You know that mental list of things you want? The one thing that you know that if you had an excess billion, it would probably be seated somewhere in your house already? I want a Kindle. Growing up, the little tradition was that once every few months, after spending all morning in town, my aunt would take us to Aristoc and let us pick out 2 or 3 books to keep us company for a while. But hey, turns out books are always cheaper when you aren't paying for them.
If you read my little post here, you might remember me whining about a great Uganda book by an amazing Ugandan author that was 99,000 UGX. See, 99,000 has fewer zeros than 100,000 so you actually might consider it. Not that I don't know I'd have to pay for these books on a Kindle anyway (shoots self in foot), but it'd be nice reading away from the messy rainbow carnival colour explosion that is reading on phone.
And you know what I'd read first? Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh. Maybe if I'd read this book 6 years ago, when I still knew how to pick favourites and before A Thousand Splendid Suns locked itself in that little room where I keep my favourite books, I'd have chosen this one. It's random, it has pictures, a dumb dog and some serious life lessons. Here goes (Spoilers ahead)
Over the past [very long time], I've slowly been breaking down in terms of every possible adjective you could and with the suffix '-al'. This month, I hit ultra super mega rock bottom. There comes a time in everyone's demise when they realize they've fallen so far down the well, it's either a swim in the earth's molten core or a crawl back to the top. This is where I stand (but really, this is where I lie because instead of going on my daily evening jog I'll explain-1), I'm lying under my brand new love blanket I'll explain- 2, writing documents on my phone I'll explain -3).
Reading Hyperbole and a Half was like finding out that your mind has been taking notes about your struggles and somehow, snuck them onto the internet where a New Yorker decided they were worth publishing. The end result is this, sometimes you have to accept that you're not really as good as you think you are.
How to Demotivate yourself
Like every other human going through a breakdown, my first response was to bloat AnyBooks with a bunch of obscure self-help books (Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. 10/10 would recommend) and download a Yoga App, Meditation App and Gratitude Journal. 3 hours of Google searching later, there I was patting myself on the back for bypassing the cost of therapy with only 1GB of digital clutter.
The trouble is I didn't realize that downloading Daylio a third time in 2 years wasn't going to be the answer. Oh, but I did find the answers. And now I'd like to share the process of freeing yourself.
- Stand in front of your mirror (ya know, like in the self-help books)
- Place your hand over your heart.
- Say these words slowly. Make sure you feel them wash over you. Feel them form in your mind and settle in your heart. Here goes.
That's it! You're free - take it from Allie and Me.
I know, I know. But here's the thing. I really don't think there isn't a mantra or quote off of Pinterest I haven't tried. But sometimes you need to speak your truth. The Christians have a better way of saying it, they say "I am imperfect but perfect in Christ" or something like that. So now is the time to speak your truth. "I never send mobile money with the charges", "I hate doing the dishes", "I never text back in time", "I have a catfish account", "I like to pee in the pool", "I think kids are horrible". Go on. Say whatever it is about you that would make SpongeBob SquarePants gasp in shock.
Let your truth sink in ❤️ You're not as perfect as you think you are.
MSSA (Make SpongeBob Smile Again)
Now that that pitiful session is over, I'll get to the point.
All the self-help that exists is meant to help you fill your mind with all the flattery you can muster. I am beautiful. I am kind. I am rich. Yen yen yen. If it's really going to touch a nerve, they'll tell you "I acknowledge that I've done some bad things in the past".
Well then, explore them. "I never send mobile money charges because I'm a bit miserly". "I pee in the pool because I'm a weirdo who likes how it feels". "I made a catfish account because I never got over my ex and need to lurk on her Instagram". It's okay. It really is. That each of us hasn't met up to someone else's expectations. Even if these expectations are for, well, all of society.
I hope you can acknowledge where and when you messed up. And I hope that you can find the strength to live with yourself after that. And be happy even though you've hurt quite a bit of people to protect yourself (or because you're a bad person). And I hope that all this acknowledgement will show you that you actually are falling short, and need to do better.
P. S - I said I'd explain.
- Self-searching helped me realize that I could decide to live my best life and live by all the foodie memes I saw, but I'm genetically prone to diabetes and should probably stop being so dumb and work out more often.
- My bank accounts are in a place where the bank might voluntarily offer to close them and send me away with a complimentary wooden box for me to keep my coins. Self-searching means that I acknowledge that I'm broke, but I don't make top 10 just yet. I figured I'd give the bank a nudge by splurging on a purple fleece blanket. The good news? I adore my new blanket. And now, I acknowledge that I deserve nice things once in a while because I work for and have earned them.
- If you didn't know this, I'm really clumsy. Last night while walking out of my room, I tripped over the extension cable. True to Murphy's Law and for no other reason, my laptop charger decided to blow up and said laptop blacked out faster than a drunk 21-year-old. Now I have to spend a whole of time and a little bit of money getting that fixed.
Do better. Acknowledge everything, not just the good.
Or in the words of Kylie Jenner, 'Realize things'