I’ve been finding myself channeling my inner T-Swizzle these days. No, I don’t have an excessively tall/hunky/rich/ DJ on my arm – but I’ve been consistently finding myself in situations lately where I have to keep reminding myself to “Shake It Off”.
I’ve been writing this post in my head for like, two weeks now. I keep thinking about how I’ll word it and what I’ll include and what portions of the story are okay to be public and which portions should remain only in the brains of yours truly and a handful of others. It’s just hard when a lot of this is so fresh and so many people are involved – and then when you look at the big picture, it’s super interesting how woven everyone’s lives really are – how we are all affected, either directly or indirectly, by the actions of others. And how, even months down the line, we can still be haunted by things that happened in past.
That being said, Taylor has essentially written my theme song, which I find myself reciting (and blasting in my car) on multiple occasions throughout the week:
I stay out too late
Got nothing in my brain
That’s what people say, mmm-mmm
That’s what people say, mmm-mmm
I go on too many dates
But I can’t make them stay
At least that’s what people say, mmm-mmm
That’s what people say, mmm-mmm
But I keep cruising
Can’t stop, won’t stop moving
It’s like I got this music in my mind
Saying, “It’s gonna be alright.”
‘Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off
Heart-breakers gonna break, break, break, break, break
And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off
Now, hear me out. I’ve never been one to praise the name of Taylor Swift to the masses. I’m not an uber fan who pays hundreds of dollars to get floor tickets to her concerts (although, full disclosure: I did try to get tickets when she was in LA and failed majorly). I don’t knit her sweaters in hopes that she blogs about them. I’m just a twenty-something girl, like her, who is going through some crazy, weird, heart-wrenching shit (pardon my French) lately. And when life gets tough, or I feel overwhelmed, I throw on her music and hope that the gospel of Taylor will somehow fix all my problems.
It’s not secret that I’ve been attempting to date. I’ve gone out on some good ones and some that literally make my skin crawl just thinking about them (one even resulted in a $96 parking ticket). In the six months of my newfound single-dom, there have been two guys that have gotten under my skin and obviously, both of those have essentially gone nowhere.
On top of that, I woke up to a brutal, ridiculous novel of a text message from an old friend a couple of weeks ago that had me breaking down in the car on my way to work. This incident, combined with a guy, and the fact that they were layered on the same day, had me a feeling like a broken-up mess in the shower that night. I just felt empty and sad and used and alone and stood there doubting myself and everything I’ve accomplished these past six months. You know that phrase, “one step forward, two steps back”? Accurate. I just stood in the shower with the water beating down on me and just kept having to tell myself: You’re better than this. You’re more than this.
Granted, it’s all easier said than done. It’s hard when the guy you’re developing feelings for doesn’t necessarily feel the same way. It’s even harder when someone you were once sister-close with sends you a long-winded message via text that essentially breaks your heart all over again, six months after the initial explosion.
To get both things on the same day? Brutal.
It’s hard. Life is hard. And a lot of the time, I feel like I’m learning all of this for the first time. I have to keep turning to my friends and my family and just keep asking, “Am I doing this right?… Am I a good person?…Am I still lovable?” Because, believe me, it’s incredibly difficult to keep your head held high with a smile on your face when you feel so jaded about so many different aspects of where your life is going.
This is a weird, rough, extraordinary world we live in. I guess where I’m going with this, in a long-winded and roundabout way, is that the haters will hate. The players will play. The heart breakers, well, they’ll break your heart ten times over and then stomp all over the pieces to make their point known. But all you can do, all anyone can do, is keep trying to shake it off – keep trying to shed the old skin to make way for the new.
You can’t sit here obsessing over the past or letting it control you or your actions, you have to put yourself out there and constantly work at making a new name for yourself, regardless of all the people out there who don’t necessarily have your best interests at heart. You’re worthy of more than that. I’m worthy of more than that. All you can attempt to do is to be the best person you can possibly be and let your success speak LOUDLY for itself.
There are so many fantastic people, people who have the ability of changing (and saving) your life in dramatic and extraordinary ways. And then there are the people who are meant to come into your life to teach you the necessary lessons – and then walk away, leaving only the memory of your story behind. Sometimes it’s just rough and incredibly difficult to distinguish between the two. And other times, it’s even harder to walk away when you don’t want to.
So today, tomorrow, next week, next month – I’ll just keep shaking it off and constantly keep reminding myself that there is no RIGHT way of living or getting through your twenties in one piece.   We all find ourselves, like I did, doubting our actions and our abilities in the shower (or wherever it is that you reflect). But then again, we all have epically wonderful moments of greatness where your heart is so full and you feel like you’re finally, FINALLY, getting the hang of this whole living thing.
Until then – just continue, as my dear friend Kellen likes to say, “doing you.”
Be the best version of yourself you can possibly be – and throw yourself into every action and activity that you set your mind out to accomplish. At the end of the day, despite the players and the haters and whomever else is out there that may be holding you back, the only person who can really keep you from accomplishing your dreams is yourself.
Just try your hardest to shake off that negativity and embrace the greatness that (no doubt) lives inside of you.