 lesson learned over the last decade.

No One on This Planet Labels or Defines Me Except for Me

Labels and definitions can be handy in certain circumstances. We have dictionaries for a reason. I mean, I have high blood pressure. I have migraines. I have CPTSD. I don’t hang onto any of those labels for dear life, though. They may be part of who I am, but they aren’t me. I exist without them. I am not mom. I am not wife. They are part of who I am.

The problem with labels is that people tend to turn them into self-fulfilling prophecies. I know. I used to be that way, too. Wayyyyyy back at the beginning of the last decade. I knew, at some level, that what I was saying and doing was really just a broken record pattern. I knew I wasn’t stupid. I knew I wasn’t the things I kept saying to myself that I won’t even retype here because they don’t deserve my time and energy because they were lies. Broken record thinking. I heard that shit so much as a kid and from the ex (“the,” not “my” as I refuse to personalize abuse because it was NOT about ME…I was NOT the problem). Those people weren’t in my life…so my brain took over.

So I started doing daily affirmations. I didn’t say what I didn’t want: “I don’t want to be stupid.” I said what I knew I was (and yes, I felt ridiculous at first): “I am brilliant.” I went on website after website finding great affirmations to repeat. And it took some time…and a lot of fucking effort to combat those negative thoughts.

And, I’m sure you’ve probably noticed on social media that most people are overly sensitive. It does not matter where they fall on the political or sexual spectrum. If you don’t agree with them, you’re automatically labeled a snowflake, a facist, or who knows what else. It’s so easy to name call and bully when you have the keyboard to protect you and the ability to block.

But that’s the number lesson I’ve learned in a decade that most people need to learn: don’t let anyone else define who you are. It doesn’t matter what people call you. And you don’t need to call anyone anything else. Because it doesn’t matter. And if people do call you something, so fucking what? Go on with your life. The Internet has devolved into fourth grade.

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