Updated: Aug 1
I need you to hear me loud and clear: it is IMPRACTICAL for you to expect ONE PERSON to be everything for you. Whether that person is your spouse, partner, best friend, family member, etc YOU CAN NOT EXPECT ONE PERSON TO BE YOUR EVERYTHING.
That shit is exhausting for you and them. Primally, we humans survived on community. TODAY we survive on community. There are some people who fully believe that on their own they are enough (shout out to my introverts!) but I’m here to declare that is simply not true. In fact, the last two years have shown what can happen to a person psyche when left without human connection for too long.
Since one person can not be your everything I like to activate what I call my “Life Team”- they’re the people who love me no matter what- no matter what stupid shit comes out of my mouth, they’re there. In fact, when I need any one of them, its like Ron Burgandy on Anchorman screaming “NEWS TEAM ASSSSSEMBLE (except its life team, you get it).” They are spaces for containment, conversations of growth and the safety that comes from what traditional “family” model is often stated to be. I’m going to introduce you to members of my life team who help me survive and advance through life. For the sake of understanding the impact someone can have on your life, not one person listed under each category is connected to me by blood or marriage. Your life team can be blood or it can be the family you choose and that is ok too!
I hope this helps with you with identifying your secure life team too!
The Safe Pessimist
I’m starting here because most people would be like “WTF WHY DO WE NEED THIS PERSON?!” But trust me they are important. This person is not Eeyore. They don’t bring you down all of the time, but you keep them around to make sure you don’t do something completely stupid. If you have a crazy idea, you go to them to see if it really is *that* crazy. If you have an idea you know is going to work, you call them to find out all the reasons why it wouldn’t, just so you’re prepared for any attack to the plan you did not see.
It is important to note: a SAFE pessimist is often times very level in emotion. No extreme highs, no extreme lows.
This is my friend Matt. God bless him, he’s seen some shit. We really only talk 5 times a year but whenever I have a crazy idea I always pop out of the blue, ask him a million questions on what he thinks about it and he relays all the reasons why it wont work- in the most gentle and sincere way possible. I leave conversations invigorated with challenges I’m going to attack just to spite his devils advocate mind. You see, he provides feedback not because he doesn’t want me to do the crazy things I want to do- he just doesn’t have the proof of it being possible yet.
THAT’S WHAT MAKES HIM SAFE.
He’s not providing a different way of looking because he enjoys watching me cry or wants me to burn in a fiery hell— he enjoys seeing what crazy shit I make real. His safety lies in him having NO ILL WILL towards me. He also has ZERO attachment to the outcome. That is very important.
Me: “Matt, I’m writing a book and including a story with you in it- just warning you.”
Matt: “I feel like you’re going to get real sick of writing. Are you sure you want to do this? Also let me know when it’s out, I’m for sure buying it.”
He was right, I got sick of writing, however that comment fueled me to figure out how to love it. The Safe Pessimist is a catalyst to your very best you and also fire blanket on top of terrible ideas. Keep them close for whenever you need them activated.
The Eternal Optimist
The exact opposite of the pessimist is our number one hype person. They think everything is going to work and it. Is. amazing. Not to be confused with a fake optimistic person who is struggling to keep their own shit together, the Eternal Optimist actually BELIEVES the good is there…somewhere…even if you have to hunt for it. I often engage my Eternal Optimist when the world is for sure about to end and I can’t possibly see how a situation is going to go right. The main difference between the Optimist and the Pessimist: I only call the pessimist when I’m confident in my footing and can handle whatever they are going to say. I call the optimist always. AND When I’m about to burn the world down, jump on a plane and change my name I call Chelsea Rose.
I met Chelsea two weeks into the pandemic when my positive “let’s zoom happy hour!” Wore off and I had turned into a full blow