EARN Your Misery

There are very few things that irritate me as much as watching people wallowing in their own misery and doing nothing to get out of it. There are a lot of awful situations in this world, and many of us have every right to be miserable. But if the universe is lobbing rotten tomatoes at you, the least you can do is try to duck and dodge. For God’s sake, don’t sit there and passively take it. Try your best to do something about it.

I was profoundly unhappy for years. Decades, to be honest. But I was always trying to change that. If I wasn’t in therapy, I was in school to try to educate myself into another career. If I wasn’t doing that, I was breaking out of toxic relationships, or working on my health, or relocating. The vast majority of the things I tried didn’t work at all. Some things made my life even worse. I have a rare talent for mucking things up. But there was no denying the fact that I was trying. I was doing something. I was making an effort.

And it wasn’t easy. A lot of the time I wanted to give up hope. It takes energy to dig yourself out of a dark hole, and when you’re unhappy, you don’t have any to spare. But you have to find it.

So, if you’re in an unhappy relationship, don’t just sit there and suffer. Position yourself so that you can move on. It might take you years, but you won’t regret it.

Not happy with your financial situation? Don’t resign yourself to your current job. Research careers that will be more lucrative. Learn something new. Put in some applications. Network.

Don’t like the way you’re living your life? Figure out how you would like things to change, determine what you’d need to do to make those changes, and start making plans. One thing I can guarantee you is that the world owes you nothing, so sitting around and waiting for it to pay that debt is an exercise in futility. You need to blaze your own trail.

I’m not suggesting that everything you attempt is going to be a huge success. That only happens in the movies. I’m not even implying that you will be happier 10 years from now than you are at this moment. But at the very least, you’ll have earned your misery. You won’t have felt sorry for yourself. You can dance in the eye of your storm and shout, “Bring it on!!! I can take it!” If you’ve tried and failed, well, then you can be miserable with your head held high. That counts for something.

But then again, you might surprise yourself. Things might just work out. Hey, it took me 50 years. But I can now say with all sincerity that it was worth it.

You can do it! [Image credit: markbrodinsky.com]
You can do it!
[Image credit: markbrodinsky.com]

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