When you keep trying to “get your shit together” but wtf does that even mean?

leah leah


“This is the year I’m gonna get my shit together” someone told me on January 1st via a mimosa-induced brunch. I smiled. I cheersed them, exclaiming YES ME TOO ME TOO! And as I imagined this ideal of getting my shit together, what I pictured was this:  

A new blazer. An RRSP. A really expensive lipstick that the girl at Sephora recommended to match my skin tone.

Green smoothies & morning yoga classes..

I’d read more. Sleep more. More more more. Eat more carrots & less potato chips. This is the year I would stop wearing my hair in a bun every damn day. I’d Stretch. Floss. Learn how to contour.

If I did all these things, I’d have my shit together.

And as this mental list formed in my head, I actually felt pretty inspired by it. I pictured myself getting up for yoga and contouring my face in the change room after, swapping restaurant recos with the girl doing her mascara next to me.  And the thing is I felt so proud of this image. LOOK MA. I did it.

Because “having your shit together” supposedly equals success; embodies the idea that we’ve made it! We awkwardly navigated the whole transition between ‘grungy 20-year old’ and ‘grown up’. We got a job and bought a kitchen table and made a life for ourselves that was really great and cool and admirable.

But as the champagne brunch ran dry and I hugged my friends goodbye; when the door closed and it was just me and my sweatpants and half of a leftover cheeseball from the night before, that image of what my life would look like if I had my shit together faded and all that was left was what my life actually looked like. And unfortunately, working off that mental checklist of blazers/RRSPs/lipstick, I had very little to show for my success. I barely understood what an RRSP even was. I didn’t own a kitchen table. I didn’t own a house or a pet or a plant even. My life was kind of pathetic. 

So I simply stood there staring at that leftover cheeseball, fully resenting it for being one of the ONLY THINGS TO MY NAME and feeling pretty sad while I wondered just what exactly I was supposed to do with my life. 

I did not have a life-changing revelation that day that answered that question. It didn’t come the next day either (although yes I did finish eating the cheeseball which was somewhat life-changing in of itself).

What happened was I simply continued living my life.

I started flossing more not because I had to prove anything but because the dentist kicked off 2017 by telling me it was either that or braces and like, fuck no.

I drank green smoothies for breakfast because they made me feel good and watched Good Will Hunting for the first time and couldn’t believe it had taken me this long. And as the days passed and life happened; as I continued scouring the web for the latest compilation of Biden/Obama memes and hopelessly trying to navigate the boot/pant-hem relationship, what I realized was this: I didn’t want an RRSP yet.

I didn’t want a kitchen table.

What I wanted was to spend all my money and give this damn book another shot. 

And ever since I had returned to Canada last July I had pushed this feeling to the bottom of my SOUL because I kept looking at everyone else; at all the engagement rings and mortgages and car payments and feeling like I was so pathetic and behind. I was 28 years old. I had to “get my shit together.”

But maybe I already had it together all along. I mean, do you ever really figure out just what exactly you’re supposed to do with your life? You can try, sure, and you can do things and achieve things that are really fucking rad, but no one ever actually wins. Whether you’ve got a kitchen table or not, Trump is still gonna be president and people are still going to be rude to you and you’re still going to [sometimes] be a dick to other people too. You can do as many yoga classes as you want and and you’ll still have days where you kind of hate yourself . No one ever fully ‘gets it’ and no one ever reaches a point where they’ve ‘made it.’ They’re still just doing the best they can with whatever they happen do be doing at that point in time. 

Because life is NOT some Buzzfeed checklist on ‘how to be a better adult in 2017’ – at least I hope it’s not, because I hate all of these articles that keep popping up. They have successfully manipulated me into feeling like just because I hit snooze and eat dinner in my bed from time to time, I haven’t pulled myself together yet.

But like, c’mon Buzzfeed. No I don’t own a plant and no I’m not always on time but I AM feeling so insanely pumped about life.

And maybe that’s all it comes down to – maybe ‘having your shit together’ isn’t something you can ever prove on paper. Maybe it’s simply a mutha fuckinn MINDSET. And if that’s the case, I’m flying baby. We all are, in our own ways with our own things and with our own unique contouring strategies. 

So congrats, people. Here’s to another year of having our shit together (even though every other day we’ll probably still feel weirdly insecure about ourselves and won’t know what to do about it.)


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