When everything is hitting the fan, it can feel like life as you know it is over. Maybe you're fighting with a friend, or you just really screwed up a job interview, and you're feeling like the biggest failure in the entire universe. It happens. When this occurs, it's easy to wonder if you've ruined your life forever. But I'm here to say that's rarely the case.
Since I have some dramatic leanings, I've definitely uttered the phrase "my life is totally ruined" on more than one occasion. And yet once the smoke clears, and I'm still alive, I often wonder what I was ever so upset about in the first place. While it's normal to feel devastated when something goes wrong in life, it's important to remember that very few things are ever actually life-alteringly awful.
Yes, day-to-day life can feel stressful and upsetting, but rarely (and I say this while knocking on wood for all of us) do truly terrible things actually happen. Awful things, like the death of a loved one, the end of a long-term relationship, a serious illness, or bad financial problems, are all truly horrific. But hopefully they can serve as a barometer for judging other less-than-wonderful moments of day to day life.
It's important to retain a sense of perspective when dealing with the ins and outs and ups and down of being a human (even if it all does seem really difficult). As a source of comfort for all the other drama queens out there, here's a list of some things you think will ruin your life, but rarely actually do.
1. Losing Touch With A Friend
It's common to switch friend groups a lot while in your 20s, and this can mean losing some friends along the way. If you think about it, your 20s are when everyone splits off in a million different directions. Some people stay in school, while others work, and the rest go off and get married. This can take a toll on your friendships. For example, if you're in school, you may find it really hard to relate to your friend who has a kid. Over time, this relationship may lose traction and slip away. And that's OK! Some people come into your lives permanently, while others come and ago. It's perfectly normal, and nothing to get too upset about.
2. Moving Far Away From Everyone You Know And Love
Being forced to move away (such as for a job) can be more traumatizing than doing it by choice (hey, you've always wanted to live on the west coast!). But both situations can feel like a life-ending proposition when you realize you are leaving your loved ones behind. You wonder what will happen when you get to your new home — will you make friends, will your family forget about you, will you come running back in a few months? It can all feel like a giant mistake. That is until you give yourself a chance to adjust. Moving to a new place is a fresh start, it's very adventurous, and it can really help you become a more self-confident person. So instead of looking at it is "abandoning everything you know and love," look at it as an opportunity to learn new things, and enjoy the experience!
3. Having A Horrible First Date
When you get all hyped up for a first date, it can be soul-crushingly devastating if it doesn't go well. You may feel like a failure who should abandon any hope of a love life in favor of living alone in the wilderness. But don't be too dramatic just yet. It's possible this person wasn't as good as you thought, and by it not working out you are now free to go find yourself a better match. Take this chance to see who else is out there, and trust that you'll end up with someone who's a much better fit.
4. Being Stuck In A Job You Don't Like
Life's too short to be stuck in a job you hate, and yet going to an office every day that you dislike is hardly going to ruin your life. Look on the bright side — you have a job, you get a paycheck, and you're probably doing something you can put on your resume (even if it is just scrolling through spreadsheets for eight hours). Instead of glowering at your desk and passive aggressively hating on your boss, use your time to learn what you can, and prepare yourself so you're ready for whatever new job opening comes your way.
5. Being Kinda Broke Right Now
Money is a tricky subject, because a lack of it can certainly cause some difficult situations (especially if you own a house or have a family). But there's a big difference between having real money problems and just being a little bit broke. Of course, it's not fun to live paycheck to paycheck, or to not be able to afford to hit the movies with your friends, but it's hardly going to ruin your whole life. As long as you have some food and a roof over your head, you're really not doing that bad in the grand scheme of things. Use this opportunity to learn a lesson about your finances. Look for ways to save money, and resist the urge to drop cash on frivolous things. With a little effort, you can sort out your money problems, and prevent them from getting worse in the future.
6. Not Getting Along With Your Family
Of course, it's horribly sad to not have a good relationship with your relatives, but it doesn't have to negatively affect you for the rest of your life. The awesome thing about being an adult is that you get to create a new family for yourself with each new relationship you make. Surround yourself with people who care about you and support you, and you'll start to feel less pained about the lack of love from your blood relatives. And if there are relationships in your life that need to be repaired, don't be afraid to make the first move to patch things up, either. You might be surprised how things go.
Yes, life is hard, but rarely does it get permanently messed up. This is especially true when it comes to the little things in life, however upsetting they may feel at the time. Remember to keep a healthy perspective when dealing with life's ups and downs, and hopefully you'll be less likely to sweat the small stuff.
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