My friend, Andrew W.K.
If you told me 10 years ago that I would be practically fainting over this guy, I would of said you were bananas, because, c’mon. Dude likes to sing about partying, wears dirty clothes and likes bloody noses (cue the snicker and the eye roll).
I don’t remember how I stumbled across his advice column for the Village Voice, but I was in love right away. His message is simple: every second you’re alive is a second not to be wasted. Every rotten thing that happens to you in your life is an opportunity to change and grow even if you don’t want to. Life is way more enjoyable if you are in awe of the little things and recognize that life is impermanent. Joy is vastly more pleasurable than walking around crabby all the time. If you woke up this morning, hey, that’s a WIN! Even though that might be the only good thing that happened today, well, sometimes that’s good enough. As my grandpa used to say, “I’m breathing, right?”
Now, I’m not saying that everyone needs to be happy allllll of the time. I mean, it was just yesterday that I threw a fit because somebody stole my salad dressing out of the fridge at work. Sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes you have to go to Subway and get a Cold Cut Combo because now you can’t eat your salad without said dressing. BUT, trust me, there are worse things in life.
If you knew me from ages 18-39, you would know I was THE crabbiest person ever. Then, one and a half years ago my mother died suddenly. I’m not going to pretend that we had the best relationship all of the time, but I loved her. She was my MOM. I know that everyone says their life changes after a major event like this, but it’s no joke. It’s the truth.
I now have little tolerance for people that complain about THINGS all of the time. People that get bent out of shape over long lines or gum stuck to their shoe. There always has to be a different way of looking at things. Is there 10 feet of snow on the ground? Great! Now I can go sledding! My kid threw up all over my pants? Whatever, that’s what washing machines (or garbage cans) are for! To be clear, I am in NO way minimizing people facing really, really tough things like the loss of a child or a terminal illness. Those are completely different scenerios where higher feats of strength are required, for sure. I’m just talking about the grumps walking around, letting every.single.thing RUIN THEIR LIVES.
To put it VERY simply, dealing with my mom’s death was hard. I was looking for reassurance that life IS good and that there IS meaning in it all. In the end, reading Mr. W.K.’s advice column/Facebook posts/interviews after my mom died helped me more than seeing Mr. Counselor for five sessions (no offense, guy!). I decided that the only way to grow was to embrace the loss instead of ignoring it seems to be working.
Click on the this link and you can meet Andrew for yourself. Welcome to the party, friends.