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Original photo by Kelsey Gallagher
Mental Health

My New Favorite Book: “The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck”

Over winter break I told myself I was going to finish reading a book I had started in SEPTEMBER… I KNOW, how could I have taken so long to read my new favorite book?!?! Probably because I was avoiding reading it. In Mark Manson’s book “The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck”, he gives the reader a big ole slap-in-the-face and reality check that is most definitely needed. Hence why I was avoiding finishing it; a lot of the things he says are true, but it doesn’t mean it won’t hurt when you read it. I feel like at this point in my life (soon-to- be-graduating-senior-in-the-stages-of-what-might-me-an-early-mid-life-crisis) This book is exactly what I needed to keep my head above the water. 

Now I won’t say that I agree with every aspect of the book, BUT I will say that Manson’s book gives you a lot to think about. A little self-reflection/internal check-in, if you will. So here are a few takeaways from the book that I hope will interest you to read the whole thing!   

  1. It’s okay not to be happy 24/7: Don’t get it twisted, if you are struggling with your mental health, please speak to someone!! (1-800-273-8255 – suicide prevention hotline number.)But to talk about the point Manson makes in his book, it seems like we were groomed since birth that eternal happiness is what we’re striving for in life. The ultimate goal in life is to be “happy.” This might be true, but in order for us to know and experience happiness, we have to go through sadness, anger, anxiety, etc. We only know the good times are good because we have experienced the bad. It’s okay to not feel your best every single second of the day. If you have those feelings, try to understand why you feel that way, and know that they too shall pass. 
  1. When one door closes, another one opens… and then some: We all secretly (or not so secretly) complain about something in our lives. Whether you don’t like your job, school is not what you expected, or your significant other is turning into someone you don’t know… You can always make a decision to change your life. Quit your job to start that business you have always wanted to build, transfer to a school you might like better or break up with your S.O. Congratulations! You just went through the other door in life. But just know, now that you have what you so desperately wanted, you will still struggle down this path as well. Entrepreneurship means giving up a social life, goodbye friends and family for the next three years at least! New school, but how do you make friends when you are a transfer student in your junior year, during the middle of a pandemic? No S.O., how do you learn to navigate life without the individual you thought was your “person”? Just because you were able to go through another door, doesn’t mean that you won’t face an extremely bumpy path. When you make a decision that will answer one of your problems, make sure you are willing to go through the growing pains of the new path you have chosen. Because as we know, life is a rollercoaster. 
  2. “Certainty is the enemy of growth” (Manson 119): At first, I read this and was like “What in the Yoda does this mean?” After a bit more of reading and thinking about this line, I couldn’t agree more. I don’t know about you but I am a HUGE planner! Planning everything to a T. When COVID-19 hit and messed with my plans junior year, and continues to mess with my idea of my “perfect senior year”, it has made me so angry and ridden with anxiety. Now this quote hasn’t exactly been a cure to what I’ve been struggling with, but it has definitely put things into perspective. If we’re so certain of how things will turn out, it can hurt us later on. We are not prepared for the alternative, leaving us completely blindsided by this other outcome. It’s when we’re so certain about life, we lose because there is no room for growth. 

I hope you get the gist and feel inspired to read the book. It’s filled with wickedly vulgar word choice and humor, but that makes it even more entertaining. I highly recommend reading, and when you’re finished set a reminder for yourself to read it in a year because you more than likely will need another reality check!

Kelsey is a senior at Montclair State University. She is majoring in Fashion Studies and minoring in both fashion design and business. She hopes this will help her boss babe dreams come true of one day owning her own swimwear brand. She loves talking all things sustainability, art, fashion and FOOD. Her go-to food is hands down pizza - it is one of the most versatile foods, duh!
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