Netflix has blessed us yet again with another season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which is doing wonders for me. This show is actually very personal to me; when I was going through hard times, it kept me calm and made me feel safe. And not just safe…
It made me feel unbreakable.
Three seasons later, I still feel unbreakable. In fact, I feel stronger now more than anything. I feel myself getting better. I feel myself wanting to get better. I feel my life turning out better than I hoped it would.
So I thought I’d offer you guys some advice. These are the lessons I learned on the road to recovery.
1.) Know what you want.
I’d like to quote my good friend Bill Murray from the movie Lost in Translation:
I truly believe my life started changing when I cried in my bedroom, all alone, thinking to myself, this isn’t what I want.
Because the next morning, I woke up and made a plan for myself. I’d start knowing what I wanted. And I wouldn’t just know it – I’d aim at it too. I’d work hard to get it. It was scary, definitely, and it led to some more moments of crying alone in my bedroom, but those moments were different.
Because in these moments, all I thought were, No. This is what I want.
It’s not going to be easy, I tell you. If you’re lucky, it is, but most of us aren’t lucky. But honestly, everything else won’t matter to you anymore. You’ll stop getting mad at things that aren’t worth getting mad. You’ll start working hard, finding new things to do, being too busy to feel lonely.
Success comes to those too busy to look for it.
I started getting better when I knew what I wanted, and what I wanted wasn’t even to get better. It was a byproduct – having a goal in life gave me a purpose to wake up every morning.
Even when it hurt. Even when it was difficult. Even when I didn’t want to.
And I couldn’t be prouder of myself.
2.) Don’t put your happiness in other people’s hands.
They won’t care for it.
And they won’t do it intentionally. They just have to handle their own happiness as well. Heck, they won’t even know they’re handling your happiness. It’s not their fault. But they will drop it.
You are the person you’ll spend the most time with. Put your happiness in your own hands. Push yourself to do things that make you happy. Push yourself to make yourself proud. Push yourself to disappoint others if it means pleasing yourself.
Spend some time with yourself. Be comfortable with going to the movies with yourself, to the beach, to the dog cafe. There’s so much to do in the world and you yourself are good enough company. You are a complete half.
Have your own goals. Don’t let your goals be to be with another person. People are great, but they are not yours to possess. You need to have your own life, your own dreams, your own accomplishments. When thinking about your future, put marriage outside of the equation. It’ll happen, but your dreams won’t if you don’t work for it.
Most importantly, love yourself. Be yourself. It’s the hardest thing on the planet because it’s not something you do once. You do it every single day. It’s a never ending cycle. It’s in the small decisions and the big decisions.
But the price you pay for being yourself is worth it.
3.) Don’t put too much emphasis on social media.
Social media. Where everybody’s shouting, but nobody’s listening.
When I started my journey to recovery, I deactivated all my social media. No Facebook, no Twitter, no Instagram. Clean of it all. This was because social media was a huge contributor to the unhealthiness of my mental state.
Not getting enough likes depressed me. Not getting comments depressed me. Not being able to post depressed me. I had to tell people I did something or watched something or read something. It was like something didn’t really happen if I didn’t tell people about it. Only nobody really cared.
A year has passed since I deactivated, and I’m not planning on coming back at all. (Don’t worry, your true friends will still be in touch.)
You don’t have to deactivate your social media. There’s a chance you probably really need it. But don’t let it define your life. Don’t let it validate you. Don’t let it be your measurement to how great you are.
Likes and comments? They’re not worth anything. You can’t convert them to cash, you can’t use them in exchange for goods and services. You can survive without them.
Let’s be unbreakable, shall we?
You’re alive, dammit. And you’re strong as hell.