ASH AMBIRGE

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I Hate Mantras, And YET—I Love This One for When You’re Kinda Sorta Shitting Your Pants

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired, Feeling Disillusioned With Life

I have a mantra (despite wanting to slit my throat upon hearing the word “mantra.”) Are you ready? My mantra is this:

WHO CARES HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT IT? GO ANYWAY.

Which sounds really kinda wrong, right? We’re a culture based on f-e-e-e-e-e-e-l-i-n-g-s. But sometimes, you have to override the ones that I call false positives. Like, even if your bitch-ass is scared to do something as simple as go to a SoulCycle class, where you will definitely not know how to clip into those death traps, and you will definitely put your lack of physical fitness on display, and you will definitely be exposed as Someone Who Does Not Know Anything. Who cares how you feel about it? Go. Anyway.

And even if you’re doing that thing where you don’t want to go to that very fancy restaurant with those very fancy people because you are imagining The Worst Case Scenario and all you can picture is ordering a martini and the waiter asking you if you want gin or vodka and you’re all like, oh shit, and then the very next question is, “which kind?” and you have no idea and then you’re sitting there stuttering and then you think that everyone is looking at you, wishing you and your basic self had never slithered in. But, guess what? All of this is an entire fictional fairytale made up in your big, fantastic head. It doesn’t actually exist. Emotions are irrational little fuckers. So, who cares how you feel about it? GO ANYWAY.

Another example. Because I am an example whore. This summer, I’m going (back) to Scotland. Because apparently, I am also a Scottish whore. Which doesn’t sound right at all, but at the same time, sounds delightful. If you could be any kind of whore, it should definitely be a Scottish whore. Anyway, where were we? Oh, yes. I’m going (back) to Scotland because I, greedy wannabe kilt-wearer that I am, have decided to enroll myself in an intensive summer course @ a jewelry-making studio, for three whole weeks, where I’m going to learn how to solder silver and set gemstones and probably engrave secret messages in EVERYTHING (which is now basically my M.O. in life, get ready) and you know what’s great about this? Nobody cares if I’m bad! Nobody! It’s a school. It’s for bad people. Otherwise, schools wouldn’t exist. SCHOOLS ARE THE ONLY HOPE THAT BAD PEOPLE HAVE. And by bad, I don’t mean naughty, unless we’re drinking whiskey after school, in which case hide your children. And probably the rest of your whiskey. But, to be clear: we can all rest-assured that my rings are going to come out looking like tiny little drunk octopuses, oozing all over the place, not smooth or glorious at all, and then I am going to force you all to stare at awkward pictures of it all on Instagram. So even if I am kinda nervous and even if I am like, “what have I gotten myself into?!” and even if I worry that maybe the teacher won’t like me and maybe I’ll come across like one of those overeager little American twats, and maybe everyone will secretly talk about the overbearing broad behind her back, I remind myself to stop caring how I feel about it—and go anyway.

There is such a fear of looking like a complete incompetent a-hole, that we often don’t do the things we really, really want to do—and how sad is this? This is so sad. I realized years ago that I had to completely ignore myself and go anyway. Who cares what you think about it? Who cares how you feel about it? Feelings are overrated. GO ANYWAY. Go, despite fearing that you will be bad. Go, despite every self-doubt. Go, despite all of the agonizing overthinking.

Ignore yourself once a day as a rule.

Because, I can promise you this: you might not like how it feels. But it's the only way to like who you become.

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