Last week marked the first time I’ve ever missed an article since I’ve been writing for Nexus, I think. I had pushed through a few of those nights where every sentence I wrote was absolute garbage, and even three hours of effort was only enough for half a page of writing. Eventually, I gave up. It wasn’t worth having a meltdown on my couch over, just to turn in a sub-par piece about how I can’t quit smoking.
So I started thinking about why I suddenly couldn’t string a sentence together after years of never having an issue. I was starting to hate my own writing. Every sentence was pretentious and stupid at the same time. My style was formulaic, Buzzfeed-style bullshit that AI could probably write better than me. Maybe I felt weird writing about mental health when I have such a loose grip on my own. Still, I don’t think the problem was my writing - just the way I was viewing it.
Believing in yourself is one of the hardest things to do - especially after corporations figured out the best way to sell us shit was convincing us we ain’t shit. How many opportunities do we pass up in life because you think we aren’t capable? After being paralyzed by my own anxieties for years, it wasn’t until I realised I could trust myself and my own decisions that new doors and pathways started opening up for me. And I wasn’t about to let one week of self doubt blow my opportunity of doing something I’ve always wanted to do - be a writer.
But sure, maybe some of the shitty things we tell ourselves are gonna hold some weight. Sure, there’s always going to be people that don’t like what you do, or think you’re full of shit. There’s probably a few people I know hate-reading this right now. But who cares, right? No matter which way you slice it, we’re all just little specks of dust flying around the universe on a tiny rock. It’ll all be over soon enough - why shouldn’t we jump at everything that comes our way? Why shouldn’t we stop at nothing to live out our dreams?
You can finish that paper. You can apply for that job. You can ask that person out for a coffee. You can drag your depressed ass out of bed and have a shower. You might have done things you regret in the past. You may have tried and failed a thousand times before. But that doesn’t mean that today can’t be the best day of your life, if you want it to be.
There’s a really cool line in an IDLES song that says “if someone talked to you the way you do to you, I’d put their teeth through. Love yourself.” That’s the kind of energy I’m trying to hold in 2019 - fuck self doubt, fuck that little voice in your head telling you that you ain’t shit, and fuck anyone around you that tries to hold you back. The best way we can reclaim our lives from corporations, capitalism, crippling depression and consumerism is to deeply and radically love ourselves.
Try talking to yourself like you’re somebody you actually care about. Try to remember that you aren’t perfect, and every time something in your life ends, it’s just an opportunity for a new beginning. Try to hold on to the fact that everything changes, nothing lasts forever, and suffering usually comes from either trying to prolong joy or postpone pain. The fact of the matter is, there are always going to be hard times in your life, and there’s nothing you can do about it. All we can do is ride the wave, endure shit times cheerfully, and do our best to make the world a better place than it was yesterday.