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LatinitasMagazine.org - A Strong Voice for Latina Youth

   Growing up, mi mama would always tell me that only I can make myself happy. She would say "to be sad and upset is easy. To be happy is very constant, hard work." As a teenager prone to drama and mood swings, I was not always particularly good at following her advice. Break-ups were epic sagas deserving of an original Lifetime movie script, friendship troubles were greek tragedies, and school was a torture chamber. I could have made things a lot easier for myself following her advice. She was right, it is just too easy to be upset, and why disturb the status quo? 

   Have you ever noticed how easy it is to complain, but how hard it is to actually fix or change things? Your homework is hard, a friend is being rude, nothing is fair, etc. etc etc. How much time do we spend bemoaning and lamenting these difficulties, versus actually trying to make a difference? Or, if appropriate, why do we have so much trouble removing ourselves from toxic situations (such as a bad relationship, an unhealthy dynamic, or an offensive atmosphere)?INERTIA

   I believe that sometimes we get accustomed to our disappointments. We grow used to and even comfortable with them. We make excuses for a bad partner, an abusive friend, a mean scene.  We are convinced we don't have the energy to confront the situation. Ironically, these situations are the cause of seeping energy drain. So why is it so darn hard?

  There is a kind of personal inertia, a fear of change and action, a social paralysis often present within us. Like mi mami said, it is certainly easier to do nothing an be upset. But it is so totally worth picking yourself up, changing dircetions, and moving forward on a positive foot. 

  Unfortunately, not all of the people we meet in this world mean us well. Some people are, for lack of a better word, just MEAN. Others suck your emotional energy dry, use you and toss you (until they use you again), or play manipulative mind games. You don't need these people.

  Take a moment to do a personal inventory. What and who makes you happy? What and who doesn't? Hold onto those who bring you smiles, and let go of those who try to drag you down as you try to push forward. These people and/or circumstances are deadweight, and they will try to hold you back at their level-misery loves company. Cut them out. Focus on positive relationships, self care, and love. Remember:mejor estar sola que mal acompañada. Also remember that you are never actually alone. There are so many who love and care about you, and so many who will love and care about you in the future once you become acquainted.

   Finally, Eleanor Roosevelt (first lady from 1933 to 1945) is famous for having said that "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." I remember being told this quote by social studies teachers, seeing it on cheesy magnets, and on laminated classroom posters, but it was not until I was older that I came to understand the true meaning of these words.I hope you learn them faster, they will save you a lot of grief.

   

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