I was going through a bunch of family photos at home recently, and I would strongly recommend you do the same if you have the opportunity. I suggest this because you find out things about you and your decisions that will make you physically cringe. If you go through my family photos you can pinpoint the exact moment that I entered puberty; it robbed me of my smile and replaced it with cargo pants. Did I mention they were camo? Yeah, your boy was out here on his Rambo swag just dripping in sauce and angst. The worst part? No one stopped me (or rather i didn't listen to them).
Another reason why you should force yourself to suffer through this experience is to humble yourself. Nothing will take you off the pedestal you may have built with yourself quicker than a photo that you took on your LG Rumor in front of your dirty bedroom mirror quoting Lil Wayne lyrics in some 38W Mecca jeans. The final reason as to why you should embark on this reflective journey is also the theme of this post; to laugh at yourself.
As I’m writing this, I’m celebrating another Earth Strong, and one of the fun things about my birthday is that it lands before one of the busiest days of the year. Now don’t get me wrong I love Christmas, but Christmas Eve?? C’mon yo… I used to loathe my birthday because it never felt like one, and with each year I made it less of a ‘deal’. In my eyes I was always second place to someone or something else (Christmas, in my case), so I accepted that as my truth for quite some time. My Grades slipped, relationships faltered, and my motivation would fizzle out because of this ‘second place’ mentality. But all of these things had a common denominator; whether it was teachers telling me that I did a “good job” or people just expressing that they liked having me around, it was enough for me to burn out, thinking that I’d inevitably disappoint them. I started to think, “why bother?” At this point, I’d like to say that I had a specific encounter where the stars aligned and allowed me to turn this attitude around, but if I’m keeping it funky, I’m still working on this evolution right now. A big outcome of this whole experience however is that it has helped me accept the fact that it's important and okay to be happy, but it is equally important to elevate others around you. For example, if someone compliments your original song, even though you KNOW it sucks, who cares? You worked hard and put in the hours, so why not celebrate your work and the joy it brought to others? If your partner can’t cook to save their life but spent hours looking up the perfect recipe and preparing what they call “a meal”, what’s the harm in thanking them for taking the time to think of you and COOK AN ENTIRE MEAL for you. Are they Gordon Ramsay? No. Will eating their food kill you? Possibly. But will it kill you to see past the toxic stew and look at the T.L.C that went into their act of kindness? Absolutely not. And last but certainly not least, if you have a less than ideal birth date, remember that it could be on Christmas Eve; and even if it is who cares? CELEBRATE YOU! No one can stop you from getting as wild/turnt/lit/calm as you want.
Thanks again for reading and' i'd love to hear your weird, funny, cringy family photo finds and how you have or are working towards putting yourself first. Be good, do good and here's Flight Fantastic by Flamingosis (which was personally my anthem for this summer) to warm you up during these cold days.