On Self-Doubt

This isn’t one of those inspirational articles filled with quotes/memes trying to convince you life’s a totally full glass, overflowing with vaguely expensive Chardonnay (though I might subject you to some quotes/memes, as they’re religion at this point).

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Nothing I can say will change your shitty life anymore than hearing Reese Witherspoon complain about how difficult hers is will make you feel human. Maybe that’s unfair. I did really like that video of her getting a DUI, more than her Oscar-winning material, probably.

Trouble is, if someone that petite, smart, witty and talented is capable of creating insurmountable problems, then what chance do regular people have? And I count myself amongst the regular-ist of the regular; some days my problems are top shelf cereal packets, and the tallest of the tall can’t reach them let alone open and pour the contents into a clean bowl.

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I don’t care how kick-ass you are, even Barney Stinson has bad days, and self-doubt’s bubonic plague-like: quick to kill, yo.

But doubt is not your fault. It’s inherent, interlaced, you’re born with it, pre-disposed to being disappointed by everything, even things you shouldn’t feel that way about. For one, The Game of Life fucking lied: I can’t even drive, let alone collect up family members, and I’m in my thirties, so that makes me a loser by game playing standards, by Kirstie Allsopp standards, according to any number of new campaigns telling me my self-worth is inextricably attached to my child-bearing ability and how brilliantly I sustain relationships (clue: not very).

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I’m not saying every day’s bad. It’s not. Or parts of it are, but I try not to spread negativity like Nutella. My closest people will tell the truth, which is that I moan like a motherfucker. I try to complain productively, but for all the million times I don’t, I’m sorry. I’m a bin dweller, but I know life’s got the potential to be sparkly, occasionally, so I’m not going to self-bury just yet.

One of the best pieces of advice I got this year was that feelings are never ‘silly’ or ‘stupid’ or whatever word you attach to your own if, like me, you’ve total lost trust in yourself and no longer have the ability to tell people to go fuck themselves when they disrespect you (and I love to swear, so). If you feel a certain way, it’s actually okay to own that, embrace it, even if it seems irrational or strange, unlikely or questionable. Spend some time with it. Get to know it and test its legitimacy. But don’t outright downplay or label it as crazy, just because it’s not the way you’re ‘meant to’ feel or something. According to other people or some inbuilt sense of duty you’ve acquired or were instilled with.

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Everyone has bad days. And that’s totally fine. It’s normal. I don’t know about you, but the last thing I need any day is some fucker telling me to cheer up or smile. Covering up or pretending only does you a disservice, and you don’t need to apologise for making other people uncomfortable. That’s their effing problem. And if you’re a mess, or you make a mess, or you do what you want to do and it doesn’t turn out the perfect way the movies said it would, who cares? All you can do is your best at any one time. So don’t be so hard on yourself, have another Mars bar and block any hater that tells you how to live your life. The only person allowed to fuck with your choices is you. So do it as beautifully and elegantly as possible. We all know what haters gonna do, amirite? (Yeah, hate. In case you missed the memo).

Ending the essay in the only way I know how, like a total cunt, so as Fiona Apple says: “I have only one thing to do and that’s to be the wave that I am and then sink back into the ocean.” Go big or go home. ❤ xoxo

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