Have you ever gotten some disappointing news that has left you reeling and wondering “wait, what do I do now”? Ever gotten rejected from your dream school or failed that exam or had to grapple with the trauma of being cheated on and having to discuss it twice on national live TV? (Wait no…that’s just Hannah B.).
Or have you ever been underemployed, hustling weird jobs, dealing with mental health, getting kindly disinvited from several bridal parties’ group chats because you’re a sh*tty friend, deciding not to pursue law school because of your dreams! only to get rejection after rejection nailing down that coffin that keeps you stuck at your parents’ home in rural Indiana for almost a year now?
Okay, that one could just be me.
I get a hilarious amount of bad news all the time and I always wonder, “what I am supposed to do now”? Like, with the rest of my afternoon (and then you know, with my life). How do I receive shattering news and go about my day?
So here are some fun, flirty
, unhealthy distractions healthy coping mechanisms to get you through disappointment, whatever it may be:
Recognize What You’ve Lost and Mourn It For A Moment
Just kidding, go immediately distract yourself by getting Regret Bangs! They will make you happy and whole! With whimsical bangs, your life will soon look like a musical rom-com and you’re the star, kid! … And then as soon as you get out of the salon, immediately go buy thick headbands to hold them back in shame!
Try Not To Compare Yourself To Others
You may be tempted to look around at all your peers, who are gainfully employed, or happily engaged, or are on speaking terms with all of their siblings, and see how you measure up. But really, don’t be tempted to compare your constant failings with their eternal success! Though if you must compare (and indeed, you must), compare yourself to one of the many old, pasty, white Democratic presidential candidates who were brutally destroyed by Elizabeth “Policy Really Is My Middle Name” Warren during the debates. At least you are not them and your chances of becoming president are exactly the same.
Binge Watch A Show
Watch all of Four Weddings and A Funeral on Hulu in one sitting, not because it is exceptionally good, but because you consider Mindy Kaling a dear, personal friend and will do anything to support her career (and also her journey to love).
Treat Yourself To An Indulgence
Go to Culvers (In-and-Out for my West Coast friends and Friggin’ Dunkin Donuts for my East Coast friends) and just tell them to f*** you up. They know what to do (ie. an extra large order of cheese curds and a small peach frozen custard…you are trying to watch your weight for wedding season, of course).
Surround Yourself With Encouragement
In life’s greatest disappointments, it’s natural to gravitate to people who are constantly encouraging and supporting you. It’s also natural to want to lovingly strangle those people whenever they say “God’s just opening a window, girl” or “it means something even bigger and better is going to come!”. These are beautiful, well-intentioned lies. Instead, watch hours of documentaries about cult survivors, trafficking victims, and those little Thai boys who were stuck in that cave while constantly reminding yourself what a selfish piece of privileged sh*t you are. Healthy perspective is important.
Or do as I do and inappropriately process your feelings online on a scantly-viewed blog. Support from your most sardonic and edgy acquaintances will you give you enough validation to make it through the day! Getting a “I relate to that” from the girl from your college courses who always spoke like Paris Geller from Gilmore Girls and knew how to style tights is almost the same high as a paycheck.
Do Something Relaxing
Go get a massage. Pet an animal. Stress-pull out all of your eyebrow hairs. Turn your sh*tty news into a stand-up routine that you give to yourself while wearing a face-mask for way more than the recommended time. Come up with creative lies to tell your family when they ask if you found out the big news yet like “actually the office was swallowed up by a sinkhole. Tragedy. Don’t Google it”. Clean out your closet and bury yourself under all the winter clothes from five years ago that you’ll never wear again but they remind you of a happier time when you were full of promise and opportunity and the world was at your feet and your student loans payments or low alcohol tolerance hadn’t kicked in yet and cry yourself to sleep.
It’s so easy to spiral when you receive bad news. Suddenly one break-up means that love is dead. One job rejection means that your liberal arts degree is maybe not as valuable as the brochure promised. Getting moved off that project means that you were totally right, everyone does hate you, your Imposter’s Syndrome is legitimate, and Janet from Marketing totally is plotting for your role, that betch! But it’s important to ground yourself and think positively……that maybe if you spiral enough and become SO FRANTIC AND ANXIETY-RIDDEN, you’ll be the first documented medical case of someone overthinking themselves into a ten-day coma where you then wake up skinnier and fully-rested!
Connect with Nature
Ahhh, yes, when confronted with bad news, it’s important to connect with something eternal and enduring, like beautiful forests and beaches. Like those are going anywhere! As Henry David Thoreau once said “there are moments when all anxiety and stated toil are becalmed in the infinite leisure and repose of nature“. Though people often miss the ending of that quote in which he said “I super hope that my descendants don’t eff it up with unsustainable development practices that cause a climate crisis that threatens all sources of food supply, coastline communities, and future generations’ survival but ya know if they do, they at least do everything they could to reverse it and listen to scientists and not ignore it to complain about “libtards”“.
Rethink Your Options
It’s been said that disappointment is just a re-directioning. It’s time to pivot and take another road! Maybe that means aggressively applying to reality TV shows on Bravo as a “sassy over-weight devil’s advocate”. Maybe it’s time to finally to open up your dream Etsy account selling art that reimagines the Disney Princesses as the Queer Eye cast. Maybe this whole thing was just the universe telling you to Give Up And Go To Law School, Maggie!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jokes aside, whatever you’re going through, it sucks. It sucks so bad. Your heart feels like it was stomped on, your ego feels like you farted in front of your high school crush, and your self-esteem is as low as your understanding of how to file taxes.
But you’re going to be okay. I promise.