There comes a time in every young adult’s life when they have to transition from a helpless, naive, carefree child to a responsible, conscious, and decisive adult. I used to (and for the record, this was not very long ago) DREAD the time when I actually had to use my noggin and not do all the things I want to do until I take care of all the things that I need to do. Paying bills, saying “no” to a good time, and thinking about the long-term results of your in-the-moment decisions. Sounds pretty boring, right? Truthfully, it’s the best transition you’ll ever make in your life. I used to think drama, problems, and chaos were going to follow me wherever I went. I was that whiny little girl saying, “But why meee?” when things were spiraling downward in my life. Then a lightbulb popped up above my head. There’s one person who is in control of my life and what happens to me…it’s not my friends, it’s not my parents, it’s not my significant other, it’s not my “bad luck”. It’s me.
The point that I’m trying to make here is a motivational one. If you think your life isn’t where you want it to be and if you think you’re stuck in a rut you can’t get out of, that isn’t true. You just don’t want to face two important facts about digging yourself out of your despair:
- It’s not going to happen overnight.
- It’s not going to be easy.
We live in a world where information is at our fingertips. There’s a GPS for that, there’s an app for that, there’s a prescription for that, etc. But I hate to break it to you. There are some things that even a robot or modern medicine can’t do for you. My dad and I both had a funny realization about ADD. Him and I have very similar problems with focusing, attention, and organization, yet we come from two different generations. He says he couldn’t even afford to think he had ADD as a kid, he just had to get shit done. He found healthy coping mechanisms, he forced himself to do things even though they were hard, and he didn’t give up. Nowadays, we look for shortcuts to solve our problems instead of doing the work to fix them ourselves. But there seems to be a similar outcome to using these shortcuts: The solution is only temporary.
I did the counseling. I got the prescription. I thought a pill was going to make me superwoman. Until I realized that there wasn’t much of a difference after a while. Another light bulb moment for me was when I stopped taking my ADD medication and I made the conscious effort to use calendars, to-do lists, getting into a healthy routine, and forcing myself to study with the help of pure willpower instead of the help of a quick fix. I thrived. I feel amazing. I have confidence in my own power which is something I never had before.
Don’t let the times we live in now get you down. Life has always been hard, life has always been scary, and the media has always sucked. Studying “The History of American Journalism” over the summer made me realize that the media has always done its absolute best to be sensational, dramatic, and do anything it can to create buzz or serve an agenda since the 1700’s. As a journalist, I’m telling you right now that most of the “news” is complete bullshit. Especially on the Internet. If Donald Trump is going to get any credit for anything, it’s starting the conversation about the fact that the media is biased and serves a specific agenda 95% of the time. Most of the news is also fear-based and purposely trying to scare you to always make you think that the world is going to shit. Life is all about perspective. Choose to focus on the good and the world will look good, focus on the bad and the world will look bad.
Even though I’m kind of all over the place with this post, the biggest takeaway is that you can’t control all the things going on around you. The only thing you can control is yourself. Don’t be afraid to make that “shift” from letting life take control of you to taking control of your own life. Cut off toxic people, sit down and make a plan towards how to accomplish your dreams and goals, and stop putting your potential on the back burner. Visualize who your best self would be and take baby steps every day until one day you look back, maybe even a year later, and realize it was all worth it. I’m going to share this video that I’ve watched almost 20 times already just because it has such a great message. It sums up basically everything I said about how making positive changes doesn’t happen overnight. Plus, it’s entertaining and funny so you won’t be bored, I promise. 🙂
LAST POINT I’M GOING TO MAKE: There will be people in your life that you’re going to have to distance yourself from when you’re becoming the person you want to be. They’re going to see you going places and resent you because they don’t have it in them to do the same. Ignore those people. Make moves in silence and kill it behind the scenes while they’re still making the same mistakes and feeling bad for themselves.