From the moment our blue-lit faces take their first scroll through Instagram in the am to our last sharing of a savage meme with our #girlsquad before we hit the sack, our daily experience is dotted with reminders to live our best lives.
Obviously, it’s tiring.
Massaging your psyche with images of people supping champagne atop the Eiffel Tower, or rejoicing about their dramatic ‘before and after’ body transformations can leave us feeling like we’re simply not doing enough. That we don’t have enough control or structure in our lives. That we simply aren’t using the hours in our day as wisely as Beyonce.
Structure and control undoubtedly can take us a long way towards achieving our goals in life. My goal is to run a successful business and own property. My relentless day-in day-out application to task and commitment to turning up physically and emotionally for myself and my team has brought that desire to fruition.
But structure and control can swiftly devolve into a variety of other issues that can affect our lives: from eating disorders to anxiety problems, forcing our diaries and our bodies to represent a state of living our best lives is a kind of cruelty to our softness.
So today I say: fuck living your best life. Today, let us rejoice in the beauty of living your worst life. The one that doesn’t involve juice cleanses, jade face rollers or holding our tummies in when we stand up. Living your worst life – for the purposes of this article – doesn’t mean engaging in destructive behaviour or negligence. Rather, it means listening to your innermost desires from the soft, intuitive and goddamn tired part of you that needs a lollipop and a hug.
I recently experienced a bout of three weeks of ill-health, which was very humbling. I am usually in rudely good health, and I’m very good at structure, control and process (studded with glace cherries of play and joy, of course). I was floored when my body rebelled and threw my ideal week out the window in lieu of coughing, fever, the odd vom and lying on the couch. When reduced to my most vulnerable and animal of states, I just wanted the comfort of living my worst life and indulging in all the things that made me feel good. In today’s blog, I present a few ways that you too can put a nail in the coffin on the #Instabaddies demanding your relentless compliance to self-control and professional excellence. Consider them your hall-pass to a dastardly form of non-Instagrammable self-care.
- Uber McDonalds. Is there anything more filthy? Probs not. Having the fastest of fast food hand-delivered to your door is wrongtown which makes it so, so right. I heartily enjoyed my oil-stained luncheon of Uber’ed Maccas featuring nuggets as entree (because why not), quarter pounder, chips and a Diet Coke. Embracing your hypocrisy and boujee-ness is key to living your worst life. Enjoy sans regrets.
- Stay in bed. Don’t feel like going to that yoga class you paid hard cash for? Don’t go. No need to feel guilty about that either: your body is telling you it wants to rest. So stay in bed – hell, bring breakfast or lunch in there too. Nap. Do oracle cards. Listen to podcasts. Read. Watch Love and Hip Hop. This is even better if you are self-employed and choose to stay in bed on a Monday.
- Velour tracksuits. You’ve never felt comfort ’til you’ve enjoyed the sweet embrace of a matching velour tracksuit. I have a Rajneeshi-fuschia colored one I particularly enjoy wearing to Barkly Square or the city. Fuck the haters, wear the velour and live your worst life in decadent comfort – everyone else will wish they had your panache and confidence.
- Suburban Day Out. You know what’s really good fun? Going to Northland (or similar) with your girlfriends (or on your own) and then browsing through Target, Kmart and Priceline for a couple of hours, before going to the cinema to see a film without any artistic merit. If you throw in a dirty foodcourt lunch, you know you’re onto a good thing and you’re definitely living your worst life and loving it. *snaps*
- Say no. Many of us have problems establishing emotional and professional boundaries in our lives. We work too late. We go to events that we don’t want to. This stuff is exhausting. The emotional labour it takes to work with or for people we don’t wanna, or attend events that aren’t our bag takes a toll. It’s OK to cancel plans. No big hand is going to come out of the sky and squash you if you don’t attend Cynthia’s Tupperware party. If you feel that there will be a social consequence for not attending something, reflect on the value of relationships which are overly-conditional.
Everyone has their own version of living their worst lives, but they’re invariably comforting, sometimes un-PC and offering kindness to the little kid within that just wants to party with Cardi (loudly, and in the living room).
This the #danklyf I strongly support. The rest on a lillypad of leisure so critical to keeping gas in the tank. There’s always tomorrow to live my best life and strive against the tide – but today it’s all about boundaries and velour.
So in agreement with what you have written, especially when I am having one of those days. Happy to stay curled on my couch and sip on ‘too many’ glasses of wine. My worst life!