How To Be An Independent Hot Mess

How To Be An Independent Hot Mess

I have a character trait that is a gift and a curse; I’m independent af. My being so independent has pushed away friends and men, but I do not know how to ask for help. I know how to pay for jobs to get completed by people who do not know me, but I don’t like for those who do know me to see a chink in my armor. The armor I wear for the world is one thing, what’s behind the armor, is hot ass mess. It’s cool, I own it, and I’m totally working on it, seriously, I’m all over it.

When you think of hot mess, do you think of someone in hot pink leopard jeans with a faux fur zebra coat? Yeah, I’m not that type of a hot mess. I’m the hot mess that seems like I have it together, but I have so many personality flaws that make having any friendship/relationship with me very um, challenging. But, once you break down those walls and get to know me, I’m that loyal ride or die friend for life, and you will never get rid of me.

There is no one time I can remember in my life when I wasn’t independent. Bossy was my middle name when I was a child, and being bossy is basically the same thing as being independent. I do remember being needy and codependent which are two completely different animals, very damaging animals. Thank the Lordt that was only a phase. Maybe I should be thanking my therapist. Thank you both, it took a village.


I Don’t Need Any Help


I learned at a very young age to be self-reliant and independent. That feeling that one can do anything or go anywhere on one’s own, yeah, I have that. I take pride in the fact that I can take care of myself no matter how dire the circumstances — pats self on back.

While I was traveling in California, one thing I noticed was all the Well’s Fargo banks, as there are none in my home state, I was pleased to have so many nearby. While driving, I toyed with the thought of stopping by the ATM because paying $3.50 to receive your own cash has always seemed like a total ripoff. I got distracted by the palm trees and the cute dogs and kept driving with very little cash in my handbag. I checked into my spa, laid out by the pool, and all was right with the world.

Wait a damn minute. What is happening right now? I had some debit card fraud, yeah, people suck. Whatever, life happens. I called to report this larceny and was left without a debit card for 36 hours because banks aren’t open on Sunday, damn corporate slackers. I then called my unicorn child to inform him of our circumstances, and he was kind enough to give me a 3-hour lecture. After our conversation, I felt truly enlightened, and in the know, about all the ways I need to be more responsible, thanks for that son.

My BFF sent me a text, I vented about being despoiled from my funds, and maybe even cried a little. Fine, I cried because I was about to make a very agonizing decision. My dear, sweet friend offered to wire me some cash, but I refused. I don’t ask for help, and I reject any aid, large or small, extended to me. It’s a personal issue that I need to get the fuck over if I ever want any intimacy in my life, right?

Accepting help in the smallest way requires vulnerability, and I’m not so good with the vulnerability. I try like hell, but the only time it happens is by accident. A Psychology Today article says, “Hiding our true self from others is what makes us fragile. Being yourself makes you strong.” But here’s the thing, I am myself. I am tough, resilient, and I can always laugh at life; even about the fact that I had only $6 in my handbag. I knew it would work itself out or I would figure it out otherwise, I’m independent like that. I was sleeping at a fancy af spa too.

With $6 in my handbag, it was time to make that agonizing decision. Do I get the $5 pizza or the $4 bottle of wine for dinner? If I get the wine, does that mean I have a drinking problem? Evidently, I do not have a drinking problem because I got the $5 pizza. Not only did I discover that I could make it one night without wine, a debit card, or the security of knowing whether I would have money the next day, I discovered why this dive was named the Five Dollar Pizza Company. They don’t put cheese on the pizza FYI.

You know that meme all over the interweb that says, “Your gut knows what’s up. Trust that bitch.” It went viral for a reason. I should have stopped at the damn ATM and got the cash. Going forward, I will keep a certain amount of cash in my handbag at all times, especially when traveling. Lesson learned Universe, lesson learned, about the cash anyway, more on that later. There are so many lessons to learn in life that I am beginning to understand why we are all so damn overwhelmed all the time.

Lesson #1: Be yourself, lose everything, and deal with it.


How To Be An Independent Hot Mess



Being Independent And Fear


If hiding my true self is what makes me fragile, why is being capable, independent af, and never asking for help a sign of weakness? An article at revealed what I already knew in my gut; I don’t know why I don’t listen to that bitch. Maggie Warrell writes, “…our fear is what gets in the way. Fear of over-stepping a friendship, appearing too needy, imposing, revealing our struggle and having people realize we don’t have it all together after all.”

I’m the first to admit I’m a hot mess, hell; I just put it on the interweb for the whole damn world to see. What exactly am I afraid of here? I never want to feel needy. Been there, never going back. Psychology Today writes that we are all needy. We all want to be seen, understood, feel cared for, and feel valued for what we offer. I have found a few close friends who see me, know me, care for me, and value me just for being me. Most importantly, I have learned over time and with a lot of therapy to do these things for myself. I know who I am and I know my value in this world.

Do I fear to impose on another person? Damn right! I have struggled, and the last thing I ever want to do is become the cause of another humans struggle. But, is that really it? Maybe. While I never want to impose, I love to play the savior. How fucked up is that. My savior mode is one of my hot mess personality flaws I was speaking of earlier. I like when someone needs me, there I said it.

A friend of mine that I have known for over 20 years went through a very traumatic season. This poor woman wanted to vent and share her story with a close confidant. Instead of being a sympathetic ear and openly listening to her story, I offered advice and solutions. My whole, “Get up and move on. Do this and then that,” attitude was in full force. She did not receive this very well. I do not blame her. We still communicate, but it is very fractured. I have set the boundary of not giving unsolicited advice. Sometimes I slip, but I’m trying really freaking hard to avoid this behavior.

Another person I know was going through a rough patch, being the savior type that I am, I reached out to offer assistance. It was received with open arms. As it turned out, this was not a rough patch, but a lifestyle and this person had no problem continually asking for me to help them out. It became very draining, mentally and financially. Our friendship did not survive. I have set the boundary of not accepting responsibility for another person’s lifestyle choices. I’m pretty firm on this one.

After surviving a day without a debit card and declining a loan from the friend I have not made scatter with my “soldier on, you got this” overbearing personality; I felt even more resilient than ever. A day at the fancy af spa with three pools and one night without wine (or maybe being dairy free for 24 hours) may play into this feeling of fearlessness although I am not sure how. I left the spa knowing that I could survive on my own, for at least 24 hours. And cheese is life btw.

Lesson #2: Fuck fear. Don’t be needy; be needed.


How To Be An Independent Hot Mess



Setting Boundaries Without Being A Bitch


When I do something one time, I’m invariably expected to do it, even if it’s not my responsibility, I resent the people who benefitted by my doing this little mundane task. What. The. F**k? Why did I do it? I screwed myself on that one. I take responsibility for taking responsibility for all the things that were not my responsibility. If that’s not a vicious cycle, I seriously do not know what is. I have spent years running around taking care of mundane things for others while ignoring the big things in my own life. Where does it end? Death or by my setting healthy boundaries.

While it’s best to say no when you don’t want to do something, saying no can be the hardest thing. Setting healthy boundaries can help establish guidelines for what you will and will not allow in your life. It’s essential to have an honest conversation with yourself first about what makes you feel uncomfortable; that’s when you know someone has crossed a personal boundary. Then discuss it with the other person. It’s vital that you’re honest with yourself and with other people. Your boundaries need to have consequences. Otherwise, they are pointless. When you are speaking to someone about your boundaries keep in mind that it is not what you say but how you say it.

I don’t do early mornings. I ease into my day; it’s my thing. I wake up, drink my coffee, read, do my morning pages, write, and keep my morning to myself. It’s my ritual. If someone invites me to an early morning event, I decline it. But, I refuse it in a way that leaves the door open for us to enjoy other things together. “Thank you so much for thinking of me. It sounds like so much fun, but unfortunately, I will not be able to make it to this one. Why don’t we do lunch next week?” I declined without explaining. I do not have to justify my boundaries to anyone. If I do not want to further this friendship, I do not have to include the lunch invitation for next week.

Setting boundaries are just a fancy way of saying no. I want to do all the things and help all the folks, so I say yes a lot, a whole lot. But I say no a lot too. When I say no to a thing, I am not saying no to a person. Do I still struggle with this? Every damn day. If people could learn to say no to me more often, it would help me out with my savior complex, js. As someone with a savior complex and a handful of boundaries, can you see the hot mess coming to life?

While I was traveling, I got several phone calls requesting that I contend with matters at home. Mundane, tedious, inconsequential problems that could have been handled by a monkey.  Irrelevant “emergencies” are what happens when you like to be needed — shoutout to Google for allowing me to send links of strangers on the interweb looking for work back to the needy folks at home. You can find anyone to do anything even from across the country.

Lesson #3: Say no by saying yes.


How To Be An Independent Hot Mess


Communicating With Unmessy People


Oh communication, why do you fail me? It’s like my brain knows the proper way to say things, but it gets mixed up by the time it makes it out of my mouth. Or maybe my facial expressions give mixed signals. My communication skills are those of a hot mess. I communicate what’s on my mind or I say nothing at all. My mouth suffers from violent diarrhea or constipation; there is no in between. How hot is that?

As hard as I try, not everyone gets me. And you know what, that’s cool. I don’t get everyone else. The world is a mixed bag, and it’s a better place for it. Too many Susan’s and Karen’s would be boring af. I have this little disorder called bipolar that causes me to go from overconfident when I’m manic to melancholy when I’m depressed. I live with it, and I function as best I can, the rest of the world has to live with it too {ha}. #sorrynotsorry My mental health has made me hyperaware that everyone is dealing with something, even if it is just an incorrect coffee order from Starbucks.

The most important thing when communicating with other people, regardless of who they are, is listening. Pay attention not only to what they are saying but also pay attention to their body language and facial expressions. Not everyone will tell you what they are feeling or say what they mean. Their body language will let you know hidden messages. When I mentioned my facial expressions earlier it was because our facial expressions can be spontaneous, pay attention to it.

When you are talking to someone, be real. Always be yourself. I know, easier said than done, right? Being myself during conversation gets me into so much hot water that I could unclog a toilet. Again, so hot. This section tells you that my communication skills and sh*t have a lot in common. During a recent conversation, I was being myself, a little loud, making jokes, and saying what I was thinking. The other person didn’t get it. They did not like what I was saying, and their facial expressions gave it away. After a few minutes, I gave up my point of view and went with theirs. It was a mistake, and I was unhappy with the outcome. I should have listened to my gut, that bitch always knows what she’s talking about, always.

I’m an independent hot mess; it’s who I am. My thinking is messy; I have a million thoughts within 3.25 minutes, and I want to do things in my way, on my own. When I receive new information, and when I accept it, I need to sit with the knowledge for a minute. After I sit with it, I need to try it in a way that works for my life. When you tell me something, I like to repeat it back to you in the way I understood it, in a way that I can apply to my situations.

One thing I do know about communicating with unmessy people, it’s never about me. Unmessy people communicate to share their version of the situation, and I listen. And my memory is like the police, anything you say can and will be used against you. Just kidding! My memory is pretty good though. When I don’t learn immediately from someone telling me the information, they may think I’m a dumbass, but it’s my learning style. I’m a kinesthetic learner so listening to something is not how I learn, I need to do something before I know anything. Knowing my learning style helps me communicate better because it prevents frustration, I realize when someone is trying to teach me auditorily that it is a losing battle, so I listen, and I bank the information for use later. If the situation requires me to learn it immediately, their way, I succumb and hope to learn as I go.

Lesson #4: Be who you are and let other people be who they are.


How To Be An Independent Hot Mess


Do I have any idea what I’m doing? Occasionally. When I don’t know what I’m doing am I going to do it anyway? Damn right I am! And you can bet your ass I’m gonna take pictures. So welcome to the hot mess express, enjoy the ride, I sure as hell do. Tell me something about how you live your life on a day to day basis in the comments.


Disclaimer: This post is written tongue in cheek. I have a very sarcastic and self-deprecating sense of humor. While all of the above is true, I am very much a hot mess; I am in no way promoting this lifestyle. My life is my life, and it is absolutely fabulous, but I could certainly be more stringent in certain areas, and as I said, I’m all over it.


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How To Be An Independent Hot Mess

How To Be An Independent Hot Mess


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