“If you hate your life, you haven’t’ seen enough of it. If you hate your life, it’s because your life is too small and doesn’t fit you.” ― Augusten Burroughs
When I find myself hopelessly depressed, it’s a feeling similar to the crushing sensation of claustrophobia.
I feel trapped within the confines of my own world, as if the walls are slowly closing in around me.
My life feels packed airtight, with not enough free space to breathe.
When I’m feeling so deeply stuck in the mud, when I find myself feeling enclosed in the stifling banality of routine, when I seemed to have lost desire for all that once fueled me — the only way I’m able to find that coveted little bright light at the end of the seemingly endless tunnel is to expand my world.
I need to be reminded I’m but a tiny speck of dust in a colossal universe and the planet is teeming with stimulating opportunities and electrifying experiences.
When you are consumed by the pressing negative energy of others, direly cemented in the shackles of the town where you grew up, alienated and misunderstood at school or ready to bang your head up against a brick wall every time you so little as think about enduring another mundane workday at the dismal job you soulfully hate — the time has come to make your world BIGGER.
You’ve outgrown your life and are ready to make space for the shiny zeal of newness:
1. If you hate your job, get a new one.
Unless you’ve been blessed with the rare combination of a massive trust fund and zero ambition, you will spend a massive portion of your life at your place of employment.
If the contents of your days are spent pulling your hair out of your head whilst doing tasks you absolutely hate — you’re on the fast track to a permanent residence in the fiery pits of depression.
If you loathe your job with ferocious intensity, something is wrong.
It’s time to make a drastic change, spread your wings and soar through the life-altering journey of a career change.
Starting anew at work is cripplingly daunting and wildly scary but also madly exciting.
A six-month (give or take) transitional period of uncomfortable soul-searching is far superior to a lifetime spent strapped to a desk soaking in the toxicity of deep unhappiness.
2. If you hate your friends, meet new people.
Sometimes when you dare to pause and take in your surroundings; you will come to the realization you have absolutely nothing in common with your friends anymore.
You discover you and your nearest and dearest are bound to one another for the wrong reasons, like routine or circumstance or location.
It’s sad to feel like you’re residing on the outside of your circle — displaced in a group of friends that once felt like your family.
There is no feeling lonelier than feeling isolated and disconnected in a sea of familiar people.
It’s okay to grow out of friendships. While it’s sad to let go of what was, the beautiful part is this: The world is packed with a plethora of hyper-fascinating entities also seeking real friendship and connection.
Human beings are eager to meet new, fresh, like-minded people. Don’t be shy — head to a bar by yourself and strike the match of conversation.
Get used to going out alone, for the more fiercely independent a creature you are, the more you are actively throwing yourself into the mix of new friendship possibilities.
3. If you hate where you live, move somewhere new.
You can’t grow when you’re forever tethered to the place you’ve always lived. You will become painfully uncomfortable being so comfortable — excessive restlessness physically hurts.
Refuse to be the person who gives up and sits on her hands complaining about how unstimulated she is in her environment when she has all the power in the world to make a change.
Yes, it DOES take work. It takes practicing the tricky art of saving money and enduring loneliness while in the beginning of your new adventure — but it’s the ultimate way to widen your world and relieve your depression.
Remember: Nothing is set in stone. Nothing in this gorgeous world is permanent — if you hate your new town or city even more than the one you flew from, you can always move again. And again.
You have every right to sift from city to city until you find the place that fits you.
As the wise Joan Didion advises: “You have to pick the places you don’t walk away from.”
4. If you hate your partner, move on.
If your relationship is pulling you into the ground — cut the cord. Your partner is solely there to enhance your life and make it better, not more terrible and bleak.
There seems to be a collective fear of singleness sweeping across the great expanse of our generation — when the real fear should lie in a life spent with someone who brings you down.
Break free from the codependent mold, and only attach yourself to those who lift you up.
5. If you hate the way you’re treated, don’t stand for it.
The most empowering part of being an adult is this: You don’t have to accept abuse from anyone ever again.
When we’re kids, we are often trapped in hopeless situations that are completely out of our control.
As grownups, we have the awesome capability to stick up for ourselves and leave our abusers choking in the dust of the past.
If your extended family, coworkers, friends, lovers or parents are still mistreating you, don’t stand for it.
You are a STRONG, powerful, fully realized human being with the wherewithal to stick up for yourself.
6. If you hate the familiar, fly somewhere new.
Nothing will help you regain your lust for life like traveling.
Getting on a plane and peering down at the tiny houses and the pint-sized bodies of waters will free you of your apathy and put it all in perspective.
Tasting exotic flavors, listening to unfamiliar inflections, hearing new words in strange accents, gallivanting around strange cities and indulging your eyeballs in brand new sights is like an electric shock treatment for the soul.
7. If you hate feeling pressured, create your own set of standards.
You hit your mid-20s, and suddenly, there is a HEAP of pressure thrown upon you to have the following in place:
When you don’t have those things by the time you hit your twenty-seventh birthday, too many people want to crawl into a little hole deep within the earth, curl up and sleep in the dirt of shame.
Let me let you in on a little secret: It’s all bullsh*t. You get to decide the course of your life.
Create your very own customized sets of standards — ones that are unique and make you genuinely happy. Liberate yourself from the shackles of societal pressures, babe.
8. If you hate being unnoticed, put yourself out there.
Are you fed up with watching life from the sidelines? Well, then start playing in the game.
Contrary to popular belief, the thrilling game of life isn’t exclusive to models, moguls and media mega-stars — it’s for all us.
So welcome to the big bad world. Dive in with a reckless abandon and never look back.