January 27, 2020

Life isn’t a How-To Manual.

I woke up this morning feeling tired that I didn’t have it all together.

I look around my room and it’s a mess. There are boxes I haven’t unpacked since I moved six months ago. There’s recycling I haven’t taken down in weeks. My dirty clothes are literally sitting on the floor beside my laundry basket and my desk is a pile of makeup, empty tea mugs, and a half-eaten bowl of popcorn.

This room in front of me feels like a reflection of what’s going on in my personal life. And right now, it feels like there is almost too much going on in too many places to know where to begin cleaning it all up.

My instinct is to Google: How to get your f*cking life together and not be such a mess.

I think of all the how-to articles I’ve read in the past, looking for answers in other people’s mistakes. I want to know how to have it all figured out. How to be the “best version of me I can be.”

I want to learn how to be loved. How to fall in love. How to love better myself. I want to learn how to stop making the same mistakes, over and over and over again.

I want to know how to be kinder in tough situations. I want to know how to take my yoga mind from the mat and into my real life.

I want to know how to be better friends with myself. How to have more self-compassion.

I want to know how to heal old wounds that I’ve let fester. I want to know how to make amends.

Basically, I want to know how to take this mess that is scattered across my room and compile it into neat boxes and bins until it looks put together, pristine, like a comfortable space to move around in.

But, if we’re going to continue with this room-mess metaphor, life doesn’t work like that.

Today, I will clean my room. I will put my dirty laundry into the bin and I’ll put a load of washing on. I will take out the garbage and recycling. I’ll carry my dishes down to the kitchen while making myself a fresh mug of tea. I’ll put the items on my desk into my newly bought organizer boxes. And I’ll make my bed and light a scented candle. And for just a brief moment, I’ll feel like I have it all together.

A week will go by and then we’ll find ourselves here, again. With the same damn mess on the same damn floor. And we repeat.

Google: How to stop being such a goddamn mess all of the time.

Our rooms, like our lives, cannot possibly stay perfectly put together every moment of the week. We create mess, over and over. But maybe sometimes the mess is just a little bit different. Maybe, slowly, we’ve developed some habits that make the mess a bit more manageable. And we know how to clean it up just a little bit faster.

And that’s what I want to come back to. Life isn’t a how-to manual because it’s a constant fluctuation of figuring things out before another curve ball comes our way.

Life is about embracing the fact that it’s going to get messy, but that we can learn basic tools for putting ourselves back together again.

I don’t need to look at this mess around me and be frustrated with myself. Because that kind of thought process will only make the mess and the frustration linger.

I look at the mess, and honestly, I kind of love it. Me. I love that it’s imperfect. I love that my room doesn’t have a false sense of being lived-in. I love that my brain was too lazy or distracted or tired to toss my T-shirt one inch closer into the bin and it landed itself on the floor instead.

It’s okay.

Today, I will pick it up and clear out the space that yesterday’s me wasn’t able to.

This is the beauty of life—going with the ebb and flow of our mistakes, picking ourselves up again, learning a little something, and maybe writing a how-to guide about it along the way.

~

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