No, this is not a blog about a mash-up between Fleetwood Mac and Carly Rae Jepsen. It is however, a mash-up between two big things on my brain lately. Did you ever notice that when someone you care about is having a tough time, it is usually pretty easy to comfort them, reassure them and be an encouraging and optimistic cheerleader. But when it is you, yourself that is going through trouble, it seems to be easier to be critical and negative, condemning yourself for every little thing you've done or said? Even those of us that aim to be inspirational and encouraging to others on a daily basis, can turn on a dime and suddenly all the patience, understanding and forgiveness go out the window.
Why do we so easily fill our minds with strings of negative thoughts about ourselves... "you're so stupid", "you're so irresponsible", "you should've done this...", "why didn't you do that?", "things will never get better", "I'll always be this way" instead of having the same compassion that we have for others? It's a bad habit that can happen to the best of us and until you recognize it and make a conscious effort to stop it, it can spiral into a full-blown pity party. Or worse.
The important thing when you catch yourself in the middle of one of these "I suck" tantrums, is to remember that all those lovely thoughts floating around your head are LIES. Just because you made one bad decision, doesn't mean you will make bad decisions for the rest of your life. Just because you were rejected once, you aren't destined to always fail. These little lies can creep into your head without you noticing and before you know it, they're swinging a wrecking ball at your happiness.
The average person has about 70,000 thoughts per day. Obviously, it is impossible to keep all of those thoughts positive, unless you're Mary Poppins. But we need to remember not to give the negative thoughts any weight. Just because a thought passes through your mind, it doesn't mean you have to grab onto it and ponder it for awhile. Although you might not be able to prevent the bad thoughts from happening, you CAN choose not to believe them. Just like you would tell a friend if he/she were speaking lies about themselves.
And speaking of friends... (not to beat a dead horse) I found myself this week, having two different conversations with two different friends about the same subject that's been on my mind for months now. The mysterious phenomenon of something called... a phone. No, not that thing you use to check your email, play Candy Crush Saga and send text messages. The thing that you can dial a series of numbers on and then actually speak to a real, live person! Both friends told me just about the same thing... that not only are they (and most everyone they know) bad about always having their phone out no matter where they are or who they're with, but they hardly ever talk to anyone on the phone anymore. Instead, everyone communicates with them by text, email or Facebook... same as in my life, minus Facebook since our "break up." (Side note: After a period of "detoxing", I am now able to enjoy activities or events again JUST FOR THE SAKE OF DOING THEM/BEING THERE and not because I compulsively need to share it with everyone I know... yay!)
It's beyond frustrating, but it's also very sad. We reminisced for awhile and it's crazy how quickly things have changed. We are NOT that old and yet, the childhood days of calling up your best friend and hanging on the phone with them for hours (and subsequently getting in trouble with your parents) seem to be long gone. The same for dating... where people used to exchange phone numbers in hopes of having a great conversation to get to know someone of interest, now they just randomly send numerous text messages of a few sentences throughout their busy day, with no inkling of emotion or actual personality (except of course for a smiley face or emoticon). One friend and I even realized that our long phone conversations that we used to have when we first met (just four years ago) have already become obsolete.
So what's a girl to do? We resolved it is going to be up to us to try to change the tide within our own social circles and start talking on the phone more and texting less. And we can only hope that will cause our loved ones to follow suit. That, or we will never hear from anyone again. Because even though we may make an effort to actually call our friends, it doesn't mean that they will pick up on their end. How many people will actually avoid their phone calls or send it to voice mail, just to send a text a few minutes later saying "What's up?" (I've done it!) It's crazy.
I saw a segment on the news the other day that you can now take fitness classes on your phone, computer or tablet. Ya know, like instead of in person. It was again sold as "convenient", "time-saving" and "perfect for your busy life", like everything is now days. But what in the world are we all so busy with? Certainly not each other. At this rate, it won't be long before we aren't doing anything with one another in real life, in real time anymore. We'll never have to actually speak or interact with another person if we don't want to. We'll be just like the people floating around space in Wall-E. If you've seen the movie, it probably seemed ridiculous or "cute" at the time, but I swear, it doesn't seem that far-fetched anymore.
Like with many other things, I feel a little out of place these days feeling this way, but that's a-ok with me. I've never really cared much about fitting in anyway. And who knows, maybe now with my new plan, I'll get to start hearing my nifty ringtones more than just when a telemarketer calls.