No I wasn't caught in the alien attack in New York, an innocent employee in Shield or even on holiday in Sokovia when Ultron decided to pop on by.... but Captain America did still save my life. Read on to find out how!
Ok, ok, you got me. I sucked you in with a catchy title…. But hear me out.
This is a really important life lesson you NEED to hear and I am indeed telling you the truth.
I remember the day vividly. My mood was low and my depression was high, this was back in the day when I struggled to leave the house as I was afraid someone would look at me or heaven forbid, even try to talk to me!
I was really struggling with life, like most of my life up until that point, but this period was a particularly bad time. I felt as though everything and everyone was against me and that no matter how hard I tired I was always meant to feel this way. Girls like me didn’t deserve a life like what I wanted….. it just doesn’t happen.
So now I have suitably depressed you with those thoughts, let’s return to the day itself!
Guess what my favourite activity is on those bad days?
Yep that’s right, play on YouTube! Doesn’t everyone do that? Try to find some crazy cat videos or kids unboxing weird shit to distract you from general adult life?
Whilst scrolling, a suggested video popped up (Thank you YouTube algorithm).
A video that would change my life.
Many people ask me what got me into my current lifestyle – what changed and made me see things differently?
I always used to say the book ‘Essentialism’ by Greg McKeown. However, when I sit back and think about things deeper, it wasn’t that book at all (sorry Greg, Cap is going to steal your thunder here).
As when I ask myself, ‘how did I find that book?’ I go further back in history, back to this mundane rainy Saturday afternoon – and back to this video.
What triggered me to click on it, was the title – ‘BECOMING: Chris Evans’. I have always been a fan of Chris Evans, from the day I saw him walk out with a banana hanging out his arse in ‘Not Another Teen Movie’. In my eyes, a man who can do that on a big screen (or in fact at all) will go far in life!
So out of interest, I clicked on it. I gathered it had to be better than the cat v cucumber cycle I was currently caught in.
It immediately took my attention as it didn’t seem like the typical ‘Captain America’ interview you would usually see with the standard shitty questions like, “how many chicken breasts did you eat to get those abs?” and “who was your favourite superhero growing up?’.
This seemed like a very grown up, intellectual conversation.
Don’t get me wrong, those of you who know me, know that one of my favourite topics is poop, but some days it is nice to listen to clever people talking about deep stuff – and this was one of those days.
I watched intently becoming more and more intrigued and then the moment came. The moment that made me sit up straight, grab my journal and write some shit out.
The interviewer asked “If you could talk to the 12 year old version of yourself, what would you say?”
And Chris Evans said……
Nothing more – no fluffing it out. Just that.
What caught me about this answer wasn’t the brevity or simplicity of it, it was that most people say things like “be confident”, and “don’t worry about what others think of you, just be yourself!”
But this…. This was something different.
Throughout the video he expanded on exactly what he meant and it was as though he was talking to me. Everything he said was exactly what I was doing….
My past experiences made me a control freak, so I used to spend most of my days worrying about things that could happen, how I could minimise things going wrong and telling myself that nothing goes right. I was putting so much pressure on myself. I spent so many years focusing on things that didn’t matter.
I was so disconnected, I didn’t even realise it.
Despite my efforts to make life what I thought was less chaotic, I was actually making it worse. I was listening to my depression and my brain noise which was exacerbating my problems.
‘The root of suffering is following the brain noise and identifying with it. More often than not it is not going to have anything good to say.’ Chris Evans
This was the point in my life, that I realised I was choosing to make myself a victim. No one was telling me the things I believed other than myself. I was listening to the crap that my own mind was telling me and choosing to believe them.
I was suffering so much so, that I was willing to let my own brain tear me apart and in all honesty – I didn’t want to exist anymore. I believed that I wasn’t good enough and I never would be, because that’s what my brain noise was telling me. My brain had taken small moments of time from my past and exploded them so much they reframed how I saw myself.
It was at this moment I realised I had the choice to make a change.
My brain is super noisy, so I knew it wasn’t a case of deciding in that moment to think differently and everything would magically turn out for the better.
No. Not at all.
From that day, I started a journey into understanding where my thoughts had come from, what they actually meant and how I could speak to myself in a kinder, more compassionate way.
“It’s not quitting, it’s not giving up, it’s not washing your hands of the thought, its rising above it.” Chris Evans
I had to learn to start living in the moment, rather than getting lost in my negative talk. This was possibly the most difficult part for me, as I struggle with life in general. I am naturally a very anxious person and the chaotic nature of life always leads me to think that I cannot control it (and when you have anxiety this is a really bad combination!)
This is something that I work on day to day and why I do what I do now. I find ways to control the things I can control, not worry about the things I can’t and ultimately allow time for my brain to be quiet.
If Chris Evans would have come up to me a few years ago and told me to “shhh” I potentially would have punched him in his pretty face (after saying thank you for bringing me the concept of course).
However now, if he told me to ‘shhhhh’ I know how to do just that, so we could both just sit in peace and be happy with that. He has given me the gift of finding a way to silence my inner demons – the exact little shits who would make me feel so small and so useless.
I would hate to think where I would be now if those demons were still free to chatter in my mind today.