I used to never think I’d live past the month of March, and here we are, sitting at day 4 of April. It’s ludicrous to think that in years past, I lamented an entire month, just because of trauma endured during my childhood. For the record, I just about spelled “Ludacris” instead of the latter, and my younger spelling bee champion self is teeming with baby rage as I type.
My life was a heart-shaped wreckage growing up, but here’s the kicker: I’m still breathing. As I grow older and less bitter over past transgressions, I’ve found that happiness is the best form of revenge. March has always been an exhausting battle, but this year, I actually look back at the month with fondness and pride. I booked a national commercial and a feature film. Me, that little kid from Oulu, Wisconsin who was lead to believe he couldn’t accomplish anything pre-mortem is here, shattering glass ceilings for farm-boys of the future, with dreams heftier than mama’s prized milking cow. Share your pride. Sometimes, especially on social media, I feel like my happiness gets in the way of others, that my successes are a bummer on the social feed. One should never get in that way of thinking. Fight anybody that gets mad at you over your pride. Guess what? You’ve earned the success and are allowed revelry.
I’m used to being beaten and beating myself into the ground. I’ve seen too much death, too much sorrow, and way too many bad movies in this quarter of a century. Here’s the thing: the things that have happened to you do not dictate how your life should be. Your traumas are not who you are, for you are more than the sum of sadness. You are luminous. Make sure you’re taking time for yourself, because you realize that your needs have to come first. Self love is not selfishness. If something doesn’t make you feel happy, you are not obligated to stay within it. Life is far too short to squander it feeling trapped, feeling powerless, feeling depressed. Find what makes you shine, be it another soul, a craft, or just a damn good cup of coffee.
If you have a dream, ask yourself what’s stopping you from chasing it? My issue, as per usual with my generation, is money. But, opportunity seldom comes a-knocking, so you have to hit the pavement and go looking for her. Application, always. Things will not always be so arduous. Repeat after me. Dreams come true. Trump won’t always be president. The cake is a lie. Got it?
Here’s another tip I wish someone had told me earlier: guilty pleasures do not exist, for you should never shame yourself for loving something. Unless you sleep with an anime waifu body pillow and then I might shame you a tad.
In pursuit of your own light, don’t let anyone impede your way to happiness. If someone is a negative influence on you, you honestly do not have to associate with them, no matter how close you think you are. I’m not advocating putting bandaids over bullet holes here, but… you deserve to be surrounded by people who will raise you up, like a Josh Groban tune. You deserve to stand on mountains and be all you can be.
A wise woman once said, “love yourself first”. Listen to your heart and allow yourself to indulge in all that life has to offer. Chase every avenue. If you ever need somebody to lean on, look no further than your rose-coloured boy. I may be far away, but I am always here, and always listening.