Everyone loves a trainwreck, right? After all, we put the likes of Bridget Jones, Carrie Bradshaw, or Hannah Horvath on pedestals, championing their inability to throw blue-soup-free dinner parties, balance a shoe addiction with being able to pay their rent, or even maintain normal, adult relationships with both friends and romantic partners. Week after week (or, let’s be real, during a serious Netflix binge session), we watch them on our screens, victims of the universe and of their own lives, relating both the massive messes and the cringeworthy minutiae of their lives to those of ours. june 2016
It isn’t even just everpervasive media and contemporary pop culture that tell us it’s okay, sometimes even desirable, to be a hot mess—ideally, so long as you maintain the “hot” aspect of it. Even our own social networks have ingrained into our collective psyches that it’s more than okay to not know how to survive, day in and day out, without constantly screwing up. We’re seeing people not just own up to but even proudly proclaim how terrible they are at this scary thing we now call #adulting. However, like most things in our lives, it can be both a good thing and a bad thing.
We get it. It’s easy, and, in a way, convenient. Once the entertainment factor is transcended—because let’s face it, the stories are, more often than not, very, very entertaining in a can’t-lookaway manner—little is expected of The Trainwreck. Her friends eventually develop the mentality and the knowledge that she’s definitely going to eff it up, whether “it” means planning an out-oftown trip, not getting blind drunk and going home with some skeevy, anonymous dude, or even arriving to a barkada brunch on time and not hungover. The Trainwreck inadvertently sets the bar low for people’s standards of her behavior and, accordingly, she gets away with a lot. Who wouldn’t want a free pass for everything, right?
To be perfectly honest, we’ve all been there. We’ve all been the trainwreck, the victim, people whose mistakes are fodder for inuman conversations and Facebook On This Day remembrances. Heck, some of us are still there, and that’s exactly why we’re not judging the trainwreck for simply being a trainwreck. What we do wonder about, though, is whether this hot mess of a person is now what we aspire to become. Sure, being an adult, with all its responsibilities and duties and demands, is painfully taxing, and OMGwe’re-so over-everythingit’s-monday- na- so-i-can’teven. Being an adult can suck, and we’re all bound to fail at some point, but is failure really something so glamorous? Since when did we start holding our failures and not our ability to rise above challenges in such high esteem? Since when did being that person, the one who has to be rescued from herself, become the person we’re happy to be?
No person is perfect, and everyone has a little bit of a trainwreck in them. That’s just called being human. Attempting to overcome difficulty, despite the failures and the missteps, though? To achieve and become something better than who and what you are at the present? That’s something worth aspiring to.
we’ve all been there.