I really struggled to find a featured photo for this post. Because I get so triggered looking at images of terrible things like natural disasters and people suffering. However, the more healing work I do, coming out of my recent breakup, the more I’m coming to terms with the fact that shit happens. And it’s really not personal. Meaning, the universe is not particular, and in general, tends to hand a bit of shit off to all of us. Every single one of us. It’s part of being on this Earth, and there is really no avoiding it. I hate this. And I wish this were not true. But it is. And I think the sooner I can wrap my brain around this, the sooner I can release myself completely, from my state of victimhood.
SHIT HAPPENS TO ALL OF US
Many of my blog posts are often inspired by podcast episodes, or other snippets of truths I absorb in the media. And this post is no different.
Last night, I was listening to Ali Wentworth’s podcast Go Ask Ali. The episode was called, “Thriving With Your Ex (and Other Life Lessons) w/ Isabel Gillies.” And in this episode, Isabel Gillies was sharing about her life and the background for her book, Happens Every Day. Basically, years ago, her husband (now ex husband) came home one day and told her he’s no longer in love with her. And he’s leaving her because he’s in love with another woman. At the time, they had a newborn baby and a toddler. Jeesh, and I thought my breakup was rough!
And Isabel took a really matter-of-fact approach to all of it. Of course, she sorted through all kinds of painful emotions and devastation. However, she had this kind of “shit happens” attitude. And hearing her speak was like seeing a light bulb illuminated right in front of me. I all of a sudden just realized that terrible things happen to all of us, and I’m no exception. And neither are you. This poor woman experienced such heartbreak, and she just kinda dealt with it. Because shit happens, and what are you gonna do?!
I touch on my struggle with this, and how this is an idea that I have resisted for so long, in my article, “Struggling Right Now To Accept Life On Life’s Terms.”
MAKE ART WHEN SHIT HAPPENS
Recently, I’ve been sharing a lot on this blog about how my art-making has been helping me deal with my breakup grief. However, I’m certainly not the only one who has been utilizing this valuable tool.
My sister and I are kind of obsessed with Anna Marie Tendler. And apparently, Bazaar is as well, because they just recently wrote a beautiful article about her. It’s called, “Anna Marie Tendler Turns The Lens On Herself.” We are obsessed with her story because she was married to John Mulaney, a stand-up comedian who we used to love. However, he abruptly divorced her out of nowhere and ran off with Olivia Munn. He and Olivia just had a baby boy together, only a little over a year after he broke up with Anna Marie. What the fuck, asshole!?
Anyway, Anna Marie has always been an artist, and she’s been making incredible art since this whole thing happened. Her Instagram feed is so beautiful, and my sister and I are just fascinated (and horrified) by the whole story.
Snippets from Anna Marie Tendler’s Instagram feed @annamtendler
LIFE ISN’T ALWAYS FAIR
I struggle a bit more to understand when certain people’s lives tend to have an out-of-proportionate amount of tragedy. For instance, my friend just told me that her girlfriend’s son just passed away. And this particular friend also just lost her husband only 14 months ago. The poor woman, I can’t even imagine. And yet, we hear these kinds of stories all of the time. Some people lose everything. And others have a much more fortunate existence. Even though shit happens to them as well, I don’t know. I can’t really make sense of how some have it better than others.
It’s really hard to pin down, because the truth is, no one knows the full story of anyone’s life. And this friend may have live a charmed life for years, and is only now experiencing tragedy. Or, perhaps, it has a deeper, more spiritual meaning. And maybe this is this woman’s soul assignment. She came here into this life to experience certain things, in order to heal and grow as a soul. And for you and I, perhaps we have different soul assignments. Who knows? No one does, and that’s the point. And that scares the fuck out of me!
I WANT TO CONTROL EVERYTHING
Since I grew up in quite a bit of trauma, there’s also this part of me that feels like I’m done suffering. I survived that time in my life, and I don’t want to experience any more shit. However, there are so many people out there who have suffered way more than I have. And there are so, so, so many things I have to be thankful for. In general, my life is good!
Listen to my podcast episode where I share more about my control issues, “Grappling With The Okayness Of Not Being In Control.”
But seriously, what is my problem? Why do I have such an aversion to bad things? Am I the only one here who organizes my life around avoiding catastrophe? I do believe in my case, loosening my grip on this is really what is required to find a healthy balance. But I definitely struggle.
SO, WHAT DO I DO?
Gosh, I feel like such a media-pusher. And I don’t mean to be. However, I’ve been getting so inspired by the people I follow and the things I see out there in the internet ether. Take a look at this!
Screen shots from one of @corymuscara‘s recent Instagram reels.
What a beautiful perspective! And I have actually been keeping this in mind ever since my breakup. Because honestly, the period after my last breakup, 15 years ago, was incredibly fruitful and life-altering. I ended up moving to New York City and getting a job at the prestigious Metropolitan Museum of Art. I had amazing adventures, made some beautiful friends, and became more myself than I had ever been before. And none of that would have happened if I would have stayed in that relationship. I had to face a painful ending in order to experience happier beginnings. I just had to. And maybe my ex as well has tons of new adventures waiting for him. That would not have been possible if he would have stayed with me. And of course, I hope the same is true for my path!
So, I guess that sometimes bad shit has to happen, in order for more good shit to happen. As I’ve mentioned before when I talk about death: an ending is both a closed and an open door. Endings make space for the new to come in. And yes, it hurts, and it can be scary and feel terrible. But life is a ride of ups and downs. And we’re all here, so we might as well just hang on tight and enjoy the ride!
THANK YOU FOR READING!
So, what do you think? How well do you handle things when shit happens in your life? Do you fall apart like me? Or, are you cool as a cucumber and just go with it? Do you have an experience where something seemingly terrible happened, but it led to better things? I would love to hear your thoughts!
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Featured photo by Stephen Radford on Unsplash
Woman with a baby photo by Jenna Norman on Unsplash