A professor once asked my class to describe our life outlook or personal motto in 5 words or less. I’m pretty sure at the time I chose “my eyelashes catch my sweat” which is the end part of a longer lyric, “I have the perfect body, but sometimes I forget. I have the perfect body, because my eyelashes catch my sweat,” from Regina Spektor’s song Folding Chair. I’ve thought about that exercise since then quite a lot (not sure why it stuck in my brain, but it did), and I realize that I have two other really good life mottos that are 5 words long: “and this too shall pass” and “do it for the story” – these are my words to live by
I have the perfect body because my eyelashes catch my sweat:
Our skin can regenerate and heal itself, we never have to think about breathing because our body does it involuntarily, we shiver when we’re cold because it’s our bodies’ way of moving our muscles to keep us warm, and of course, we aren’t constantly blinded by dust, dirt, and sweat because we have eyelashes to keep it all out. Our bodies are freaking awesome and the more body positivity and self-love I can promote, the better. It’s the first line though that rings especially true, “I have the perfect body but sometimes I forget,” because I often times do forget, and I instead obsess over that little bit of stomach pudge, or my ridiculously large feet, or my knobbly knees, when in wake of all the amazing things that my body does for me it’s these “flaws” that should be forgotten.
And this too shall pass:
when I was first diagnosed with depression and undertook the arduous task of adjusting to my medication so that I could function like a normal person, this phrase kept me going for longer than I thought possible. When you practice mindfulness, you can accept the way that you are feeling because you understand that it will change, because everything changes, everything is always changing. Appreciate the happy fun moments in your life as they happen, and accept the bad moments, because sooner or later you’ll be back to a good feeling.
Do it for the story:
whether it’s asking that cute waiter for his number or standing on a table in front of 7000 Germans to chug a beer, life is for living, and taking risks and making mistakes can only contribute to your life experience. I’m a story-teller – that’s what writing is, so if I don’t have any stories of my own then how can I be a good story-teller? It’s sort of the less lame way of saying YOLO.
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