It’s easy to identify when someone is fucking up their life in obvious ways. I mean, you don’t exactly have to have an advanced degree in sociology to know where a meth addicted hobo went wrong. (Hint: it’s the meth.) But it’s not so easy to tell when you’re fucking up your own life. And it’s really, really tough to tell when you’re fucking up your own life in ways that are not as obvious as Jesse Pinkman over there.
But there are a few insidious ways that even ordinary, otherwise healthy, happy people can completely fuck up their life. These are not the things they teach you about in health class or that cause you to end up blowing dudes in an alley. No, these are the little things, the bad habits that we pick up, the shitty relationships we hold onto out of some combination of laziness and fear. These are the things you are probably doing right now that you don’t even realize.
But don’t worry. We’re all probably guilty of at least one of these subtle life-ruiners. The key is accepting it, understanding it, and then actually doing something about it. But the first step is recognizing it. And because I care deeply about each and every one of you, I’m going to let you know exactly how you might be fucking your life up right now.
Staying In A Dead-End Job
I get it. Security is important. But you don’t want to look back in ten years and realize you pissed your life away because you were too scared to do something that didn’t, you know, make you long for a quick and merciful death. Get out NOW. While you still can. Do it before it’s too late and the only emotion you still feel is regret. Don’t be afraid to be labeled a quitter. Quitting takes balls. That’s the thing nobody tells you, and that’s because people are too ashamed of not having balls themselves. They want you to be trapped in your own misery-regret cycle because they are too. Balls, man. Don’t be afraid.
Staying In A Dead-End Relationship
Hanging on to a relationship because it’s “familiar” or because you’re afraid of a little thing like “dying alone” isn’t healthy. Anything based on fear like that isn’t healthy. If you’re just trying to make it work simply because you’re too afraid of the alternative, then you are fucking up. While you’re busy settling, you’re actually pissing away your opportunity to find true happiness, to find someone who you don’t just tolerate, but actively enjoy being with. If that means you have to be alone for a while, then so be it. It’s better to be available for the right situation rather than fucking up your life by clinging to the wrong situation.
Not Putting Yourself Out There
You don’t want to be in the wrong relationship, but you also don’t want to just sit around and let the world go by because you’re too afraid of putting yourself out there. The great irony is that if you are too afraid of fucking your life up, you’ll… fuck your life up. You can’t be afraid to make yourself available to possibility. And that means putting yourself out there once in awhile. Sure, you might fail. You probably will fail. Hell, you’ll almost definitely fail. But that’s okay, man. Everyone fails. You just have to try again. Balls. Don’t be afraid.
Saying “I’ll Do It Tomorrow”
Whatever it is: quitting smoking, quitting that shitty job, getting your flabby ass in shape, “tomorrow” never actually gets here, does it? You tell yourself that you’ll do it tomorrow, or next week, or whenever “the time is right” but there’s never a right time. Something will always get in the way. You’ll always have an excuse, a reason. And hey, look, sometimes your reason can be perfectly legit. That still isn’t helping you, though, now is it? Tomorrow will be here pretty fucking fast, bros, and then the day after that, the day after that, and… and then you’re old and it’s too late.
Taking “Time Off”
Look, I get it. Sometimes we all need to take a step back. But what you can’t do is lie to yourself, and too often “time off” is just code for “I have no idea what I’m doing, I’m fucking up, and this is just my way of telling everyone to leave me alone.” That semester off quickly turns into a year which turns into a decade and then you’re that old dude who everyone is creeped out by in the lecture hall. And that’s the best case scenario. More likely, you’ll be that sad old dude who never went back, who never figured out what you wanted to do, and then you’ll just be left with regret and a hope that Doc Brown shows up with his DeLorean.
Not Paying Off Debt
Debt will break you right in half. Everyone paying more each month on their student loans than their fucking mortgage knows what I’m talking about. Of course, the best thing to do is not get into debt in the first place. But that’s not the world we live in, is it? We’re pretty much forced into the debt life, but that’s another bitchfest for another time. The reality is that you almost certainly have debt, and you have almost certainly just contemplated saying “fuck it” and letting that shit slide a bit.
Don’t do it!
The next thing you know, your pile of debt is a goddamn mountain, you’re struggling just to pay off the interest and the next time you need to borrow money for a car or a house, that friendly dude at the bank is just going to laugh in your face, and then you’re begging your parents to let you move back in with them and… Jesus Christ, pay your debts, bros. If it’s good enough for the Lannisters, it’s good enough for you.
Ignoring Your Health
You’re young, in reasonably good shape… why bother going to the doctor? That shit just costs money you need for other things, and besides, what could go wrong?
Yeah. You know where this is headed, and hey, look, I don’t want to scold you here. I know going to the doctor sucks and I know you’re not having a heart attack anytime soon, but this isn’t really about that. This is about 30 to 40 years from now, when you are having a heart attack because you didn’t bother dealing with a simple issue when you were younger. Fucking up your life isn’t so much about fucking up your life right now. It’s about fucking up your future, and this is how you do it.
Letting Old Friends Drag You Down
Look, loyalty is important. Treasure it. Embrace it. Be it.
But loyalty doesn’t mean that you need to allow yourself to be miserable just because your old friends can’t let go of dumb shit you grew out of years ago. And it doesn’t mean that you need to embrace their dumbass ideas just because you happened to grow up on the same street. Life is too short to spend around people that make you miserable. I know that sounds clichéd, but fuck it, it’s true, man. Don’t fuck up your life for some bullshit ideal, and don’t let people give you shit for wanting to get out just because they’re too scared to do it themselves.
Acting Like An Ass On Social Media
This is the plague of these strange and terrible times. If you’re reading this, there’s a roughly 1,000,000% chance you’re involved in social media in some degree, and that same percentage of you almost definitely have something embarrassing out there that you’ve written or posted or tweeted or twatted or whatever that you don’t want people to see.
Social media has pretty much made fuckups out of all of us. Just ask every dude and lady dude who’s been run out of town, shamed and tarred and feathered by Gawker, Salon, Tumblr and their band of roving lynch mobs handing down Justice wherever they see something “problematic” going on, which is everywhere.
And even if the mob doesn’t get you, the background checkers will when you’re this close to getting that dream job only to be confronted about that time you posted a picture of yourself dressed as Hitler on Halloween or have that thing you said about Obama – yeah, you know the one – quoted back to you with disgust during your interview.
Look, I would say just don’t be an ass, but that Rubicon was crossed years ago, wasn’t it? But what you can do is stop being an asshole on social media and maybe, just maybe, you can convince the mob that you changed enough for them to give you a stay of execution. Is it fair? Not really, but these are the times we live in, and that’s how easy it is to fuck up your life.
Sad man image by Shutterstock