I've spent a lot of this past week month/year/life complaining. Whether it's out loud or in my head, I'm a huge whiner. I can usually find a way to justify it (even if it's not actually justifiable), but yesterday I stopped myself in my tracks with my own ridiculousness.
Yesterday morning I decided to take a walk around the residential streets in the Hollywood Hills just a few blocks north of my apartment building (strangely, this is the first time I've done this since moving here; not sure why I didn't think of it sooner), to do some 'splorin and give the old thighs a good work out. The streets up there are narrow, curvy and steep, and I worked up a good sweat after only a few minutes.
Unfortunately, in that same short span of time, I also managed to work up a good envy complex. Instead of thinking My, what a beautiful morning it is, or I'm so lucky that I live close to hills and can get a free workout in anytime I want!, I thought to myself, Why don't I have a house like any of these houses? I bet I'll never live anywhere as pretty as this. It's so nice and quiet up here, and my street is so noisy all the time. Why can't I have what they have? It's so unfair. Ugh, I hate my life.
After awhile, I started feeling really irritable. At first I was confused about what was annoying me, and then I realized: it was me. I was annoying myself. If I had been someone else, I would have grabbed myself by the arms and shaken me and yelled, "SHUT UP!". Instead, I marched myself home and sat down at the computer and started to write this post.
Here is what I have to say to me: Screw you for being ungrateful, Rachel. What right do you have to complain about anything? You have a fantastic life filled with wonderful opportunities and people, and you live in a beautiful place and your Vitamin D levels are the highest they've ever been in your life, and you're choosing to whine about it? Get. Over. It. Get yourself some gratitude, bitch.
I have decided to punish myself thusly: whenever I start to complain about something, whether it be verbally or mentally, I will immediately find the silver lining to the situation; something to be grateful about. It'll be super hard at first since Negative Nancy is my middle name (thanks a lot, Mom and Dad), but hopefully this will eventually cease to be a punishment and become a good habit instead. Because something has to change.
To start it off, here are the things I complained about just yesterday morning, and my Silver Linings Counter-attack to each.
:: Complaint: I bet I'll never live somewhere as pretty as this.
:: Counter-attack: You already do. You live a quarter mile away from the exact spot you thought this.
:: Complaint: My street is so noisy all the time.
:: Counter-attack: That's because you live in a super exciting part of West Hollywood, a block away from the Sunset Strip, near tons of great restaurants, movie theaters, clubs, shops, etc., etc., etc. Also, for living in such a great location, your rent is phenomenal. And your apartment is rent-controlled. And you have covered parking. And you live in West Hollywood.
:: Complaint: Why can't I have what they have?
:: Counter-attack: You have what you have, and that's pretty great too. You might not have a house in the hills, but they've probably worked harder and longer than you to get to where they're at, and guess what? If you do that, you can probably have a house in the hills someday too. And you don't even want to live in the hills! You want to live by the ocean! So whatchu talkin' 'bout, Willis?
:: Complaint: Ugh, I hate my life.
:: Counter-attack: False. You are completely aware of what a wonderful life you have, and every day you find something to be happy or excited about. You actually love your life. So shut up.
Phase One of Operation: Silver Linings = complete. Take that, myself.
Happy Hump Day!