Pick me, choose me, love me, etc.
There are three main types of validation: internal, external, and parking.
The last time I got my parking validated was at the gynecologist in January. I walked out of the garage, went to the doctor, and got a little certificate that said I didn’t have to pay to park because I was practicing safe sex. But we know this isn’t how validation usually comes. It’s not something you can hold in your hand, and then seconds later wonder where the fuck it went because you were literally just holding it.
I’ve been thinking a lot about validation lately because I’ve been feeling lonely. As an extrovert, I have classic Tinkerbell syndrome—give me attention or I slowly die. I’m feeling the kind of loneliness where I romanticize past relationships, post bikini pictures on Instagram, and make a pound of pasta even when I’m only one girl. I only know how to make a pound of pasta.
This newsletter as a whole is going to be a lot like my 8 month stand up comedy career: a little messy, mostly stream of consciousness, and earth-shatteringly brilliant. I hope you stick around to follow me into the woods of my brain. I hope you aren’t afraid of hyperbole and drawn-out metaphors. And I hope you learn something along the way too. Not because I taught you, but because hopefully you’re also taking this time to read real books. So let’s get into the meat of today’s sandwich. (Ew?)
Here goes: The two main types of validation that aren’t car-related and what they mean to me:
External- Tell me I’m beautiful! Tell me I am accepted into the college of Literature, Science and the Arts! Tell me I can work for your Silicon Valley startup that crochets bucket hats out of recycled Dave & Buster’s receipts!! From experience, these all feel really good. I want to perpetually live in the state of Rom-Com-Lead-Receiving-Good-News-In-A-Rainstorm-In-Manhattan.
Community is a strong form of external validation. If you started chanting greek letters and clapping on South University in Ann Arbor by yourself at 10am on a Sunday you would be marked as... Wow is she ok? But surrounded by a few others doing the same, and that’s a sisterhood. I’d like to note that Pillow Town is not anti- Greek Life. I have only fond memories of the December 2016 AEPi Christmas party. (A man named Josh asked me to go up to his room and I said “don’t you have to help clean up this mess?” and left to go to Jimmy Johns.) The point is, it’s not crazy if everyone’s doing it, right?
Seeking external validation is troubling, though, because it’s out of your control. If you wait for a boy to ask you out to feel worthy of love, you’ll end up putting your self worth in the hands of another person. And that is not smart! Trust me, I tried. Putting your sense of worth in someone else’s hands is like giving a toddler a raw egg and chasing them around the house hoping they don’t drop it on the linoleum. My heart is a raw egg— pasture raised of course.
Internal- It’s so hard to tell yourself you’re good. That you’re actually more than good, that you’re normal. I want to be clear, this is not an advice column. This is a thing I’m doing where I make myself write and make myself make sense of myself. If you don’t find this helpful, that’s ok. I’m not a therapist. I’m a certified safe-sitter in the state of Maryland and I learned CPR. I have 2 hours of Israeli martial arts knowledge and I once baked a cake from scratch. Do you see how easy it was to list my accomplishments? That’s internal validation.
So if someone rejected you, it’s not because you’re unworthy of love. It’s because they recently moved back in with their parents and the game cube is glitchy so they’re upset. If you don’t get your dream job, that’s ok. You could one day get a job that you think you’ll be good at only to be fired 9 months later for “being bad” at said job. And that’s not your fault either. It’s really hard to sell restaurant websites over the phone.
In closing, welcome to my silly little newsletter. I hope you stick around and validate me with praise and likes and shares, but if not, I’m learning how to praise myself. How relatable is that?