Lesson Learned: Stop Feeling Personally Victimized by Life

The first time I complained about life being unfair, I was six or seven and my cousin got a new toy that I told her I wanted. I’m pretty sure I cried about it, I probably tried to steal it from her too. To put it into perspective when I was that young I cried every time my parents drove past McDonald’s and didn’t stop in to get me chicken nuggets. I complained  intensely about life being unfair for the second time when I was eight or nine and my teacher wouldn’t let me go to the bathroom until I finished my work. By the time I finished, I had to run to the bathroom. I peed my pants the second I locked the door of the stall. After half an hour another student was sent to find me. When I told her what happened she laughed. Our classroom was at least five doors down from the bathroom and I could hear her tell my teacher, “VANESSA PEED HER PANTS!”

“Who says life is fair, where is that written?”
― William GoldmanThe Princess Bride

The third time I complained about how unfair life could be, I was in my early teens and all of my best friends had boyfriends. I was in that awkward-looking stage, complete with lingering baby-fat, braces, glasses, and a head full of frizzy hair. The fourth time, I was in the last year of high school and I failed my G2 for the second time. The fifth time I complained seriously  about life being unfair, I was 21 and my first self-published book did not land me a book deal with a real publishing company, nor did it have the impact I dreamt it would have. My complaints were never vocalized, not to anyone who could tell me what a little brat I was being. Back then I kept a lot of things safely hidden in the pages of my notebook.

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Recently I complained to my boyfriend about not yet finding a full-time job in publishing and not being able to move out or take “the next step” in our relationship because of it. He looked bewildered and amused, then smiled at me sweetly before he lifted his hand slowly and played the world’s smallest violin. Just. For. Me.

“Your problem is that you live too much in the future. You make all these plans and when they don’t work out you can’t handle it. You take every failure way too personally,” he said to me. The truth is that there are few things in life that you can change and even less that you can rush. Some things just take time. As long as you’re working hard, you’ll get there. As long as you’re spending time doing what you love, good things will come.

The sun doesn’t rush the moon, breakfast doesn’t make a fuss for noon, good things will happen, even if it isn’t soon. Life isn’t out to get you as long as you go out there and get life. Stop feeling personally victimized by life because nothing is as bad as you’re making it seem.

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— Vanessa
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