WHAT THE HELL, 2012? Can we all just step back a moment, sit down, and figure out what has been going on with the world? I am all for positive blog posts, but these past several months have been one for the books. The only solace I have found is that 2012 has two weeks left and hopefully the welcoming of a new year will be a breath of fresh air for many people. Yes, I am very very grateful for many wonderful things this year has brought, but I am emotionally OVER this year, and am ready to be done with it. In two weeks, let’s raise a toast to surviving the world not ending after all.
My attempt at advice
I have been purposely staying away from my Facebook news feed since Friday. I don’t feel that I am ready to fully process all the terrible events of the past few months and we all deserve the time and space to do that if it’s best. But here is my stand on all things social media when it comes to political views, heartbreaking posters detailing specifics oF Friday, angry debates about moral standpoints, etc: everyone is dealing. Look around New York, or where ever you are, and remember that everyone is dealing with it the best they can. Some kick, yell, scream, and try to find a solution, others are comforted by knowing all the details of the story, and some would rather face the situation immediately and organize events around it. Others, like myself, need time to mentally take in what happened on my own time and in my own space. All of these are just dandy. And it’s very important to remember this when you see someone online dealing with things differently than you. Facebook can really hit things over the head and make the world feel like it’s falling apart. But in reality, it is a giant forum of people handling their emotions publicly. Which is absolutely fine, and for some people, very helpful. If it isn’t helpful for you, give yourself a Facebook break. It will be there when you get back.
And if there is one thing that I have taken away from these awful events is that more than ever, we need to be aware of the powers of mental health and its effects on all those around us. I am not saying that happy people make a happy world and we should chipper up and hide our feelings 1950s style. I am saying the opposite. We need to be gentle with ourselves and realize that dealing with anxiety is just as important as dealing with the flu. If you need to kick and scream about gun control to make sense of things, go on ahead. If someone bitches back in response, just remember that it is their own way of dealing. If you need to walk down 5th Avenue crying into a hot chocolate and then buy $20 of hand lotion from Bath and Body Works during your lunch break because you’re emotionally exhausted: go for it. Stranger things are happening in NYC. Above all, remember that everyone has been affected and may have tons of other crap going on too. And something as little as a smile at one of those people handing out AM New York or a good morning to your tired Starbucks barista can go a very long way, especially now. Even if you feel terrible, I hope there is some comfort in knowing the city around you is in the same boat.
Ignore your feelings and walk around with toothpaste on your nose
Yup. That was me this morning, at my new reception temp job. I rolled out of bed slowly (very slowly because I pulled a muscle in my back last week), grumbled my way through the morning and ran out the door to a frustrating commute. When I got here, no one knew I was temping and pointed to the phone as if it was going to personally teach me how the company works. I finally made it to the bathroom about 20 minutes later to only find that I had toothpaste smeared across the front of my nose like Rudolf’s less exciting cousin. When I finally got some coffee in my system I was able to laugh at how stressed I have let myself get recently, hence this post.
Taking a break to be a blue shirt
For the past two weeks, I have been interviewing for long-term positions (and by that I mean one to two-year long reception gigs) with several companies. I made the decision after nearly going broke during Sandy that it is time I build up a savings account. So it is my new plan to spend some time in a 9-5 with the rest of the corporate world (I have nicknamed them the blue shirts). I am very happy with this plan, and have spoken with some incredibly nice companies, but this huge change is still daunting. So after a week of intense interviews, juggling work, a wave of awful news, and to top it off: a bad reaction to some medication, I crashed. My already unhappy back completely pooped out on me yesterday when I pushed it too hard. I was cleaning when it spasmd so badly that I ended up on the floor like a turtle until Ben found me surrounded by confused cats. I am now doing reception and spitefully staring at my water bottle on the floor that I can’t reach because my back thinks I’m 80.
I partially blame my back on the past few weeks. I was not taking any of my own advice and I completely ignored that stress was building up. And here I am answering phones while it is all catching up with me. My plan for the day? Staying off Facebook and all news websites, drinking all of the hot beverages in this office, and having some much-needed wine with Helen tonight.
So….don’t be like me. It is okay to be overwhelmed and it is okay to admit you need space from social media and the news. Try to use this holiday season as a reminder to hug your family, friends, cat, dog, and man or lady-friend even more often. We’re all in this together, as much as it blows.
Oh and p.s….get a drink when the world doesn’t end. Maybe there will be more rapture drink specials like last summer.