Happiness Challenge Day 27

I’m supposed to talk about what I like about myself today. And I’m trying to figure out how that’s part of a happiness challenge. There are celebrities out there who are way prettier, make more money, and have much more Talent then I do and they hate their bodies. They hate themselves. That’s why they pretend to be other people for a living. That’s why there’s photoshop. That’s why there’s plastic surgery. But you can’t do anything for a personality.

I’ve never lied about the fact that I’m a trainwreck. No. I make being a train wreck look easy. Maybe that’s because it comes naturally to me. I mean how many people do you know can pack a lunch, make coffee, and grab their ID badge to remember it all to take to work just to leave it all by the coffee pot. Talent like that doesn’t come natural to everyone.

I don’t know why but there’s some women out there who want to be a Train wreck. Like there’s some badge of honor that goes along with it. I guess so they can sit there and say, “I don’t know why I’m such a train wreck. I’m just like you.” No, Karen, you are not. Every one of your cupcakes for the holiday party are all handmade and hand iced. You probably use a made from scratch recipe you found on Pinterest. And they look like they belong on Pinterest. Not in a “pin fail” category but as a ‘this is what it’s supposed to look like.”

You are not a train wreck. Train wrecks make the cupcakes that wind up on pin fails. Train wrecks wind up going to Walmart and dropping twenty bucks on a pack of cupcakes from the bakery. Hardcore train wrecks don’t even take them out of the package. There’s no shame in our Train wreck game.

Being a train wreck isn’t for everyone. There’s a lot of pressure out there to be perfect. The same people who demand that you accept your body for every imperfection but don’t you dare have a wrinkle, a stretch mark, or roll. Do you see why so many people have anxiety anymore? Do this but don’t do this. Be that but don’t be that. Give me a break. Let me be who I am.

The thing about being a train wreck is you don’t give up. You don’t just sit there and say “Well that didn’t work. Oh well.” We keep trying. You keep pushing, keep moving down the track. You may need to build the track as you’re moving along, but you keep moving. Because one thing trainwrecks recognize is that if we don’t do it it’s not going to get done. We’re the ones who find out that there’s no toilet paper until it’s too late. We’re the ones reaching for a coffee cup to find out our kids didn’t do the dishes again. Trash comes on Wednesday? Kid doesn’t take the trash out until Thursday morning.

That is the epitome of being a train wreck. But, you keep going. You make the hundred dozen cookies. You make the socks and the hats and the scarves for Christmas because it’s what you do. And even if you’ve never been able to properly make a pancake you keep trying.

It’s not a metaphor, people. I can cook shawarma. I can make a roast. I can make tortellini soup, meatballs, and amazing brownies. And I cannot make pancakes. I know you’re sitting there wondering, “How the hell do you screw up pancakes?” Well, it’s really actually quite simple. I either flip them too early and batter gets everywhere or I burn them. There is no between. There is no gray area. It’s either all or nothing. I wish I could make pancakes. I know how to make an eclair cake, which is really good. I know how to make muffins. But I can’t make the simplest of breakfast foods. Has that ever stopped me? No, it hasn’t. I have been known to throw things across the room and hit the wall with a batter splattered spatula. It is frustrating when you’re sitting there thinking, “This is just a pancake. Why can I not make pancakes?” There are cooking shows with kids a quarter of my age who can make pancakes. Why can I not make pancakes like a ten year old? What is wrong with my brain that it doesn’t get the concept of a pancake?

But the biggest thing is I don’t quit. I may give it a minute. I may walk away from something to calm down, but I will always try again. And I will not quit. That’s not to say that I haven’t thought about it a couple times. Depression is a bitch. But it hasn’t won. I haven’t quit yet. My story is still going. I know a lot of people are embarrassed about things like having anxiety or depression. There’s still a stigma when it comes to mental illness. You say mental illness and people automatically go into thinking you’re crazy. That’s not true at all. You may feel a little crazy for crying over small things but that’s just not how it is.

Having depression and anxiety same time is pretty hellish. It’s caring about everything and nothing at the same time. You never worry about the important things like what’s for dinner, how you’re going to pay that bill, or how you’ll get gas to get to work. You worry about things that happened twenty five years ago that are inconsequential to your well-being and lifestyle now. You think about that one wrong thing that you said at a Fourth of July BBQ. You should be concerned about what you’re going to cook for dinner but that’s where depression takes over. You get into the “why should I even bother” mindset. It fucking sucks feeling everything and nothing at the exact same time. I absolutely loathe holding my shit together when all I want to do is break down and cry. Then I lose it because I dropped my keys in a puddle.

So you want to talk about not giving up and being a train wreck. Part of the reason I’m a Train wreck is because I am fighting everyday. I fight the battle in my head every Day. I’ve been winning. I’ve been pretty up. I’ve been pretty good that’s not to say I don’t have my moments. I just don’t let those moments win. I don’t know if you ever watched Lost. In the very beginning of the show – I can’t remember the first episode of the second – Jack said he gives himself five – or was it three seconds? Five seconds makes more sense to me, whatever it is, he gives himself a short amount of time feel the fear or the pain and then he gets on.

I allow for a little bit longer than five Seconds because I am of the Mind those feelings are valid. You’re allowed to be scared. You’re allowed to be mad and frustrated. You’re allowed to have those feelings but at some point you have to put your momma pants on, put your ass kicking boots on, tie them with your teeth if you have to and get on with your day. Because if you don’t do it – if you don’t wash those clothes and you don’t wash those dishes, you don’t wake those kids up and get their asses to school – your house is going to devolve into a lord of the Flies like atmosphere.

And it sucks that it all falls on you. It sucks no one else in your house will take the responsibility for this stuff when you most need it. Sometimes, you have to be your own knight in shining armor. Depression is the Dragon; slay it. You are not a princess; you are a queen. And you need to defend your kingdom.

That’s the essence of being a train wreck as well. It’s the recognition that no one else is going to save you. Unless it’s bake sale season and you have a Wal-Mart close by. Other than that, you are on your own. Yes, there are support groups out. There are people to talk to. There are people who get it. But unless you’re willing save yourself and make the changes that are necessary none of that is going to help. And that can be getting therapy, getting on medication, taking up yoga, writing in a gratitude journal. Whatever it takes for you to get back to who you are. Whatever it takes to get you back to right.

You have to want it. You have to be motivated enough to make the changes. The fact is there are a lot of people out there that are okay with just sitting around, bitching and moaning about their lives. It’s easier to cry about it than actually do something about it.

I used to be one of those people. I can’t be that person anymore. So the thing I’m most proud about of myself, the thing that I like the most about myself, is how far I’ve come. I had no boundaries. I would let people just say and do whatever they wanted to to me. The word “welcome” was tattooed to my forehead. That’s all I was, a doormat.

I didnt’t Just grow. I didn’t go through metamorphosis. Metamorphosis a fairly rapid change, something that happens in a season. If anything, I evolved. It took a while. I needed to realize my situations and what I needed to do to change that. And here I am now. I love hearing people who knew me five, ten, twenty years ago. They tell me that I’ve changed. I’m different; I’m not the same person I used to be. They’re not wrong. You can usually tell by how they’re saying it if they’re happy with the change or if they were one of the people taking advantage of me. I have mostly gotten rid of those second types of people in my life.

So the thing I like the best about myself, the thing I’m most proud of, is being a train wreck. I’m proud to be better than I was. I’m grateful for the support that I have behind me. These are people who realize it’s just who I am. I love that I have social media Outlets that allow me to share my experience in not being Pinterest perfect and not being a PTA mom. I am not a Stepford Wife. I am not a hot mess either. That would denote that I am hot. I’m more like lukewarm at this point. There are some days where I do feel like the pizza that got left out on the oven for three hours

So today, I will Revel in my trainwreck goodness. I will shine in the Glorious mess that I am. I will exemplify the imperfections that make me who I am. I will tell cheesy jokes. I will be sarcastic. And I will wear one of the ugliest Christmas sweaters ever seen on Amazon. I’m not just a train wreck. I am a glorious train wreck. Today, I will be the Glorious train wreck mom.

Today, I will make a list of things I like about myself.


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