sorry not sorry

It’s been one of those sit-in-the-stairwell-and-breathe-deeply kind of days. You have them too, yeah? Ever wonder where they come from? You can always find reasons - your boss is pissing you off, the barista just gave you ‘tude... But what about those days when everything goes wrong and you’re still in a great mood? What gives? If you’re into new age psychobabble at all, you’re familiar with the idea that it’s not what happens to us, but our reaction to and perspective on it that influences the way we feel about it. So why is it that some days it’s so easy to be in a good mood, and other days the world is ending because my headphone jack won’t work? (Some days, raging hormones are the answer. Today, raging hormones are not the answer.)

I’ve been seriously digging to figure out what’s up on these opposites of days, and I’ve found a trend. On the days when everything is awful and I would rather lay in my bed indefinitely, nine times out of ten I’m just stuck feeling sorry for myself. Yeah… sorry. Nothing keeps me stuck quite like pitying myself. It’s a strange mix of being completely self-centered in an outward focus, by focusing on everything that I don’t like about what’s going on around me. It’s an easy brainwave to ride too, because I don’t have to take any responsibility for what I don’t like. How convenient! Unfortunately though, it typically ends with me sitting in the stairwell reminding myself to breathe deeply.

It’s crazy, because these moments of defeat can seemingly outweigh all of the moments that deserve celebration. I live a pleasurable life and I work hard, so I don’t know why I waste time sulking about miniscule details - made up details, even - like a conversation gone wrong in my head or a self-conscious feeling about my body. Sulking like this leaves me feeling powerless, and at worst incompetent... which tells me that sulking like this is a useless thing to do.

So how do I get over it? I’ve learned that the quickest way for me to change my mind about something is to take some sort of action about it. Once I notice what it is I’m doing to myself, I’ll take a walk with the intention to change my mind. I remind myself that I have the power to get over whatever’s bothering me, and I try to make a mental note of what I have to be grateful for in my current situation. Sometimes, the thought of doing that when I’m pissy really annoys me, so after a walk I’ll sit down with pen and paper and bitch about whatever I’m pissed about to my heart’s content. Once I get that out, I start feeling a lot more willing to write about a few things that I like. I’ll start making a list of the things I’m grateful for in the moment, and even if I have to search for a minute, they start flooding in after I write down the first few. It might sound cheesy, but I don’t really care if you think it sounds cheesy, because it works. And when I want to change something, I go with what works.

I know that my life is too good to waste much time feeling bad, and that's why I’m so devoted to feeling good. Because if we’re not here to enjoy our life then what the fuck are we doing!? Shit happens and it’s okay to feel sorry for yourself for a minute, but sorry is no place to stay. (AKA, stairwells are no place to spend your time.) So next time you’re feeling pissy, acknowledge what’s bothering you, then decide to feel good about something else. At the end of the day we have that choice, and that’s something to be very real about. Acknowledge the shit, but bask in the pleasure.

Then dance to this.

Maddie Wise