Originally published on Unwritten by Molly Higgins.
I’m a hot mess. In fact, I am such a hot mess that I wholeheartedly believe I am the founder of the term. “But Molly,” you say, “people have been called hot messes long before your parents did the nasty and you came along.” Well, I have a theory for you: a super concerned gaggle of time traveling junkies from the future saw me in my prime and went all the way back to the 1800’s to warn my great-great-grand-something about the fury her lineage would one day unleash upon this world. They used, in their description, the adjectives “hot” and “mess” in one delightful little sentence, and behold, an adage was born. So here I am today, a self-proclaimed hot mess, willing and able to tell the tales of my condition.
There is just one catch. If you decide to stroll along and try to tell me what I am, you don’t get fun stories, you get two words…and those words are: F*ck. Off.
I mean, really. Do you think you have the authority to label me? I have the authority to label me. Because it’s me.
“Why?” you ask. “If you call yourself a mess, why can’t I?”
Fair question. But remember in Mean Girls when Janice said Damien was “too gay to function” and it was totally fine, but when Cady got all Plastics on them all and spread the word, it was mean and evil? Only Janice can call him that. And I’m the only one who can call myself a hot mess.
I’m my mess. My life is MY mess. If someone came up to me with a metaphorical mop and offered to help straighten things up, I would (nicely) tell them to go shove it up their a**. I love my mess. Yeah, things can get a little crazy, but they can also get exciting, and exhilarating, and emotional; there may be more than a few ups and downs, but in those twists and turns, there are countless moments that I slow down enough to realize that I am exactly where I want to be.
But you still don’t have the right to label me. Sometimes in casual conversation when I’ve been rambling on for five minutes about fifteen different things, someone laughs a bit, shakes their head, and says, “God, you’re a mess.”
“Well, why is that?” I asked during a particular instance when I took more than a little bit of offense. “You have nothing in your life planned out,” she said. “And it seems like you have no idea where you’re going.”
GIRL CHILL. We met in The Body Shop and literally had a ten minute conversation about lotion. The only think you know about me is my scent preference. (Granted, she was one of those “aura-reading” people who burned sage in every room and said Namaste in normal conversation, so maybe she thought she had the upper hand in character judgment… but our friendship definitely would have blossomed a bit more if she had kept said judgment to herself.)
If there is a time to be a bit disoriented and a lot confused, it’s now when we’re young enough to make mistakes and form an identity that may not be ours forever. No, I don’t have a step-by-step plan like my parents and professors wish that I would, but I am still taking the steps I need in order to get where I am going. So what if they are more crooked and sloppy than the average bear would like? I most certainly am not the average bear, nor do I ever want to be, and I don’t need your commentary on any of it.
I’m a hot mess. My life may be the messiest mess there is. But it’s mine. And the only opinions that matter on it all? Those are mine too.