It’s times like those when I take a cue from my Dad. My Dad is a nutball and goof, and secretly a great lover of performing (read: dramatic) though many people think he’s calm because he doesn’t really shine as well in big crowds. For all I know, they may even scare him, though I’ve never tried to confirm that theory. He’s a hardworking man, who at one time worked three jobs (glad that’s over now!) But when you do all that hard work, you usually feel like you don’t get appreciated as much as you should. And it makes sense! Other people didn’t do all that hard work, so they don’t know how hard it really was! But my Dad has solved that for all the years I’ve been alive, at least, by telling himself exactly how awesome he is. He’s like his own cheer squad. He’ll be huffing and puffing and carrying a sofa up the stairs, with my help or someone else’s if he doesn’t want to get in trouble for hurting his health, and he’ll be saying the whole time what a great guy he is. Or he’ll be dragging out the trash, and reminding himself, out loud of course, what a nasty job it is and how wonderful it is that he volunteered to do it. Silly? Yes. Definitely. But it’s not like he says that kind of stuff in casual conversations and brags all the time. He just has the art of patting himself on the back down pat.
It may be one of the best skills he ever taught me, as I would use that all the time during those rough teen years and end up feeling much better about myself than my peers did. After all, who really understands how hardworking you are, besides you?
And you deserve a personal cheer squad. There are people out there who depend on you, and believe in you, and want you to be the person you were meant to be, and the “you” you’ve always dreamed of being. Plus, if you have a dog, you have an entire hype squad right there. So find something about yourself that encourages you, even something tiny.
Then go out into the world and smile and volunteer and help people and make a difference and feel proud of yourself. Because that’s the only way to stop existing and start to truly live! And if you are going to tell yourself how awesome you are after all of that, well, who would really blame you?