Sometimes, Life Just Happens: A How-To Guide to Dealing with the Shitty Parts of Your Life

Do you remember like six months ago when I was all, 

“yeah, I’m totally back now and things are peachy see you guys soon for regularly scheduled programming, ✌”

– Me, like six months ago

Yeah, no that was a straight up, bold faced lie. 

Here’s what really happened: things in pretty much all aspects of my life were whack. Obviously my long-term relationship came to a screeching halt, things with my mom crashed and burned, my apartment was suddenly way out of my price range, and my job was, well, no longer fulfilling to put it nicely.  

I went from feeling pretty okay about my life one day to not knowing what I was going to do every morning the next. And as a hardcore planner, let me tell you, this was a huge challenge. I’m not gonna sit here and gloat about how I handled everything perfectly and how I was basically Lizzo bossing my way through life because that’s just not true. Things were kind of bleak for a while, but I like to think they turned out okay. 

Listen, in my 25 long years on this planet (def long enough to be full of wisdom, trust me), I’ve learned that attitude is everything. If you’ve read my blog about the art of the attitude adjustment, you’ll know that when life gives me lemons, I sit around and complain about it. 

What? Were you expecting some kind of uplifting quote or something? 

As a hardcore control freak, when my life isn’t going the way I’d planned, I tend to grip the reigns a little tighter. Unfortunately, everyone goes through these periods in life when things don’t go our way and you really can’t do much about it. If one aspect of my life is struggling, then sure, I can proactively fix it no problem. I can exert all of my energy to that issue until it is resolved. But when seemingly every single area of my life began to crumble around me, for the first time, I genuinely struggled to pick up the pieces. I tried so hard to regain control while simultaneously pretending nothing was wrong and in the end, I wore myself out and honestly probably made everything worse. 

I spent an exorbitant amount of time stressing about all the decisions I had to make. I needed a new apartment because this one was too expensive, but first I had to get a new job so that I could live close to work, but before that I had to decide if I wanted to stay living in San Diego, but I didn’t know how things were going to play out with my family, and do I really even want to put in that work yet, and so on. This extreme anxiety, which I had never experienced prior to this year, took over my brain from morning until night. 

Fortunately, my dear friend (and personal therapist), Vanessa, (who writes this great blog called Mindfully V), was so patient and kept reminding me that I couldn’t control everything around me. Now, let’s be real here, I didn’t accept this fact easily. I went down kicking and screaming and downright insisting that I could absolutely, without a doubt control every single part of my life and who the heck are you to tell me otherwise?! 

Nevertheless, the brilliant and beautiful Miss Vanessa was totally right. Sometimes, you just gotta slow down and let go a little bit and let life run its course. So that’s what I did. 

I stopped trying to make life-changing decisions during such a stressful and tumultuous period of my life. My apartment was terribly expensive, but did I really need to add the pressure of immediately finding a new job? No. 

Instead, I decided to get a roommate. I actually found her pretty quickly after making the decision, and we clicked right away because she was going through a similar situation with her partner. Over the past few months, she’s become a great listener and a dear friend, not to mention a constant source of entertainment. 

Finding a roommate also solved my issue of whether or not I was going to move to a new city. Truthfully, I’m still a little undecided on this, but it’s comforting to know that I don’t need to make a decision today, or tomorrow, or even this year. I can wait until the moment or the opportunity feels right. 

The next thing I wanted to tackle was myself. I didn’t have much going on outside of my relationship, so I went on a hunt for some new hobbies and new people to surround myself with. 

I learned that I really enjoy cooking, more importantly, eating. I like going to the gym and being active. I reconnected with some old friends who have become a huge part of my life today. I like watching movies and going out on the weekends. I started going to the batting cages which I haven’t done since I was a kid. I frequented the beach and got a sweet tan. I learned to take care of myself and indulged in more than my fair share of face masks and bubble baths. I honestly just did whatever I wanted and it was great. 

Then, I decided to go bigger and planned some vacations. I traveled out to see one of my best friends in Arizona, we planned a trip to Portland for the fall, and I booked myself a solo trip to Hawaii. Unfortunately, the Portland trip fell through on account of the baby my friend had, and the Hawaii trip was a no-go because of my *drumroll please* NEW JOB! But more on why I’m totally okay with these plans falling through in a bit. 

An unexpected turn of events came when my ex-partner came back into my life. It all happened very quickly, and maybe I’ll get into it in another post, but we’ve become very close again and I’m incredibly hopeful for the future. 

The last area to tackle was work. Yes, it was unfulfilling, but it was stable for the time being, and that’s really what I was going for, so it was my last priority. 

I had been casually applying for jobs for months before I got a promising call back from a printing place about 40 minutes north from my apartment. Yes, it was a demotion, yes it was a little inconveniently located, no, the pay wasn’t exactly where I was hoping it would be, but it was a new job and that’s all I wanted at this point. So I went through the entire interview process, including a four and a half hour interview on a Friday night, and was so sure I had nailed it. I went home and told everyone I totally had this job in the bag, the lady loved me and told me she wanted to hire me immediately, plus why else would they keep me there for four and a half hours?

I was on top of the world; I was so confident and so excited about this new opportunity. So when I followed up a few days later and didn’t receive a response, I didn’t really think anything of it. When I called and no one answered, I didn’t panic. It wasn’t until a few weeks went by that the crushing feeling of rejection that we all know too well really began to sink in. After about a month, I received the dreaded email stating, “we’ve decided to move forward with another candidate.

**Insert me being heartbroken.**

I was devastated. I’d already told everyone I totally nailed it. I felt like such a fool and it really took a toll on my confidence. I didn’t apply to jobs with the same enthusiasm until one day, an old coworker and good friend of mine sent me an open position at her new job.

The rest is history.

I went through the interview process for this promising new startup company that had literally everything I wanted in a job: unlimited PTO, great benefits, a fully distributed team, strong company culture, flexible hours, AND a salary that was $2k more than my highest asking requirement. The dream. 

Once I quit my job, I immediately booked a five day trip to Seattle / Portland with bae to celebrate. I then got an invite to be a +1 at a wedding with my best friend in Hawaii next July. 

So all this to show you that the universe works in weird ways. Sometimes you have to sit back and let life happen, and that’s okay. 

I began this year with an incredible amount of stress, anxiety, and disappointment. But looking back, everything turned out better than I could have hoped for. Instead of impulsively moving, I got a new roommate who turned out to be a great friend. Instead of moping around, I picked up some new hobbies that make me really happy. Although I was disappointed after not getting that job at the printing place, life offered me this incredible opportunity with way better benefits PLUS I get to work from home. Sure, my partner and I broke up, but now we’re working on building a healthy foundation for a promising new relationship. Yeah, I had to cancel my Portland trip and my Hawaii trip, but I still ended up going to Portland AND Seattle, and now I get to plan a trip to Hawaii with my best friend. And most importantly. I’m happy. 

I’m genuinely happy for the first time in as long as I can remember. I’m happy with the person I’ve become. I’m happy with my job. I’m happy with my relationships. I’m happy with the future that I’m working towards. I’m genuinely happy to be alive and to have the privilege to live this wonderful life of mine. 

I truly believe that things work out the way they’re supposed to. I know it can be hard to wait around for things to play out, but it’s going to be worth it, I promise. Whatever you’re going through, you are not alone. We all have our down times, but just keep going. 

“Just keep swimming.” – Dori
“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill
“Keep moving forward.” – Walt Disney

I’m sure you’ve heard a million renditions of these quotes; point is, it’s just a bad day, not a bad life. Things WILL turn around. You got this, gorgeous. 

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