Needing Change

Dear Becca,

I’m at a point in my life where I need a change. I’m wondering how you got the courage to pack up what you can and move across the country?

Sincerely,

Needing Change


Hi Needing Change,

True courage is facing change even when you are scared and that kind of courage is something that already resides within your heart.

All you need is confidence in yourself and faith in your own abilities.

I struggled through my late teenage years and into my early twenties. I worked overnight shifts, waitressed at a diner, bagged groceries all while living on my own and attending college full-time. I trudged through those years pleading for a goddamn break, wishing my parents could help me financially, dreaming that I could be like the other kids in college.

But despite my pleas for a different life, I made it though and I am beyond grateful for those shitty days where I was exhausted and broke as fuck. Those years taught me self-reliance. And no one can take that away from me.

The faith in myself, the confidence in my own abilities is what I used as fuel in the face of the biggest change of my life. When I moved to Charlotte, I never once thought of myself as brave or courageous. I was really scared, but I kept telling myself that I was resourceful and persevering.

I packed up my life because I knew I could.

I drove across the country because I knew I could.

I started fresh in a new city because I knew I could.

I did all this despite being absolutely terrified because I fucking knew I had it in me.

And I’d be damned to not give it everything I had.

So, Needing Change, I want you to think back to a time when you struggled. I want you to think of a time when shit hit the fan and you felt like throwing in the towel. Instead of trying to summon courage as if it’s some sort of elusive spirit, tell yourself firmly that you’ve made it before and you will make it again. As long as you’re confident in yourself, you can’t be told jack shit otherwise.

Pick somewhere, apply for jobs, put a deadline on the calendar and get rid of anything that doesn’t bring you joy.

Get in your car (or on the plane, boat, bike, whatever, etc.) and go. Because you can. You already have the courage in plenty.

XO,

B

Worrying to Death

Hi Becca,

How do you stop worrying about what others think? How do you worry about yourself first?

Thanks,

Worrying to Death


Dear Worrying to Death,

It’s difficult to find balance in a world so hypercritical and centered around perfection. I climbed into my car last night to drive home from work and when the radio cut on there was a dermatologist commercial. The tag line for this commercial was: We’re here to fix all the thing you don’t like about your skin. I sat there, stunned, thinking about all the little girls staring at themselves in the mirror wondering what society thinks of their acne, freckles, moles, birth marks, stretch marks, scars… That their imperfect skin somehow needs to be fixed.

I stare at billboards and magazines often times thinking how inundated we are with messages that we aren’t good enough. We’ll never be young enough, we’ll never embrace age with enough grace. Our skin sucks, our hair needs to be full, shiny and strong. Men won’t ask us out for a second date if our nails aren’t done (yes, I read that somewhere). We wear too much makeup yet it’s controversial if we don’t. Too much sex, too little sex. We eat too much or we’re told to eat a hamburger. Exercise more. Exercise less. Our clothes are too tight, too baggy, too conservative, too short.

No wonder you can’t stop worrying about what others think, baby.

The worry doesn’t cut off suddenly and everything is fine, but you can begin a journey of self-love and acceptance.

Start with acknowledging and accepting that you are not perfect nor will you ever be. You have beautiful faults and flaws that make you exactly who you are. The human condition is imperfect. However, we are surrounded by love not in spite of imperfection but because of it. Imperfections are a challenge to human compassion and you can confront the judgments of others with compassion and empathy.

You must have compassion for yourself first though and then you can have compassion for other people. One day, you’ll begin to realize that others’ judgements have nothing to do with you, but reflect their inability to tolerate imperfection within themselves.

Having compassion is just like the instructions we hear on airplanes just before takeoff. In the event of an emergency, you must put your mask on first and then you can help other people with their mask.

Put your mask on first. Take deep breaths. Feel your lungs fill with life and realize we’re all close to impact. You do what you can to save yourself and then you can act with compassion towards others.

XO,