Suck It Up, Buttercup

06/04/2012 · 68 comments

in I'm not funny here.

When bad things happen to us, when we lose or hurt or cry, it is very easy to blame others and leave it at that. “You did this to me. You made me who I am.” It feels good to not be responsible for your problems, and it gives you an easy out to never deal with what happened. You and your life aren’t the issue, the onus is on them.

And there you spend your life, standing on the precipice of hate and ego. You can balance there for a very long time without losing yourself, but there will come a day in which you realize you aren’t who you want to be. You don’t like what you are, what you have become. The blame has begun to outweigh the self-praise.

That is when this will either pull you over the edge or back onto the flat:

You are your fault. Everything that happens in your life, good or bad, is your doing. 

That is when you choose blame and apathy or introspection and success.

Change happens through looking inward. If you don’t like your job, look inward at how you’re making it harder on yourself, and then change that. You may be a victim of abuse, but you can look inward at the after-effects and choose to change those things about yourself. You may not like who you are, but you can change that.

And in that way, you become responsible for everything in your life, good and bad.

You are not directly at fault for what other people do to you, but you are responsible for how you respond to it. Your pain is very real, and your suffering is as well, and no one can take that badge of survival away from you. You cannot, however, let it negatively affect you for the rest of your life. It will not be easy. You will have to fight, to cry, and to hurt a little more, but you will survive. If you waste away under the memory, then that is your fault.

You are not directly at fault for what other people do to others, but you are responsible for how you respond to it. If you see a bully and do nothing, you are at fault for that person’s suffering. If you see inequity and do nothing to fix it, you are at fault. If you crumple under discrimination and hate and are apathetic to the cause, you are at fault.

You are the direct cause of your successes. If you work, then you see results. If you work harder, you will see more. Luck has something to do with it, but you will find that the harder you work, the luckier you are. You will never (or at least, should never) be handed anything at all. You are the cause of your education, whether it be in school or otherwise. You are the cause of your job, your family, and your home. You have won the things you have, and no matter what, you should be proud.

It’s with this advice that I learned what it means to battle your ego–the voice of constant self-praise and blame for others–and to be responsible for my own life.

When things are good, I have learned to be happy about that, and to try not to worry. I learned enjoy them. I learned to remember that I had something to do with this. I thank those who helped me and accept compliments and praise knowing that it was my work and luck that got me here alongside the support of others who encouraged me.

When things are bad, I learned look at myself first. Did I do something to cause this? If yes, then fix that and don’t do that again. If no, then what caused it? How can I change this situation and how I react to it so that I can learn from it? I am learning to fight off self-doubt and loathing by remembering that it will not bring change, only more pain.

Suck it up, buttercup. You are it. You are the only one you can change, and only by changing yourself first can you change the world.

“You are your fault,” is the single greatest piece of advice I have ever received. What is the best advice you ever received?

Favorite Comment From The Last Post:
From Dana The Biped: “Chooplah: She had me at “You won’t need pants for this.” 
CoreyFerns June 4, 2012 at 4:49 am

Wow, as always this stuff is pretty well timed, needed to see this, best advice I’ve got? Was basically what you said but a little more harsher. It was…painful but good for me I guess, I respond well to a good bashing.

I’d say more but I’ve found (rough admittance here) I talk a lot and generally use that as an excuse to never act on, so working on that bit and generally keeping to that rule..Actions speak louder than words, all that jazz..With any luck this time I’ll nail it.

Also, coincidentally, saw this today and thought this is a tie for best advice ever received. Not a phishing( I swear) link but you can find the actual article somewhere on Fark in the last 48 hours, subby tag is Sad.

CoreyFerns recently posted..Sunday, 8th November 2009

Noa June 5, 2012 at 1:16 am

Marina Keegan’s story is so sad. She wrote such a beautiful essay that was so inspiring. Oh writers…

CoreyFerns June 6, 2012 at 12:17 am

We creative types tend to die young..
CoreyFerns recently posted..Sunday, 8th November 2009

Carmine Flores August 2, 2012 at 3:29 am

Oh, I don’t want to be creative already.
Carmine Flores recently posted..Impotence and Natural Herbs that Help Men Improve Their Erection

Mayor Gia June 4, 2012 at 6:30 am

Hmmm…that IS good advice. Not sure what the best piece of advice I’ve heard is yet…I think I need to let my life play out a bit longer to figure it out…
Mayor Gia recently posted..The Joys of Living Alone

Noa June 5, 2012 at 1:19 am

I’m still a baby at 25. Perhaps I should say it’s the best I’ve heard so far.

Dani June 4, 2012 at 7:53 am

I give the best advice EVER. To everyone else. To myself? Not so much.

The best advice I’ve ever given myself is to learn from my mistakes rather than drown in bitterness and recriminations, and move on.


I firmly believe that what doesn’t kill you, makes you funnier.

Needed this post today, Noa. My live is this close to taking a huge and scary change… hopefully for the better. And it’ll be the first time I take a giant step forward JUST FOR ME. I’m not sure how to do that. There have been so many people depending on me to be their cheerleader for soooo long. Now I’m dusting off my pom poms and using them to cheer myself on.

Dani recently posted..Friday Fuckery: Where The Hell Is My Phone??

Noa June 5, 2012 at 1:21 am

DO IT, DANI! You’re a badass, and you’re awesome, and I believe in you.

Also, you’re awesome.

Amelia June 4, 2012 at 8:34 am

“If you spent half as much time doing it as you did complaining about having to do it, you’d be done by now.”

This was my mom’s response to every Saturday morning whinge-fest about cleaning my room. She was right– it took thirty minutes to pick up toys and books, and four hours to fuss, cry, and do anything but what I was supposed to do.

The older I get, the more I realize that this advice can be applied to all aspects of life– how much time do we waste in fear, annoyance, dread, procrastination? The uncomfortable things will still be there after that cup of coffee, the next chapter, the whiny phone call. So suck it up and get it over with, and things will go much quicker for you.

Noa June 5, 2012 at 1:22 am

I hate finding out that my mom was right about anything…but she usually is. DAMN MOMS AND THEIR LIFE EXPERIENCE.

Christina June 4, 2012 at 9:22 am

Awesome post, great advice. I think that one of the best peices of advise I’ve ever heard-I think it came from a movie actually!

You can’t let your past dictate your future.


The true defination of insanity is doing the same thing the same way over & over & expecting different results.

Noa June 5, 2012 at 1:24 am

Both very excellent pieces of advice in their own right.

DevilsHeaven June 4, 2012 at 10:08 am

“You don’t know what their life is like.”
It is hard to remember this when someone is bugging the ever living shit out of you, but if you take a moment to realize that shit happens to EVERYONE, it will give you pause and hopefully a better chance of going the kindness route instead of the mean route. It also works for jealously as well. It may look all rainbows and fuzzy bunnies, but that isn’t usually the case.
DevilsHeaven recently posted..December Will Have More Than One Joyous Birth

Noa June 5, 2012 at 1:25 am

I love using that line as an example for why it’s absolutely necessary to be kind to service employees. “But it’s their job to work for me!” No, bitch, it’s not. It’s their job to work for $7.50 an hour for assholes. You could just say please.

Misty June 4, 2012 at 10:29 am

I love this. And it’s so true. I always have to stop and remind myself that my happy is dependant on nobody but me, but it becomes so easy to play the blame game and just be cranky and pissed off all the time. Then you don’t have to deal with the underlying issues. Or the fear of actually GASP doing something about it to change the situation. It is a scary thing, and it is a hard thing. I am still trying to come to grips with it. Thanks for this, Noa.
Misty recently posted..Better Than a Glowing Stripper Leg Lamp!

Noa June 5, 2012 at 1:26 am

I think most people spend their entire lives trying to battle that blame game, because it’s so easy. It’s not my fault–that bitch ruined my day.

I do that a lot. I have a bad day because of someone else and then I waste my whole day trying to make myself feel better. Then it’s midnight and I didn’t get anything done. I’m a puss sometimes.

Elizabeth Q June 4, 2012 at 11:16 am

“Get over yourself.”

Can be applied successfully in almost any situation.

This and “go put on some lipstick, you’ll feel better” are the legacy of my sainted grandmother.
Elizabeth Q recently posted..Confessions of A Beginning Runner: Taking My Pulse

Noa June 5, 2012 at 1:29 am

That’s a damn classy grandmother you have.

Elizabeth Q June 6, 2012 at 2:48 pm

She did her best is with me is all I can say.
Elizabeth Q recently posted..Confessions of A Beginning Runner: Taking My Pulse

Jen June 4, 2012 at 11:32 am

Whenever I start bitching about my life: marriage/divorce, health, money, etc., my mom just tells me “This is your reality now”. Basically, you can’t turn back the clock so just deal with what’s in front of you RIGHT NOW. Your reality may change, for the better or the worse, but all you can manage is where it is in this one moment in time.

PS: My dad also gave me the greatest life advice EVER: “There are only two things that really matter in life: your integrity and your credit rating. Don’t fuck with either one.”
Jen recently posted..You Say "Agoraphobic" Like It’s a BAD Thing!

Misty June 4, 2012 at 11:44 am

I totally thought of you when I read this. Because with all the completely fucked up shit you have been through in your life recently (and seriously, girl, I mean WTF?), you are not a whiner. Not to say that you don’t bitch about stuff, because really, why else would we blog? But you have not painted yourself into that “total victim” place where I would think most people who have survived the shit you did would very easily put themselves into.

You are a badass, and I love ya for it!
Misty recently posted..Better Than a Glowing Stripper Leg Lamp!

Jen June 4, 2012 at 11:49 am

I love you so hard, Misty. So. Damned. Hard. You know a hell of a lot more about my situation than the rest of the world and if it hasn’t made you lose your shit then I know you’re a true friend. :) Thanks for always being there to talk me off the ledge.
Jen recently posted..You Say "Agoraphobic" Like It’s a BAD Thing!

Misty June 4, 2012 at 11:55 am

I should probably get some kinda hazard pay for this shit, doncha think? ;)

Love ya back! MWAH.
Misty recently posted..Better Than a Glowing Stripper Leg Lamp!

Noa June 5, 2012 at 1:31 am

There’s nothing quite as jarring as, “This is your reality.” Suddenly, you realize you can’t do anything but step fucking forward.

I think we have a nice little band of forward-steppers here.

pippi June 4, 2012 at 12:09 pm

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work” Thomas Edison
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” Eleanor Roosevelt
My Mom gave me both of these when I was younger and knew everything and I love them!
Thanks Noa, I think I will pass this on to my newly graduated, unemployed stepson who takes no responsibility whatsoever for his actions!
pippi recently posted..Being A People Person is Highly Overrated-Part II Overindulging at Social Functions

Noa June 5, 2012 at 1:33 am

That first one really jars me because Thomas Edison was a thieving fucking prick, but that is damn good advice.

Chooplah June 4, 2012 at 12:29 pm

The best advice I ever received was “Don’t use crazy glue to try to give yourself cleavage.” I gave it to myself after I tried to use crazy glue to give myself cleavage.
Chooplah recently posted..20 Things That Happen When You Turn 29

Chooplah June 4, 2012 at 12:32 pm

But also, great post. I agree whole heartedly.
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Noa June 5, 2012 at 1:33 am

I really could have used that last week.

Dana the Biped June 4, 2012 at 2:37 pm

My awesome Nana gave me the best piece of advice; which is very similar:

“You’re a Gardner. Suck it up.” As in, of course you’ll be all right; you’re one of us. Now get on with the being all right.

She was a wise, ass-kicking lady.
Dana the Biped recently posted..Watch This: The Secret of the Kells

Noa June 5, 2012 at 1:34 am

Of course you come from kick-ass blood. OF COURSE.

Jillian June 4, 2012 at 3:26 pm

My fourth grade teacher innundated us with:

“Life’s not fair, and you never know when you’re going to have a test.”

It’s as true about math problems and getting held in for recess as it is for relationship woes and tight budgets. Worrying about what’s “fair” is as pointless as trying to blame someone else, and never knowing when the next test will come reminds me that every moment counts to build into the big picture.

Also, when they tell you that those pants are going to stretch, they won’t.
Jillian recently posted..You Look Like You Work Out

Noa June 5, 2012 at 1:36 am

Those goddamn lying pants tags. That may be the best advice I have ever received.

Danielle June 4, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Fantastic and well timed advice. I’ve been having a self pity kind of day and need a kick in the pants.
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Dani June 4, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Ummm… I don’t recall giving another Danielle permission to comment on this blog… or even exist on this planet. Why did I not get the memo???
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Noa June 5, 2012 at 1:37 am

Dani…we need to talk.

Noa June 5, 2012 at 1:37 am

Glad I could help!

Abby June 4, 2012 at 4:02 pm

These are my favorite posts from you, and I think this is very, very timely for me. I could ramble on, but I was also given advice at one point that it’s not always all about me ;)

There are a lot of things I could say, but I’ll go with “Be better, not bitter” and leave it at that.
Abby recently posted..Basket Case

Noa June 5, 2012 at 1:38 am

But bitter is so much more fun.

K A B L O O E Y June 4, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Um… don’t stare directly into the Sun. Still a winner.
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Noa June 5, 2012 at 1:38 am

I refuse.

Allie June 4, 2012 at 4:42 pm

You are IT! This advice seems to be coming at a time when I’ve been drowning in self-doubt. Thanks for the wise words, Noa.

I’m still going to drink an entire bottle of wine and eat a pint of Ben and Jerry’s tonight, but I probably won’t cry as much as I would have before reading this post.
Allie recently posted..Not a Zombie. Maybe a Barista.

Noa June 5, 2012 at 1:40 am

Sometimes wine and ice cream is what you need now, as long as you know what you’re going to do tomorrow.

Ally June 4, 2012 at 4:55 pm

My mother always used to tell me that I need to stop hanging around with “the fringe people of society.” “They’re on the fringe for a reason and you don’t want them to pull you over.”

The best thing I ever did was to ignore her.
Ally recently posted..No. It isn’t Fucking Coldplay

Noa June 5, 2012 at 1:41 am

Weird people are the fucking best. I never fit in the center, but the fringe…the fringe is my people.

NATurally Inappropriate June 4, 2012 at 5:31 pm

This is the best fucking post I have ever read.
NATurally Inappropriate recently posted..Mr. Inappropriate: The Destroyer of Dreams.

Noa June 5, 2012 at 1:41 am

I am genuinely touched. Thank you.

Andi Davies June 4, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Oddly enough, I’m currently reading This Is How by Augusten Burroughs and he makes pretty much the same point. So I got my metaphorical ass kicked twice in one day…that’s gotta be some kind of record.
Andi Davies recently posted..The End of Me-Made-May — Lessons Learned

Noa June 5, 2012 at 1:42 am

I really really wish I could like Augusten Burroughs, but I hate him. Hate. So much.

That said, I am glad we could both help.

Valerie June 4, 2012 at 8:30 pm

Truer words have never been spoken… I realized how true this advice was a few years ago when I started to actually do something about the things I didn’t like in my life.

Some other good advice? Always Go before you leave the house. Otherwise you’ll end up sharing a bush in an awkward moment that should never have been.


Valerie recently posted..And then Eddie cheated on me with a Canadian

Noa June 5, 2012 at 1:43 am

That last one is fucking golden.

Oh, I see what I did there by accident.


Always pee. That’s the lesson.

Johi June 5, 2012 at 8:10 am

I don’t know what is going on in our little comedic circle but I’m seeing a lot of this sort of thing. I think that it is great that I am surrounded by people that are living at a higher consciousness. It forces me to do the same and isn’t that what we are all supposed to be doing? Being present in our lives, acknowledging and accepting our mistakes, and making changes for the good of ourselves and mankind? Of course it is….

The best advice that I have received is “your thoughts and words manifest into your reality.” In other words, “keep yer head and pie hole positive, yo.”

I love you people. Just an FYI. Keep on keeping on. And remember, if you think that everyone in the room is an asshole, then YOU are probably the asshole*. *Unless you are at a Frat party, then RUN. Run far and fast.
Johi recently posted..Striking fear into the hearts of many

Noa June 5, 2012 at 3:42 pm

There’s something in the air, and positive change is a hell of a lot better than the machine oil smell that wafts down from upstairs.

I remember a quote from Bruce Lee that said, “As you think, so you shall become.” I am lame and have it engraved on the inside of a ring.

Bobbie June 5, 2012 at 10:21 am

My grandmother, who lost her mother as a child, went through a crippling divorce as an adult, lost her only son– my dad– to suicide, and shortly thereafter was not allowed to see her grandchildren for five years, once told me, “Don’t let the pain of what you’ve lost take away the joy of what you have.” If she can find joy in life after all she’s been through, then surely I can too.

Noa June 5, 2012 at 3:43 pm

Good Lord. I don’t even know the woman and now she’s my hero, too.

Jaime June 5, 2012 at 10:24 am

I wish the whole world could read this blog…. I don’t know when it happened where people stopped taking responsibility for their actions… but it sucks… maybe it’s because of the stupid lawyers that encourage the behaviour…

rather than just say, “no, you shouldn’t have drank that scalding hot coffee and so it’s your own damn fault when your tongue gets burned”

they say, “omg that’s horrible… of course McDonald’s MUST be responsible for not warning you adequately enough that the coffee was hot.. lets get you some money”

seriously people?

you are my hero of the week, Noa.
Jaime recently posted..decisions, decisions

Noa June 5, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Why thank you!

We do a lot of catering to liability these days, and our courts do a really good job of encouraging that. It just takes a few people to finally say, “No ma’am, you’re a fucking idiot,” for the fall of the suing culture to die.

That said, the lady many years ago who had her thighs burned by McDonald’s coffee? Those were third-degree burns. That lady gets to sue.

jen jen June 5, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Nicely worded. Some of us need metaphorical ass whippings sometimes. This definitely one i have been pounding into my own head as of late. I have actually had a plethora of good advice along this journey in life..but one i think would help others the most is ~all negativity is in your head, do not think it and it cannot BE~ There is alot of deep thought that goes into that statement but i finally got it and it saves me from myself many days.

Noa June 5, 2012 at 3:48 pm

I have a hard time with advice that tries to “keep your optimism high and your negativity low.” I don’t know what it is, but in my head, optimists are fluffy-bunny dicks. I realize that is not the case, but I can’t get it out of my head either way. I suppose it’s because it sounds too new-age to me.

The worst part of it for me is that “keep negativity out,” is pretty much the same message that I’m preaching above. They’re right, and it hurts.

Megan (Best of Fates) June 5, 2012 at 2:38 pm

That is brilliant. The best piece of advice I ever received was “don’t eat that, it’s poisoned.” And while, no, it wasn’t, I keep waiting for the day I die of poisoned food. For then I shall know the true wisdom in those words and regret not following its simply advice.
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Noa June 5, 2012 at 3:49 pm

I just stopped eating my spaghetti thanks to this comment. You may have saved my life.

Katherine June 5, 2012 at 8:34 pm

If your veterinarian has an answering service or voice mail, leave a message and he might get back to you before Monday. If Buttercup exhibits any other symptoms or acts abnormally, contact your local emergency animal hospital. Without medication there is not a lot that can be done over the weekend.
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Jillian June 5, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Truer words have never been spoken.
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Noa June 6, 2012 at 3:22 am

I’m leaving this one just for the sheer joy of it.

iampisspot June 7, 2012 at 5:16 am

I love these posts from you – I really needed to read this today.

Best advice I’ve been given: “You have to learn to love yourself, before you can fully love another”.
iampisspot recently posted..Junk.

Noa June 9, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Your advice was some I took several years ago, and I’m so fucking glad I did.

Debbie June 16, 2012 at 9:22 pm

Best advice I’ve received “Be matters.”

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