Those who know me know that I’m not a big fan of movies or tv series. As a kid I’d spend all of my free time, as ’free’ as it was, swimming, which in those pre-streaming days meant that if I missed an episode of something, well, too bad for me. As a result of that I never got into the habit of watching anything except for ER, you know that medical drama with George Clooney & co., which probably originated in my fascination with hospitals. Hence, whenever people talk about Game Of Thrones or any other series really, I’m out.
I did start watching 13 Reasons Why the other day, though, as it hit me that I’d forgotten to cancel my Netflix trial, something that would’ve pissed me off so badly just a few months ago. Now I figured I might as well start watching something to get my mind off of things, which I told Laure, who wasn’t quite convinced that such a dark series was the best pick for that.
Anyways. From tv series to movies, we watched Zootopia a few months ago and oh. My. God. I LOVED IT! Persistent little bunny cop Judy instantly became our inspiration and idol, reminding us to never stop trying even though at times we might feel small amongst all the lions, tigers and rhinos out there. Since then, Try Everything (sung in a overly excited voice) has been like a mantra for us.
Until a couple of days ago, that is, when things took a surprising turn.
I started reading Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck and even though I haven’t gotten further than to Chapter 2 I think I might have found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Using the story of Bukowski as an example, Manson starts off by telling us to stop trying. Stop trying so damn hard to be this and do that because by doing so you tell yourself that you’re not enough. By telling yourself ’you can do it’ your presumption is that you can’t, which is why you need the affirmation in the first place. Same goes with ’you are beautiful’ (because are you really?) or ’you’ve got this’ (do you, now?) and so on. You get the drill.
He talks about the paradox of wanting more positive experiences as pursuing something, whatever it is, only reinforces the fact that we lack it in the first place. By aiming for something bigger and better; more happiness, a nicer flat, a fit body and a fat bank account, perhaps a boyfriend/girlfriend; anything, really; we tell ourselves that we do not have that and we need it. Therefore, we are lacking. We see what we don’t have instead of what we do, however little or a lot that may be, while letting go of the idea that we’re lacking something in the first place (because we have everything we need, right here, right now we do), might just bring us what we want.
“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists off. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.”
–Albert Camus, existential philosopher
We get what we let go of, you know.
My mind is blown. My mom’s kept telling me that for ages but now I get it, and how crazy is that? And simple, so simple. A revolution in itself.
You see, the past month has been really frustrating to me as I’ve tried to figure out what to do with myself not only in the next couple of months but next year and in life in general, too. I’ve realized what a control freak I am, not that I’ve ever been unaware of it but when realizing the extent of it was quite the aha-moment I can tell you. People have told me to give myself a break and to stop pushing myself so hard, assuring me that things will come my way and that I’m on the right path, but could it really be…?
What if I’m not trying hard enough?
Needless to say, I’ve found them hard to believe.
Now I get it, though. Perhaps the key really is to let go; to be, breath and trust; flow with life, and good things will come – those that are meant for me, that is. I might not become an Olympic gold medalist in some sport that I’m (not even) doing or the CEO of a multinational company, but what if there might just be something in between those two extremes that’s destined for me? It might not be blogging full time, but it doesn’t have to be a career in corporate, either. Things are not that black and white, it doesn’t have to be either or.
What if I’m just… Anna. Just Anna – how relieving is the thought of that?
What is success in life, for me? What is failure?
What am I demanding from myself?
Is it time to stop trying so hard and embrace the idea that this is it, this is life, my life, and that time flies by ever so fast so maybe I should just enjoy what is and trust the fact that what is ought to happen will do so in its own time? Try everything, but not with the aim to get as far as possible as soon as possible, but in order to enjoy life?
I think it is.
The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck. Read it, people!
A sigh of bliss,