The Appropriate Amount of F***s to Give: Life Edition

Sorry everybody for being a little M.I.A. these past few weeks. I didn’t really want to post a string of things that either didn’t make sense or were so monstrously insubstantial that they were a waste of space… So, I’ve obviously decided that this one was worthy in some way, shape or form. That being said, I’m going to try my hardest to post more frequently! 

As the new year commences, I only find it appropriate to give out a potentially beneficial life tip for my people of the interwebs. So, as I’ve been scrolling through numerous social networking sites, I’ve come to notice a recurring new year resolution; to stop pleasing others. ‘How is this an appropriate amount of f***s to give column?!’ you may ponder. Ah, my friends, this is in fact a ‘don’t give that many f***s about other people’ column… And I mean this in the nicest way possible.

Many a times we have been confronted with things that we don’t particularly want to do but we do it anyway. Our happiness is leached for the sake of other people… Not even for the sake of their happiness, it’s just for the sake of them. My mantra in life has always been to do what I want… This is of course within the bounds of what’s socially acceptable. I do what I want as long as it won’t have any negative consequences on me or the people around me… And so far it’s worked out pretty alright.

I mean, when has it become ‘bad manners’ to say no? When has it become so taboo to do what you want? In the end, all you’re really doing is living for yourself, not for others. If you don’t do what you want and it’s all for somebody else, then aren’t you really just living out their plans and their expectations for and of you?

This relates to turning down your friends’ ‘hectic nights out’ so that you can stay at home and watch those embarrassingly awesome chick flicks and binge on things that will probably give you a high cholesterol and diabetes. This relates to challenging your friends for that restaurant you want to go to because it obviously makes better parmas. This especially relates to being able to voice your disapproval or if you disagree with something somebody said. No, it’s not cool to get into fights, but if there’s anything that I’ve learnt from the people I choose to hang out with, I like people who aren’t submissive and don’t feel inclined to agree with everything I say. I mean, who doesn’t like a good challenge?

This doesn’t even just relate to friends. For all my Asians out there… and especially for all my people who have relatives/partners/girlfriends/boyfriends/teachers with high expectations for you and for your life, remember to not fall into the trap of living for them. I can’t stress this enough, because I legitimately felt like I was undergoing a metamorphosis or something dramatic when I realised this… But don’t live in fear of disappointing others. I always feared that I would do something that would disappoint my family, and sometimes I still do… However, luckily it’s on nothing that is a complete conflict of interest.

It’s a scary feeling knowing that you haven’t been doing what you want for the most part of your life… Knowing that you have been living to please others… Living to make them proud of you. But I’d bet on anything that it would be even scarier if you went so far down that path that it was only when you were 35 and in a career you hate that you finally realise that you’re being somebody you aren’t because of other people’s expectations of you.

I’m going to leave you with this parting note… A challenge, if you will. Be selfish for a change. Put yourself ahead of others. Live for yourself and not for other people, no matter how much they matter… Because as the wise Jim Rohn said, “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”

Caught up

Living in quite a fast paced society, it’s often so easy to get caught up in the things that don’t really matter. We cringe about the stupid mistakes we’ve made in the past, we worry about the potential outcomes in the future… and all in all, we just struggle to live in the present. I know for the majority of my life, I’ve always thought and stressed out about the future. I think, ‘will I get ever get a job?’, ‘will I have enough money in the future?’, ‘will I get fined?’ or even ‘am I going to fail any subjects this semester?’ Although these thoughts aren’t outrageously trivial, they’re minor things that consume my life.

One thing I realised these past few days is how futile it is worrying about the things that we can’t change. Every day we worry is another less day we get to be happy. This isn’t some philosophical bullshit, it’s just the truth. When we’re so caught up in negative emotions of the past and in the future, aren’t we just depriving ourselves of the moment? When I take a step back and look at how much I stress out on a daily basis, I realise how unnecessary it is. I mean, our lives are made up of moments. I don’t want to look back at my life one day wondering where it all went just because I was too preoccupied thinking about things I couldn’t control or change.

The problem with worrying is that it does nothing except make you feel really crappy. By worrying about whether you’ve failed a subject, is it going to make you pass? By worrying about whether you’ve gotten a fine, will it stop you from getting a fine? No. It just gives you another reason to feel like shit without actually achieving anything. I mean, if worrying actually had these supernatural capabilities of changing the course of the future, then that’d be excellent – but most of the time we worry, it doesn’t exactly stimulate us into proactivity. Hell, more often than not, there’s nothing you can even do to change the outcomes.

So how do we stop this perpetuating cycle of worrying for all you little stress bugs out there?
Firstly, accept what you’ve done. Once we do things, we can’t go back and undo them. By thinking about what we should’ve done instead or by thinking about how it shouldn’t have even happened does nothing. It may take a few days, it may take a few weeks or even a few months… But, you’ll need to come to terms with the fact that you did what you did, and you can’t change that anymore.

Secondly, think about the worst that could happen and how you could act on that, rather than thinking about how it’ll destroy your life. Not saying that the worst will occur, but as I said before, you need to accept what you did and the fact that you can’t change that anymore. The only thing you can actually do is think about how you’ll cope with any and all of the potential consequences. Although you can’t change what you did in the past, the best you can do is to think about how you would react and cope in any given situation.

Thirdly, live in the moment. There’s a high possibility that there’s nothing you can do right now that will change the outcome. So, after thinking about it, or even writing down how you could cope in certain situations, move past it. For me, I recently came to the sad realisation of how out of tune I was with my emotions because of all this worrying. At times I actually need to sit back for a moment and think, “am I feeling happy right now?” or “am I excited for this?” Which is just crazy since I should know without having to think about it… And I think a lot of this comes down to living in the present instead of ‘re-living’ the past or thinking too much about the future.

Finally, be grateful that the worst didn’t happen. A lot of the times we think so much about the negative things in life that we don’t even pay any attention to the positive things in life. I mean, let’s say I did fail a subject, would that destroy my parents’ unconditional love for me? Would it make my friends hate me? Well, I hope not… Because, then it’s probably time to find a new group of friends. What I’m trying to say though is, instead of focusing on what you might lose, think about the good things that will still be in your life. Things might not always turn out the way you want them to, but some things are there to stay.

If you’re a person who worries about the future like me, it’s bloody hard to stop… But the main point I’m trying to make is that you can’t alter the outcome, but you can alter your attitude and actions in reacting to it. So; appreciate the good things, accept the bad things, plan for the worst, but be grateful for all that you have, especially this moment.

Don’t be a child

In my eyes, it’s usually all fun and games until somebody whips out the ‘I can do it better’ card. Then this little gremlin inside you slowly starts to claw its way out of your body to unleash madness upon the world. For example, you say you ran 10kms in an hour, they say they can do it in 10 minutes. Then you’re just sitting there thinking… ‘Is this guy for real?’ I mean, why is it so necessary for these few people in the world to just not appreciate the fact that you’re proud of yourself?! IS IT THAT HARD TO LET A PERSON BE HAPPY?!

Scenario:
You’re pleased that you’ve learnt how to land a double back-flip. Fantastic. You’ve been trying to master the disciplined artistry of double back-flipping for as long as you can remember. From the corner of your eye, you see your friend looking all smug. Arms crossed, standing in an overly confident manner… they finally muster, “I can do that better.” In that very moment, you’re thinking,

Image

It’s times like these you just wonder, “Is this really necessary? Is there any real need to snuff out my candle then light my house on fire?” I mean, it’s all well and good if somebody is better than you at something, but it’s that moment they feel the need to voice it that you feel your friendship crumbling into a pile of nothing. Well, there’s no real need to be cut up about these things, because chances are there will and will always be someone who’s better than you at something, and that’s okay. In fact, it’s more than okay. It allows personal growth and all that beautiful stuff. However, it’s that instance where you’re so proud of your accomplishment – not even with the intention to get everybody bowing at your feet – that when somebody decides to one-up you every single time, you’ve just had enough.

Now, why does this childish act annoy me more than when a kid decides to pee in the sandbox? It’s because it becomes this unnecessary evaluation of what you thought of as a feat. Even a nod of approval would suffice. However, these egotistical butt-nuggets find that it’s imperative to rack through their brains, going through that effort of stringing a sentence of words together to make you think you’re not that great. When really, you are… Seriously, you go, Glen Coco.

In all seriousness though, the only person who you can truly beat is yourself. I still encounter these people more often than I’d like… Some who are actually children, which is fair enough. Then some who are adults… Which I’m very slowly learning to deal with. Maybe these boisterous, overly-confident types are crucial to our functioning as human beings… in a way that may not make sense to any of us. If there’s anything I can learn from these situations, it’s to not stoop to their level. Perhaps one day they say they can do a back-flip off a one-storey house, whilst you can do it off the Eureka sky deck. Don’t voice that you’re better than them, even if you know they do it all the time. You don’t want to carry on that flame that starts a whole chain-of-comparisons going. Just be proud of them, however hard it is, because the most important thing is to carry on your ideals.

This goes with everything else in life. If something annoys you; accept that it’s part of this person, try not to punch them in the face… Just, grit your teeth and go with it. There are several flaws in everybody which makes each and every person unique and different. Actually hating on people because of silly things like this is just showing a complete lack of acceptance, disrespect for them as a person and this desire to change them to fit your ideals. Appreciate the differences in everyone and learn to love everybody in the best way that you can… Even if it takes a long time.

Sure, get annoyed and picture something really embarrassing happening to them… But, be sure to let it go. Don’t hate them. Not everybody’s perfect and not everybody’s minds function the same. In the end, we’re all just seeking people who accept us for all our differences.

Until next time,
Kylie x.

The little things

It doesn’t matter how much money you have, what clothes you own, what car you drive or what house you live in. These are material possessions that we’re going to leave without eventually. In the end, the things that do truly matter in life are the love of the people you surround yourself with, the memories you make and the experiences you have. These things, you can still look back and immerse yourself in even when you’re 105 years old and ungraciously drooling from the mouth.

In saying this, I feel that there’s no greater importance than living every moment like it’s the first and last day of your life. This doesn’t mean spend big and not plan ahead, obviously those things are still important for sustenance. What I mean is, make all the actions and choices based on what you would do if today was your last day on earth. Make the most of every day by having that sense of excitement or exhilaration when you first did that thing, as well as choosing the things you do as if it would be the last thing you could do.

Obviously, this is not always achievable. Nobody wants to be at uni or at work if it was the last thing they could do (no judgement if it is). However, know why you do these things. Do the things that you love and enjoy… And if you don’t love it or know the reason behind why you’re doing it, then you should consider leaving it. However, please don’t misinterpret this message as not committing to things even if it’s necessary to achieving that thing that you what you want to do/be. There’s a massive difference between working hard (and at times struggling) to get to the place where you want to be in life and simply not liking it. What I’m suggesting is, do things purposefully. If you know that there’s a light at that end of the tunnel, keep going ahead… But if all you see is a gaping black hole, then maybe it’s time to move on. There’s no point slaving away at a job for 30 years, only to look back and wonder what you’ve been doing with your whole life. I’m still young, but I’m living by the policy of cutting off all the things that make me feel crappy in life; whether it be people who are dragging me down or a job that makes me feel majorly stressed out. Seriously, ain’t nobody got time for that.

Don’t hold grudges.
At the pinnacle of my angst-ridden teenage years, I can remember hearing so many people ‘not liking’ somebody because ‘they looked at them weirdly this one time’. I’d also hear a lot of people passing off judgement about others and feel no shame whatsoever. Being judgemental is unnecessary hatefulness that is the reflection of our own insecurities. By being judgemental, we’re so completely self-aware and scared of other people’s perception of us that we don’t let ourselves do things that make us break character. When we judge other people, what we are really voicing is our want for them to change who they are. We want them to change to reflect someone who fits our ideals… And in turn, we fear that others judge us and want us to change.

By building a facade of what we think is perfect or living in fear of other’s perceptions of us, we don’t let ourselves truly live and do things that could be potentially life-changing. I think this is such an important concept, because naturally we all care about what others think about us. It’s okay to a point, but the moment it starts to become debilitating and stops you from doing the things you truly want to do, that’s when you should get that shit sorted. It frustrates me so much when people don’t live the lives they want to live because they’re scared of what others might think of them. You’re not living their lives, you’re living yours. You shouldn’t let their judgements or potential judgements dictate your life.

Appreciate the transient nature of time and everything that surrounds it.
Time is fleeting, and every moment we waste doing nothing can’t be bought back. With this, everything else that follows the liquid state of time is also momentary. The movement of the clouds, the direction of the wind, even the path of a bird… it’ll never be that exact replicative pattern ever again. So, learn to not dwell on the things that you can’t grasp. Alternatively, be grateful for everything that crosses your path. Try to think about the simple pleasures of life, instead of trying to go against the natural state of things. It’s so much more fulfilling to just live and enjoy the moment rather than spending every moment of everyday thinking about the past or what might be in the future.

Not even going to lie, it’s insanely difficult to slip into a rhythm of constant gratitude and appreciation as it’s become so foreign to our society. With the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives, many of us don’t think we have the time to enjoy every moment, especially as it’s become one of those things that we need to pull it into our conscious awareness every time… But, how I see it is, every little moment counts. The smallest things have the power to make us happy, yet, we still let it slip by us because we’re dwelling too much on the things that don’t matter in life.
So, I challenge you to live in the present. To take more pleasure in the small things in life.

Until next time, my friends.
Kylie x.

Lesson 3: Accepting the good, the bad and the ugly.

Our lives are made up of fleeting moments that are the embodiment of our experiences that define us… and one of the things that has helped me enjoy good times and get through the bad times is knowing the fact that nothing is ever lasting.

The phrase “This too shall pass” is a proverb that so beautifully encapsulates the transient nature of our states of emotion.
This has taken quite a turn from my first couple of posts where I get by with saying, ‘stop being a little bitch’ a lot more than necessary… mainly because I’ve never really felt so attuned with a phrase before.

I realised that this has basically been my motto in life, except I’ve never seen it so perfectly and simply put together, until I saw that one of my favourite dancers had it tattooed onto the inside of her wrist. This then caused me to sporadically think of all the times I’ve thought of this to get me through the little struggles of like… such as just before I get an injection, that painful moment when my toe collides with the corner of the bed, and passing through that dreaded feeling of possible failure. It even applies to the positive things, such as winning an award, going to a formal, partying and all that fun stuff. Regardless of the positive and negative states of emotion we’re in, it will inevitably pass.

So, what has this phrase taught me apart from that all my happiness can and will be taken away from me in the same way a toy is taken from a child?
It has taught me to relish in all the chances and opportunities I’ve been given. Not to dwell on the negatives, or to take the positives for granted. It’s helped me to embrace sadness, anger and frustration… Allowing me to get passed anxiety and those moments where I’m so stressed I feel like I’m literally dying. As you may… or may not have read from my last post, it has especially allowed me to stop letting fear of failure have so much dominance over my life.

This leads me to Phase 2: Embrace it, then let it go.
As I hope I’ve made this point clear enough, moments are fleeting and dwelling on them for prolonged periods of time is just allowing you to miss out on other events that are just as crucial. So, when we are in a massive shit-stain of a moment, it’s inevitable that we must overcome it, but firstly we must embrace it.

If any of you have read “Tuesdays With Morrie” by Mitch Albom, you would’ve read that in Morrie’s final months before death, he learnt to embrace the fear of death, to understand and accept it, then finally learning to detach himself from it. My interpretation of this put into everyday context is that when you are experiencing something so negative that eats away at your soul… don’t let it dominate you. Understand the shodiness you’re feeling and know that you can overcome it. Then after understanding how crap you’re feeling, allow yourself a moment to get it all out of your system… But, don’t dwell on it. You want to be left with something that allows you to grow as a person and hopefully changes you for the better, not something that haunts you at every twist and turn of life.

The reason I’ve written this post today is partially due to the phrase, ‘This too shall pass’… That, and as a public appreciation of my mother and father’s kick-ass parenting skills. Whenever it comes to the time where I’m so stressed out that I’m panicking… Like a little bitch (sorry, it had to be done), my parents will tell me that it’s okay to stress/cry/panic… However, after I get it all out of my system, I need to let it go and not to dwell on it. By dwelling on it, you’re just allowing yourself another reason for pointless self-loathing, another chance to relive and regret the choices you’ve made in life… But frankly, it’s completely useless and unfortunately nobody currently possesses the ability to time-travel and change all those bad decisions.

I’ve noticed that I focus a lot on ‘overcoming the negatives’, but this, too, applies to those feelings of great joy. Except, I don’t really feel the need to tell you guys how to enjoy yourself, since you can probably figure that out all on your own. What I will point out is that in moments of great joy, you need to make the most of it. You need to take that bundle of joy, and turn it into a mother-f$%^in’ rainbow.

Until next time, mis amigos.

Kylie. x

Lesson 2: Peace of Mind

Perspective. It’s one of those crucial internal measures that lets us organise our thoughts, opinions and feelings – allowing us to reassess and reevaluate the importance of our problems in everyday life. It allows us to realise the insignificance of our worries and allows us one step closer to coming to peace and acceptance of ourselves.

FIRST OF ALL… I must clarify that the worries I speak of are the ones that cause me everyday stress and hold me back from feeling completely at ease. I can’t truly define what this means for you, but for me, I just end up feeling only 80% of myself and not being able to completely and openly embrace all the good and bad things in my life. In other words, I become quite the whiny bastard, and for lack of better words, feel like like a general pile of poop.

Okay, so where this whole train of thought started was on the way home from the city. Cheesy or whatever, but it’s generally the time I allow myself to collect my thoughts and just… think. Sometimes it’s a bad thing, but sometimes it allows me to get to a complete and total philosophical, Confucius-like state where I think, “Damn, Kylie, you be brainy as hell.”

I started to think about how there’s essentially 2 more weeks left of Uni, then the dreaded exams are just around the corner. I thought about failure and all that bad stuff… But, then I started thinking about how lucky I was. I thought about how my problems seriously ain’t no thang. I thought about how the world’s care-factor for my problems probably ranked at the extreme far end of the ‘don’t give a @$%& zone’ on a scale that reached the billions.

As I hope you guys are all aware… there are over 7 billion people in the world, and everybody is basically a bundle of problems. Some people have real problems. The other end is us; the Gen-Y kids who are endowed with a pantry full of food, a closet full of clothes, technology within our grasp and a myriad of things we take for granted. As some poor third-world country child barely gets by in a week, we slave away on the internet, crying into our $100 bills thinking how much of a douche-bag the teacher back in Year 7 was for failing us in P.E.

By no means am I saying, “Hey you! Every time you’re feeling bad about your life, think about how unlucky that starving child is… and then start feeling good about yourself!” No. What I’m trying to get through is that you should put things into perspective. In comparison to somebody else’s problems, yours appears minuscular, but where it really counts is how much dominance you let it have over you.

Don’t hold yourself back from feeling happy.
This is something I’m still coming to terms with, but it’s something I hope future-Kylie will stick by.
There’s no point in being worried about failure or ‘that-thing-you-should’ve-done-that-one-time-but-didn’t’. There’s no worth in the ‘what ifs’ or ‘if I could go back in time’, because these thoughts hold you back from your full potential. Everything that you’ve done, felt or said in the past and the present shape who you are and who you are to become. Everything that you experience can be considered a growth. It’s really only what you make of it, if you want it to be a failure, it can be a failure. If you put it into the perspective of ‘bettering yourself’, then that’s what it’ll be.

Sure, you can feel crappy for a little bit and think about how your problem is the skid-mark on the underpants of society… but after that, be grateful for what you have, and don’t let the goings get you down. The only problems we have are the ones we allow to persist in our lives.

So, until next time, my friends!

Kylie out. x

Lesson 1: Stop being a little bitch

This is one of the phrases that one my best friends has told me repeatedly,
and it has proven one of the greatest phrases of them all.

The context of this particular conversation took place when I was feeling intimidated and aggravated at one point in my life and wanted to quit a job, but all I did was complain instead of just doing it. Admittedly, I was a little… No, I was massively taken aback the first time she said that to me… in my mind I was all like:

However, the more I thought about it, the more I realised how much it applies to everyday life. Being a little bitch doesn’t just apply to people who are spiteful and unpleasant – it also applies to those who dedicate a substantial patch of their life to telling others how much they don’t want to do things. Admittedly, I still do this occasionally… If fact, I’m sure I do it more often then I’d care to admit. Okay, scratch that. I still do complain quite a bit. The massive change is that I recognise when I’m acting like a little bitch and I try to put that energy into… well, not being a little bitch.

Bear with me on this, but this will have relevance in a second. What another wise person once told me was how anger is essentially passion that fuels proactivity in life. This doesn’t mean be angry and punch everyone in your path, it means that during an in depth conversation where a polarity of opinions occurs, you have a right to voice your opinion and open another person’s mind. So, you can either feel angry and crappy whilst not doing anything about it, or you can do things like go to gay-marriage rallies or get into some heated but mind-opening debate instead of just not doing anything about… anything.

Similarly to this, the fuel for our inactivity when it comes to school work in high-school, university assignments, cleaning your room or even getting back into a hobby – is the fuel and time that we use to bitch about not doing these things. Up until a week or two ago, I was on struggle street with assessments, work and my social life. In fact, there were many times I would want to break down and cry, complaining that I want to quit uni because it was too much for my little heart.

Where this all changed was when I actually started doing something useful other than complaining. What I realised was that complaining about not wanting to do stuff is like ripping off a band-aid. The pre-cursor leading up to the ripping of the band-aid is sooo much worse than it actually is. Being a university student and freshly finishing VCE, this mainly applies to doing assignments or studying for assessments. The quicker you just get into it, the quicker it’ll be over, and the faster you can move on with your life. So instead of slowly peeling off the band-aid and getting distracted by Facebook, Tumblr and Youtube, just rip it off all at once and you won’t have to feel that sensation of pain every time you go back to it.

Sure, it’ll still be sufficiently unpleasant and the greatest annoyance in your life, but the more you think about it, the more prolonged your agony will be. Whereas, if you just rip it off and get it over and done with, then you will feel a gaping load of relief.

So, let me break it down for you crazy kids:

Step 1: Problem recognition
(e.g. Uni work)

Step 2: Have a bit of a bitch about it, go cry a bit in a corner, demolish a tub of Ben&Jerry’s and 50 packets of Tim-tams if you must
(e.g. “I DON’T WANT TO DO IT. UNI ASSIGNMENTS SUCK MASSIVE BUTTHOLES. WAHHHHH.”)

Step 3: Stop being a little bitch and get yo’ shit together, son. 
(e.g. This is where you’re actually doing the damned thing without complaining about not wanting to do it)

Step 4: Repeat from Step 1

NOTE: Please feel free to skip Step 2 or combine Step 2&3 to get the most out of life.

You’re welcome.

Kylie out. x