Sometime in 1998, movie critic Gene Siskel interviewed Oprah during a promotion for Oprah’s movie Beloved and Gene asked Oprah “What do you know for sure?” Oprah was somewhat taken aback by the question, not understanding quite what he meant, but it became a profound moment in her life. She turned it into a column in her magazine and she wrote a book about it called “Things I Know For Sure.”
That moment and it’s effect have crossed my path a few times in the past month which is weird since I didn’t know about it before and now it seems like destiny that the concept should come into my life right before a milestone birthday. What an excellent time to take stock of my life and to think about what I’ve learned and what I feel confident knowing at this time. Of course, my initial reaction when I started to think about what I might know for sure was “I do not know anything because I am a dumb dumb stupid pants.”
But I’m not a dumb dumb stupid pants. I’m a smart smart smarty pants and these are the things that, at 25, I know for sure.
Things get better. I remember exactly how I felt at my worst. Even if I didn’t remember, I have it written down in my journal and on this blog. I was so deeply sad, I felt like being sad was going to be a constant and inevitable part of my life. I don’t know when the sad ended but I haven’t felt anything like my worst in two years and about two months ago I woke up feeling excited about nothing and I’ve woken up feeling excited almost every morning since. Even when I have stats.
I know for sure that getting through depression is a fight against time, but that if you hold out, take your meds, celebrate small accomplishments, and go easy on yourself that something will give and it doesn’t need to be you.
Things work out. I know for sure that if you place enough blind trust in the universe that problems will solve themselves. To this point in my life, there hasn’t been a problem that I was not able to overcome one way or another. It seems pointless now to worry so much about the problems I might have until I’m actually confronted by them. I’ve been dealing with anxiety as long as I’ve been dealing with depression but no solutions or methods have helped me as much as remembering that everything works out. I will also add that inviting joy to my life has helped me to associate positively to my surroundings and that I have overall fewer problems because I’m no longer entertaining problems I don’t need to have.
Dogs are the greatest. Goes without saying, but puppers and big ol’ doggos are pure love. I know for sure that dogs are a gift to people and should be cherished. Me small cry when I think about how much I love my dog and how much she loves me.
Learn people’s names. I don’t take much notice when someone I’ve met before asks me to remind them of my name but I always notice when someone remembers my name from the start. I’m still not the best at this, but it’s something I’ve been improving on for the past year and I think that I’ve seen a difference in my own behavior towards people. Remembering names shows someone that they are memorable and that are valued, even if it’s the most basic thing anyone can do. I know for sure that everyone deserves to feel that they are worth remembering. I also know that intentionally using the wrong name for someone is really mean and says more about you than what you were trying to prove to others.
Work harder. Do better. This was adapted from a hashtag I kept seeing on one of my friends’ weightlifting instas, but it’s something I’ve adopted into my own work ethic. I know that if I do my best and I still suck, I still feel okay because my work represented my best effort and understanding. I also know that if I don’t try and I suck, I feel shitty about it because I sold myself short and missed an opportunity to represent myself entirely. This is a more recent lesson in my life and I wish I had it with me for longer. It’s now my invisible tattoo on my arm because when I think of this phrase it energizes me and encourages me. I know for sure that putting in your best efforts will lead to your best results and that, no matter how those results are received by others, that you can feel good about what you’ve produced. In other words, whole ass it.
I meant to post this on my birthday but it was a super busy weeks so it couldn’t happen. Not sure how I feel about being 25. It’s not even that old but it feels old and I already feel like I’m past my prime and that I wasted my life until this point. Cannot even begin to think of how shitty I will feel when I turn 30. <-understand that this paragraph contradicts most of what I just wrote but IT’S WHO I AM.
Here’s a selection of some of my greatest selfies from the past year: