Read and Reflect: It’s magic, and I made it myself

Our residents are exploring the topic of mental health this semester by reading and reflecting on the following books: How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence by Michael Pollan, Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig, #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso, and Everything is Horrible and Wonderful: A Tragicomic Memoir of Genius, Heroin, Love, and Loss by Stephanie Wittels Wachs.

Written by Lindsay Combs.

If you know me well – and I mean really know me – you know that I think way too much about what others think about me. I’m one of those people who needs words of affirmation from others. I listen to what others say way more than I should.

When I finished reading #GIRLBOSS, this was more evident to me than before – and it was already pretty evident to me then. One of Sophia Amoruso’s biggest points in this book is that you create your own success. You create your own future. You are in charge of your dreams coming true. You need to get ahold of your finances. You need to take the shitty jobs. You need to push yourself through the hard days and the failures and the noes to get to the dream and the yeses and the best days.

You create your own future. You are in charge of your dreams coming true.

In one of the chapters, Sophia mentions how she doesn’t believe in luck because luck says we have no control of our own fate. It means that we have no responsibility in the life we lead. If that’s the case, then why even dream at all? Why are we working so hard for something if it’s out of our control?

“Before you start to think you just got lucky, remember that it’s magic, and you made it yourself.” –Sophia Amoruso

After this, Sophia talks about introverts versus extroverts and then the wonderful topic of failure, which brings me back to my annoying need for affirmation from others. I am terrified of failure. I am terrified that something horrible will happen to prevent me from graduating. I am terrified that when (or if?) I graduate I won’t be able to find a job. I’m terrified that if I find a job I won’t be good at it and I will find out the hard way that I ended up in the wrong field. In reality, we will all fail at something at some point in life. But isn’t failure bad? Doesn’t that mean we won’t succeed? Not really. Who defines what failure is? Do I fail if I don’t get my dream job right out of college because I actually did fail or because that’s what others will think?

“It is she who listens to the rest of the world who fails, and it is she who has enough confidence to define success and failure for herself who succeeds.” –Sophia Amoruso

My definition of failure comes from the media, society, and those around me. Or it used to. After reading #GIRLBOSS, and the constant statements from Sophia telling me this was absurd and not going to help me and the opposite of a #GIRLBOSS, I’ve realized that the only real failure I could have is not trying. If I don’t try and don’t put all my effort in, then there will be no possibility of success. If I continue thinking about what the world is going to say about every single one of my actions, I’ll never even try. I’ll spend my entire life in fear and end up working at that little Irish pub I love for the rest of my life. And don’t get me wrong, it’s a great place but it is not where I want to work until the end of time.

If I continue thinking about what the world is going to say about every single one of my actions, I’ll never even try.

While these big picture topics are what stuck out to me the most, the little things are also what makes a #GIRLBOSS. The cover letters, the interviews, the references, the resumes, everything. You have to know how to sell yourself to a company or an investor. In order to do that, you have to believe in yourself and in your dream. That’s the number one step in being a #GIRLBOSS. Believe in yourself and find those who do as well. Maybe then you’ll find a way to build a company from eBay and then write a book about it. Maybe that’s not your dream. Guess what, it wasn’t Sophia’s either. But look at her now.

So thank you Women of Cincy for taking a chance on me as a resident. Thank you, Kiersten and Chelsie, for always having faith in me and reassuring me that I am not failing as a member of this team. Thank you to whichever resident recommended this book. I am ready to be a #GIRLBOSS. I am ready to take on the world. So adiós, it’s time to start on some of those post-grad job applications that I’ve been ignoring for a couple months. Wish me luck!