I feel GREAT.
Don’t you just love that? How satisfying is it to reply with, “I feel fucking FANTASTIC,” when someone asks how you’re doing—and actually mean it?
This week, I scored two new clients. I went to a bomb restaurant I couldn’t afford. I worked out. I actually found two mangos at Trader Joes that weren’t hard as a rock. [Didn’t even have to put those bitches in a paper bag.]
I feel great NOW. As in, in this moment. Three days ago, I felt like shit.
And you know what? There is a very good chance I could wake up tomorrow thinking the world is ending.
Time and time again, we’re told to focus on the good. Just once, let’s talk about the bad.
Because when you talk about the bad—the bad days, the long days at work, the bad relationships—someone out there is thinking, “THANK GOD. Someone else thinks this way too??!!”
When I decided to be my own boss, my friend Maranie gave me the best advice any freelancer could receive. She offered her congratulations, but warned me, “The lows are lower, but the highs are higher.”
She has yet to be wrong. And I cannot repay her enough for telling me EXACTLY what I needed to hear.
When people look at my life, as so often happens to outsiders looking in, they see the upside. They see a world where I never have to dress up, set an alarm, answer to a micromanager, or compromise on how I tackle a project. They see an environment where I always get credit for my work, the client knows me by name, and I never get pushed out of a meeting where I hold a stake.
What they don’t see—and what every freelancer knows all too well—is how many mornings I wake up in a state of sheer panic. Or how many times I daydream about a job where I get a steady paycheck with health insurance and a 401k. I’d even return to the living nightmare that is expense reports if it meant not paying for a coffee.
But no one wants to want to talk about that. And fuck that shit, because we totally should.
This isn’t about being negative. It’s about talking about the things that YOU need to get off your chest and SOMEONE ELSE may need to hear.
How many times has a friend gushed about her boyfriend when you know he treats her like shit? How many times have you straight-up lied about LOVING your job, when you hated it? How many times were you told a workout was going to be FUN, when really, it was straight-up torture?
I will be the first one to raise my hand and say I have done all of the above. I lied to best friends about dating a complete asshole. I covered-up so many stories about a toxic work environment I almost convinced myself I was happy. Hell, I even lied about my workouts and how healthy I was eating.
That’s right. I used to hide wrappers from all the snacks I went to town on so my roommates wouldn’t know the junk I ate. I know, how fucked up. Now tell me you haven’t done the same.
Everyone wants to talk about their success, happiness, and wins. Sometimes, you will help people more by talking about your losses.
Do you know what I ate on Sunday? In no particular order, this five-foot-seven body consumed the following: pretzel MMs, Reese’s peanut butter cups, a Territory meal (wooooo substance!), Dolcezza gelato, andddddddddddd Shake Shack.
Now HOW much better do you feel about that pizza you had at 2AM?
I could sit here and talk about a glamorous life of working out, eating healthy, being productive, and being a She-boss. It would also be fifty-percent bullshit.
I panic about deadlines. I work on mindless tasks when another task is due. Sometimes, I consume 3,000 calories on days when I don’t exercise.
And I’m OK with it. Or at the very least, I’m ok with not being ok with it.
You are allowed to have bad days. You are allowed to FEEL BAD. You are allowed to be negative. You are allowed to have really low lows. If nothing else, you may help or prepare someone going through the same thing.
And you know what? Your GREAT day is just around the corner.