Your Time is Now

While perusing the magazine section at the bookstore this past week I happened upon a TON of self-help segment headlines scattered across women’s’ magazines like so many prairie dogs out in the dessert. Here’s the deal. Forget about the magazines. You are all you have. Anything more than that you have access to (family, friends, money, living situation)— that is nothing less than spectacular. But in the end, you are all you’ve got. Act accordingly and treat yourself like the special, important person you are. Important corollary— you are all you need, too. Which is convenient and cuts down on the number of things you need to stuff in your bags. Not everybody’s going to like you. There’s no magic formula of niceness or agree-ability that will make you popular. In fact, the popular people are the ones with strong convictions, who go ahead and do what they want no matter what you think.

The trick is, you have to actually not care what other people think about every damn thing you do. Conveniently, this turns out to be much, much easier than we were led to believe as children. Don’t wait. Ever. For anything or anyone. You don’t get extra points for being the patient, uncomplaining one. In fact, you’re probably going to get stepped on for your troubles. The person you are waiting for is not going to wake up one day and go, “Oh gosh, that person who’s just been so accommodating— she’s the one!” Your boss is not going to say, “Hmmm, who’s the best worker, the one who never says anything or the one who tells me in detail about their weekly accomplishments and is vocal about taking on new responsibilities?” The whole Discovering-Cinderella schtick wasn’t true back then and it ain’t true now.

Just say what you want. No demands, no threats. It’s a simple formula: “I want such-and-so, and I will not accept anything less.” If you get something less, honor your commitment to yourself and leave. That’s it. This bargaining skill works with everything: lovers, jobs, children. For example, many people have noted that we have good communication skills with our kids: we tell them what we expect of them, and we tell them what’s going to happen if they don’t live up to it. This doesn’t stop us from yelling… but generally the yelling happens when we weren’t clear enough before hand, so: our bad. (And when we get a hold of ourselves, we apologize to the kids for our behavior.) The guy he is right now is the guy he’s going to be forever, unless he decides to change. Deal with the person right in front of you, not the person you want him to be or who you think he’ll evolve into.

If I read one more Goddamn romance (or bulletin board thread) where the object is to transform the bad boy through the magic of the (patient, understanding, loitering) woman’s love, I’m going to vomit. Remember that line from As Good As It Gets where Jack Nicholson says, “You make me want to be a better man”? The only response to that is, “Then go ahead and work on that, and right now I’m going to go out and find someone who’s already there.” It really is better to be alone than in bad company. The nice thing is, there are so many incredible people out there to be with! Stop worrying so damn much about how you look.

You’re never going to look prettier than you do right now. And pretty/fashionable/anorexic has nothing to do with how attractive you are or how much you get paid. We have all known size Whatever women who could attract anyone they want, because they like themselves no matter what. Is it more fun to be with someone who likes herself, or one who’s criticizing herself all the time? Yes, if you stand up for yourself and what you want, you’re probably going to lose some friends. Conveniently, this will weed out which of your friends aren’t really your friends, which we can only regard as a BONUS! Your time is now. And don’t let anyone out there convince you that it isn’t.

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~ by upbeatmag on May 31, 2011.

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