So You Say You Want An Evolution

The weather has again turned into fall, and you know, I’m okay with that. It isn’t supposed to be nearly 80 degrees two weeks before Christmas in Missouri. Nonetheless, it isn’t entirely freezing, so my body and soul are pleased. Remember, I only like the weather when it’s between 45 and 75 degrees. Anything outside that range makes me a bit grumpy.

With that said, I do seem to be evolving a bit, and it got me thinking that this might be a good blog post for you folks. I know, I know. This close to Christmas, I really should be writing about something superficially focused on simplifying the holidays, right? Okay, then. Let’s get that out of the way…

1) Don’t buy shit you don’t need. 2) Don’t buy them shit they don’t need. 3) Don’t spend one second with toxic family members and frienemies. 4) Don’t drink too much at company parties and puke in front of your boss. 5) Don’t tell kids there’s a Santa when you’ve worked your ass off all year to buy that Nintendo.

There. A Simple Christmas Summation. Boom.

Now…about that evolutionary thing I mentioned before. Grab a drink and settle in. I think you might like this.

Last week I called my friend, Kayla, and even though the conversation was super quick, she said to me, “How are you doing? You sound really happy.” I replied, “Things are good, I think. I mean, they aren’t awful.”

But two days later, it actually WAS eighty degrees outside, so I decided to take my lunch break over at my favorite park – getting in those steps, you know. Spotify had just released the “Your Top Songs 2021” playlist (it’s a playlist Spotify provides based on the songs you listened to the most during the year), and I couldn’t help myself. As I was walking, this song came up, I found I had a bit more pep in my step and…wait for it…I smiled. Like, I goofy smiled. (I should probably tell you that every single song last year on my “Your Top Songs 2020” was sad and depressing. Right then and there, I put a moratorium on sad songs for the entire year, proceeded to create my Good Vibrations playlist – it’s public, you’re welcome – and that’s where we find ourselves today.)

Anywho, driving home from the park, I rolled the windows down, and when this song came up on my playlist, I started laughing and turned the volume up – loud. I was waving my arm in the air, snapping my fingers, and singing to myself – very loudly. (Okay. Not to myself. Everyone could see – and most likely hear – me. I apologize to anyone who was at the stoplight at Battlefield and Glenstone that day.) The point is: I actually thought, “Holy Sh*t…I think I am happy. So that’s what it feels like.”

You probably won’t really get it, especially if you don’t know me personally or have just recently started reading my creepy online diary. But let’s just say…it’s been years – years – since I felt the way I felt that day. Even today, in our 1:1, my boss said, “How are you? You look better. You look happy.” Of course, with all the ‘this is not sexual harassment’ disclaimers that go along with that statement, etc.

So. What’s the difference?

As I said…evolution. Life is a series of trials and tribulations. (“Blessings…testings…blessings…testings…”). I’m on the up side of the valley, I suppose. But, I can also tell you…while I do believe fully in the Universe’s interest in ‘having my back’, I’m going to take a bit of credit here. I’ve worked incredibly hard over the last 24 months to pull myself out of that proverbial valley. Me. This Girl. I. Did. The. Work. And, I’m still doing it.

How? In various ways, I suppose. But I think I can sum it up for you in a few points. Got that drink?

Here are my take-aways from the last few years. I hope they help:

1) Don’t get too attached to an outcome. I’m tenacious. I’ve got ‘grit’. I believe in myself. But most importantly, I’m flexible, and I have a growth mindset. What does that mean? It means you can achieve each and every one of the goals you set for yourself and still feel like ‘sumpin’ ain’t quite right here’. That’s a sign that you are changing, and you are evolving. It’s okay to get to the top of the mountain and think “That’s pretty…but it isn’t spectacular.” It’s okay to say “I shaved my legs for this?” That doesn’t make you a pessimist. It makes you hungry for something better. Stop settling for crumbs.

2) Be okay with saying you aren’t okay. In October of 2020, I started putting out videos via Facebook urging people to reach out to their friends and shedding some light on mental unwellness. People were feeling the impact of COVID fatigue at that point and no one was paying any attention. I was, essentially, telling people I wasn’t doing so hot myself, and it was okay to admit it. The videos are gone, as is the Facebook page (at least I hope so) but the message is still essential. (On that note: Call someone today. This is the time of year people act like they are okay at work but then wind up on Saturday taking enough Klonopin to kill men half their size. Do not text them. Call them. {Steps off the soapbox}).

3) Find a community of like-minded people. Whether you want to learn outdoor survival skills, want to learn more about how to cook on that new Traeger, or find it challenging to face the death of a loved one, there is a lot to be said about finding a support group. Support groups aren’t just for those who are ‘suffering’ or ‘sad’. A support group can be just that…a group that supports you in anything in which you need to be supported. I joined a ton of car camping groups online, and while I’ve only spent two nights in the back of my car so far, I feel supported by the members in these groups and know I can reach out any time. While some of my close in-person friends are like “You wanna what?” these crazy-ass car campers are, like, “You go, Girl! That bed looks awesome!” and “Don’t forget the bear spray!”

4) Put yourself out there. (Gawd. Shame on you, Margo. Not like that.) Helping others is the best thing you can do for yourself so put yourself out there. Volunteer. Read to a little kid. Take food to older adults. Sign up to do taxes for the low-to-middle income folks in your community. Be a designated driver. I don’t care; just do something that takes the focus off yourself and your sad little life (I say that in love.) Do you know what I did? I volunteered to be the PTA President at my son’s elementary school. Yes, I know. Me. BUT…I love it. I absolutely love organizing sock drives and watching kids’ eyes light up at book fairs. I get all giddy when I ask people to donate water bottles and face masks because our school is completely out of supplies and watching them actually donate shit! I love volunteering in this role and frankly, it leaves little time for me to think only of myself.

5) Choose the right tribe. I wrote about my tribe last year in this post but it’s important to remember that your tribe doesn’t have to be big to be mighty. Additionally, if you are “unsingle”, remember that the partner you choose for your journey makes all the difference in the world. I’ve been married twice, and I can tell you this: I have never in my entire life felt so unsupported as I did in both marriages. We all need folks in our lives who support us, believe in us, and know when to kick us in the ass if we need it. Spend time with the people who straighten your crown, not with those who tell you that dress would look better if you lost ten pounds. Do not spend one more minute with anyone who doesn’t even really like you.

So, in summary, evolution isn’t always pleasant, but it is always worth it. As is my nature, I’m leaving you with this little ol’ song by Pink, because if there’s anyone on the planet who doesn’t give a shit what anyone else thinks, it’s her. I, like you, have paid full price for a few mistakes so I get it. I do. My advice? Just throw your head back and spit in the wind. Trust me. It works out.

PS…I did, I really really did, cancel my main Facebook account, so if you like this post and think others might like it, too, please consider sharing it on social media.

PSS…The entire “I canceled my Facebook account” thing will be explained and turned into a fantastic blog shortly. Patience, Grasshopper, patience.

6 thoughts on “So You Say You Want An Evolution

    • Oh, K! You have no idea how much it means to me to know that YOU, a real live published author, are reading my blog and giggling. Also, I can almost feel your music snob SigOt cringing at my taste in tunes 😂😍

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