I would like to spend a whole blog post talking about how incredibly stupid and hurtful the phrase “we all have the same 24 hours in a day” is.
- There’s this simple fact called “children”. Just one of many things that are LEGITIMATE REASONS why Person A may has more time available than Person B.
- There’s this thing called HEALTH. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad, and when it’s bad, sometimes it takes some time.
- There’s DIFFERENT BRAINS. Yeah. Some have different pathways than you, different chemical interactions happening, some brains (housed inside people just as worthy as you) take more time to shift gears, or get to a place emotionally where work can even begin. AND THAT’S OKAY.
- There’s SEASONS OF LIFE. If you have 3 jobs while in college because otherwise you’ll be homeless, your time SHOULD NOT be spent on something that may get you freezing to death in an alleyway.
- There’s this weird concept called WEALTH, and this other thing called POVERTY. You cannot live in filth, or you will get sick. Someone has to clean up around you. If you can pay someone else to do that, oh look! More time!
- There’s an entire world out there, some parts of which ARE BEING BOMBED EVERY DAY. But never fear, children, while body parts land around you, YOU HAVE AS MUCH TIME IN THE DAY AS THE PEOPLE MAKING MONEY OFF YOUR DEATH! And therefore, you can “do” “it”!
In case you haven’t noticed, this phrase ANGERS me. “It’s what we do with them that makes us different”? PUH-LEASE!! We’re different because of our biology, our parents, our experiences, our genders, our colors, we have COMPLETELY DIFFERENT LIVES than the person next to us on the street. To look at someone who is struggling and tell them “You just have to stop complaining and “work harder”, and if you think you haven’t got the time to “make your dreams come true”, then just look at me, a cis het white dude with affluent parents, I have the same 24 hours as you and I’m rolling in success!” is to say “I am an ignorant assfool and everyone should begin shunning me immediately.”
Listen to ME, if you’re struggling, if you’re down, if you’re wondering how you’ll EVER get there, if you’ve heard this phrase and it made your teeth clench: You are okay. YOU are okay. Maybe your situation sucks, and believe me, I know the difference between “my prom didn’t go the way I wanted it to” and REALLY SUCKY SITUATIONS. Whatever is going on, YOU are okay. You are not your situation. You are so much more than that. And you CAN change it, but probably not overnight and definitely not by pretending you live in a completely different universe where all 24 hours are just Yours to just Do whatever you want to Do with them. Do NOT put that on yourself.
DO NOT be angry with yourself because you’re not “there” yet. DO NOT be discouraged because someone you know is “more successful” than you. And DO NOT EVER believe someone who tries to tell you that it’s all your fault, because you didn’t “make time”. (Don’t even get me started on the phrase “make time”!)
The next time you hear this phrase, especially if spoken out loud, LAUGH. Seriously. Laugh out loud. And shake it off. And if you feel like it, explain to the Basic Person who spoke it how UNSPEAKABLY CRUEL it is to someone who has to spend 3 hours a day that you don’t have to spend taking care of their skin because they have a rare disorder, or taking care of their kid who has special needs, or going to the next job because they get paid a fraction of what their white male coworker makes. Or don’t. You aren’t obligated to tell every Basic Person they’re basic. Let them be if you want, you’ve got places to go.
Most lives have some time that could be spent “better”. Sure, if you log what you do for a week, you’ll probably be surprised how much of it was TV or games on your phone. But for some of you, there will be nothing like that. Whatever you have, whatever skills, resources, time, money, relationships, emotional skills, etc. that you have at this exact moment is probably not enough to propel you directly to the heights of success that you’ve dreamed of, BUT IT IS ENOUGH TO TAKE ONE MORE STEP.
If your life is not the life described by this HELLISH MEME, it’s okay. Here’s my one piece of advice that I truly believe can be applied to anyone (besides “love God”) in any situation: Do not underestimate the power of one small change. I do not say this lightly. I am a classic perfectionist/all-or-nothing thinker. When something bad happens, I take it into my soul where it festers and reinforces all the other festering things. When something good happens, I forget four seconds later. It’s BAD, y’all. Don’t be like that. Cling to the good things. Celebrate each step of progress. Do it YOUR way, the way that makes sense to you. Stop listening to people who tell you you’re doing it wrong. It’s better than doing it their way and ignoring your own agency.
Ask for help. Find someone who understands, and leave behind all those who just want to sneer at you. And if you are in an abusive relationship, seek help. Email me if you need to. Let go of the stress that does not belong to you, that you’ve taken on because someone convinced you that your experiences and your life are invalid. Tell them to eat a duck fart, and keep going. I wish I could reach out and make everybody feel peace for one damn second so they could breath and look at themselves not as a failure but as beautiful creature who needs love and care and tenderness but who is also capable of amazing bravery and toughness and earth shaking.
I love you my lovelies. Please love yourself. I don’t even care if it sounds cheesy. I love cheese. I put goat cheese in every soup I make, it’s pathological.
DO YOU, BOO!