- You don’t have to turn your favorite thing to do into a career just because that’s everyone’s best case scenario. Your passion is still valuable if you don’t make money from it. You need a way to make money, and you also need a way to be fulfilled and happy in life, and those two things don’t need to come from the same source.
- If you're mother asks you what "FML" means, say "Um... Eff my life?" She'll get it.
- Embrace the confusion of life, and remember we’re all in it together. I can overthink myself into an existential crisis ever other week. But it’s okay, because I’m not the only one who’s confused, and when I return to who and what brings me joy, it’s a lot easier to lighten up and laugh at the confusion.
- Even if no one saw the two of you kissing last night, everyone will know the next morning.
- Don’t ignore your dreams (at night) because they’re “not real.” Who cares? They’re fun. Enjoy them. Better yet, learn to lucid dream. We spend so much of our time asleep, lets have all the fun we can.
- And of course, don’t ignore your life dreams because they’re too big, out of reach, whatever. Find small ways to get closer. Do what you can in the moment while planning for the future.
- Music makes everything better. Always have a playlist of “pick-me-up” songs.
- Don’t put the future too far in the future. Like, don’t be one of those people who says “we’ll do that someday” all the damn time. Someday never comes. Get your schedule together, plan for the thing, and do the thing.
- Never trust your brain when your body feel like crap. If your sick, injured, have a headache, stomachache, even just sore muscles, do not listen to all the negative crap your mind might tell you. When those thoughts come, check in with your body first. How much sleep did you get last night? When did you eat or drink last?
- Don’t be miserable in your teen years just because you heard your teen years are supposed to be miserable.
- Try not to get too wrapped up in emotions from other emotions, like feeling bad about feeling bad. Asking yourself, “Is it okay for me to feel this way?” or wondering if your anger is justified, isn’t helpful or productive. The answer is yes. Feelings are feelings, and it’s okay to feel them. You don’t control your emotional responses, all you can do is choose what to do with those emotions, and what you act on. Instead of wondering if it’s okay to feel that way, think about what to do about it.
- When you get excited over things, nerd the hell out 100%. Does it really matter if people are giving you crap for having too much fun? They only wish they could be that excited. Plus, this will draw the right people to you.
- Don’t waste your time with negative people. Don’t let someone who is dead inside try to tell you how to live.
- Never be the person who shuts down someone else’s dream. However silly it might sound to you, it might mean the world to them.
- There’s no perfect life path for everyone. We’re all driven by different things. If you’re a writer, just think about the main goals for each of your characters. Is it success? Happiness? Money? Love? Power? Wisdom? Someone’s life isn’t worth more or less than yours if their focus is different than yours. We all find fulfillment in different ways.
- Mess around with your physical appearance every now and then. Not necessarily in drastic ways, but try out different hairstyles, new ways to do your makeup, different styles of clothing. I was discouraged from dying my hair in high school, but I really wish I’d done it more before entering the corporate world. Do it while you can, because someday it won’t be allowed. Just watch some Jenna Marbles for inspiration. You’ll build confidence in loving what looks right, and even more in deciding not to care about what doesn’t look right.
- Notice your judgements. When I was in a group dynamics class in college, one of the girls in my group looked like a complete stereotype to me. Blonde and tan with a full face of makeup, I thought FAKE ALERT! I mean, she had “girl-you-hate-in-high-school” written all over her. But I noticed that judgement, realized it was 100% based on appearances, and moved forward from there. She was actually a really cool person, and not at all “fake.”
- Don’t ever let the thought, “I won’t be good at that,” keep you from trying something new. I’m a terrible artist and I draw anyway. Also, I used to think I couldn’t sing, but I did it anyway. Actually, I probably couldn’t sing back then. But I can now, because I practiced. Do things for the fun of it rater than to impress.
- Don’t hold things in. Say stuff. Even the hard stuff. Maybe you think you’ll feel bad/awkward/whatever for saying it, but you’ll feel so much worse if you keep it inside.
- Notice when other people are having those “I need to say this to get it out” moments with you. It may be hard to hear, but try to appreciate that it was also hard to say. And most of the time, they’re saying it because they care enough to. The alternative is they keep their mouth shut and give up on you changing. So, even if what they’re saying hurts, listen (as long as they’re saying it in a caring way, of course), reflect, and try to respond with compassion.
- Always remember to do basic things to take care of yourself, and try not to get too caught up in whatever your doing to put them off. Cold? Put on another layer. Thirsty? Hungry? Take a break to eat and drink some water. Take time to talk to your friends. Get outside every now and then for some fresh air and exercise.
- Notice the people you want to be like to learn from their example, but also notice the ones you don’t want to be like. I’ve never known how valuable this perspective could be until meeting an actual real-life narcissist. Since then, I’ve been more aware of myself in conversations with others, and if they’re actually balanced. How much am I talking about myself? Have I been interrupting? Am I actually listening, or just thinking of a way to draw what they said back to something in my own life? I don’t know if I fully believe the “people come into our lives for a reason,” philosophy, but it’s helped to get something out of bad situations.
- If you’re an introvert, learn how to manage extrovert-friendly situations, like, practice small talk, etc. It’s a skill like everything else. However, don’t let anyone convince you to try and change your introverted nature. Introversion is a personality trait, not a character flaw.
- For the most part, you will regret the things you don’t do more than the things you actually do.
- If you’re not good at something, notice the way you talk about it. Like, don’t just say “I’m bad at that,” because you’ll never get better, but don’t say “I used to be bad at that,” because now you’re complacent. “I’m working on that,” is always best.
- Remember you never really stop growing—at least, you really shouldn’t. Often times we’ll have growing pains, or go through a mini personal crisis, and think “this shouldn’t happen to me, I’m (however many) years old!” But what happens if you stop growing? Ever met an old person who acts like a child? Ever met someone who thinks that because they’ve achieved a certain age, status, whatever, that they’ve got everything perfectly together and now they’re the ultimate thing? What happens to those people? They stop trying. They stop learning. They become narcissistic grown-up babies who can’t take direction, criticism, or anything that doesn’t align with their worldview. Self-reflection really sucks sometimes, but it’s so necessary it’s not even funny.
- On the other hand, don’t let anyone tell you not to do something they find “childish” just because you’re a certain age. I mean things like tea parties, cartoons, and coloring books, not anything that’s going to hurt others. You know how when you grow up, you think you’re “too cool” for kids stuff for a while? Then when you hit your twenties you rediscover all of it, and it’s amazing? Suddenly stuffed animals and Disney movies are awesome again. Some people might laugh at you for loving them. Don’t worry about those folks. They just aren’t grown up enough to have re-discovered their childhoods.
- Never forgive someone unless you’re actually ready to mean it. They say forgiveness is for you personal good rather than the one who wronged you, so make sure you’re being honest with yourself first. Real forgiveness heals. Lying to yourself makes everything worse.
- Remember what your parents told you every time they dropped you off somewhere, or left you home alone: “Be good! Have fun!” I wonder if they knew they were giving us the top two rules to live by.
I turned 29 on Monday, so for my birthday, I'd like to do a Jenna Marbles inspired blog about what I've learned over the years.