(WARNING: There are sort-of spoilers for the end of Bojack Season Two in here.)
Not Liking Yourself
Penny: "Dude, what are you really doing here?"
Bojack: "I didn't... like the person I was in L.A."
Bojack: "And I didn't know where else to go."
S02E11: "Escape from L.A."
I hope most of you have experienced this, though maybe to a much lesser degree. Sometimes, we don't like who we are. We know we can be better. So, we try to escape. We try to be better by being in the places that make it easy. Of course, that doesn't really solve the problem.
Yes, there's merit to reshaping your environment to suit you. However, it is rarely entirely the environment. Often, in the places where we are what we despise, we are choosing to act, or at least habitually reacting, in the very ways that make us what we dislike. We can choose to break those cycles, at least somewhat.
It's so important to recognize which places and people make us what we despise, and which make us what we like. Recognizing these things lets us see which things lead us towards darkness. It helps us see which things might be a fucked up environment, a habit we need to undo, etcetera.
Fixing Your Shit
Bojack: "Before you left town, you told me L.A. was a tar pit. Do you remember?"S02E11: "Escape from L.A."
Charlotte: "Oh, God. I said so many things when I was young. I thought I was so deep."
Bojack: "Well, do you still think it's true?"
Charlotte: "Do I think L.A. is a tar pit? No. No, I think you're the tar pit."
Charlotte: "No, not 'you' you. I'm just saying, like... It doesn't matter where you are, it's who you are, and that's not gonna change whether you're in California or Maine or New Mexico. You know, you can't escape... you."
Bojack: "Ugh. Now you sound like my mother."
Charlotte: "No, what? No, I don't. [laughs] [Charlotte sighs]"
Bojack: "I don't know what to do, Charlotte."
Charlotte: "About what?"
Bojack: "I keep... making these bad decisions. And hurting people."
Charlotte: "Well... Can I tell you a joke?"
Bojack: "Is it a long joke with no punch line?"
Bojack: "Then go ahead."
Charlotte: "Guy goes into the doctor's office. Says, 'Doctor, it hurts when I do this.' You know what the doctor says? 'Don't do that.'"
Bojack: "Yeah. That's actually... good advice."
Charlotte: "And you know what else? The doctor in that story was a woman."
The thing is, you have to actually go on and fix your shit. That's hard work, although it's also absurdly simple, from a certain distance. You pick out the things, both situations and people, that you've identified as making it harder to be a good person. Then, you figure out how you react to those situations and people in ways that you dislike, and you stop doing it. That's it. That simple.
Of course, it's actually harder, and more complicated. So, you decide not to do that thing. Cool. What thing do you do instead? How do you know? Well, first, if you find yourself thinking you only have bad choices, that's not going to help you. Find the good choices. They are there so much more of the time than you'd expect. Second, stop doing the bad thing. If an action is expected, and you don't have a good one yet, admit it, and say you're not comfortable doing the old thing. Most importantly, keep an open heart.
It Gets Easier
Runner: "Every day it gets easier."S02E12: "Out to Sea"
Runner: "But you got to do it every day. That's the hard part. But it does get easier."
This is the hardest thing, all said and done. It's so fucking hard to work through your shit, and become a person you're not only not ashamed of, but pretty happy with. But the baboon-runner is right. It gets easier. You got to do it every day, but it gets easier.