We are all perfect in our own, magnificent, fucked-up ways. Laugh at yourself. Love yourself and others. Rejoice in the cosmic ridiculousness. ~ Jen Sincero from "You Are A Badass"
What makes Jen Sicero’s self-help book special is its fun language - with the playful swearing, you feel like you’re talking to your older, wiser, and wise-cracking sister. It’s an easy to read book - in fact, I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I skimmed through a few of the sections. There really wasn’t anything super new in the message, but I think sometimes you need to hear the same words over and over again until you finally get it. The best thing about the book is how it gets you bubbling over with excitement-I resorted to skimming towards the end because I was so excited about starting my next project.
A consistent theme is the importance of loving yourself - instructions telling you to love yourself are just about every other page. If there was one thing I could give one of my ex-girlfriends, it would be the realization that she is worthy of self love, but alas, there is no way to teach another that lesson.
Another theme is the importance of following your joy. That message seems to be following me everywhere I go lately - I guess I should listen! Reading self-help books like, “You’re A Badass” are hard to read because they challenge you to be more optimistic, positive, and joyful than what is generally considered “normal.” We’re supposed to be beaten down with everything that is going on in the world; we are supposed to be depressed and anxious and mediocre - me especially, since I am already on disability, but I do not have to follow the old pattern anymore.
I must say that the most frustrating thing about the book is how overly simple all of these type of self-help books are. They’re great for everyday people, but the ones who are disabled, or extremely poor, or who are too depressed for just a self-help book are often left out.
The question I was left with is, ok, I get that we’re supposed to just jump off the ledge of employment predictability but what about the people who depend on Medicare? Entrepreneurship seems like the holy grail sometimes but it makes it harder to get affordable health insurance. With my healthcare needs, I feel like it would be foolhardy to just jump off of disability in our current political climate. I know that one can continue to receive Medicare for the next five years after one gets off of SSDI - my hope is that Trump and his cronies will not last too long and that I will eventually feel secure enough that I can venture off disability even without a standard forty hour a week job. I love my current job but after just two days of working in a row, I am bone tired. It would be really nice if the work I enjoy did not exhaust me so. I feel like it must be possible to achieve that kind of balance, but I have not found it yet.
I wish self-help books addressed specialty groups - where are the self-help LGBTQ, disabled authors of color?
I know they must be out there somewhere...
Perhaps I will be the one to write a disabled, anarchic self-help book one day.
I feel like I am in a new era of myself. Ever since my last hospitalization, I realized how important it is to dwell in joy - I was just so tired of anxiety, misery, and depression. I am never giving up this dwelling place again.