In the words of Nora Ephron: “Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”
We have a savior complex these days that is second to none. We all think that we need to be saved, and we think that true love is going to save us. Some guy on a white horse or some manic pixie dream girl is going to burst into our lives and make everything better. All of the pain is going to go away and we are going to live happily ever after.
This is one of those times that expectations and reality collide in a heart wrenching, 500 Days of Summer-esque way.
As a 20-something woman, one of the hardest things for me to realize is that no one is going to save me but, well, me. People will always let us down, people will always walk away when we need them the most. That’s how life has always been and will always be.
In today’s society, we are so used to basing our worth on things outside of ourselves: money, relationship status, career. If you’re single, there’s something wrong with you. If you’re poor, you’re never going to go anywhere in life. If you don’t know what you want to do with the rest of your life, you’re not determined enough. Whether you’re a man or a woman, the pressures of society’s expectations for you are probably at a crushing level when you’re in your 20s. You should be falling in love and graduating from college and settling down. You should have a career path and a 10-year-plan. But how many of us really do?
We need to understand that we are capable of saving ourselves. I don’t know how we are going to do that and, to be honest, I’m not even sure it’s possible. But I want to believe that it’s possible, because there isn’t anyone out there who is going to pick you up and brush you off every single time you fall down.
I strongly believe that each and every one of us is exactly where we are meant to be at any given time in our lives. Maybe you’re single and you drink too much and you chose not to go to college. So what? You’ll find your way, in your own time. Maybe you just got out of a long-term relationship and you’re pretty sure no one in the world will ever love you again. News flash: that just isn’t true. It’s going to hurt and it’s going to suck, but it’s going to get better. And, some day, you’re going to find somebody new.
We need to stop thinking that every moment in our lives is that moment, the defining moment. Sometimes, things just happen. And, when they do, we need to be able to laugh it off or cry it out and move on with our lives.
You have the power to make your expectations and reality line up. You have the power to save yourself. It’s just a matter of finding it.