Life Lessons.

24 things I’ve learned in 24 years. And one to grow on.

    1. Read the goddamn instructions.
        You’ll make everything a lot easier, and faster, for yourself if you figure out how something is meant to be done before you jump headlong into it. In the event that written instructions are not available, find an expert, or at least someone who’s done it before.
    2. Burn bridges. Don’t be afraid of fire.
        Sometimes cutting people out of your life is the best thing you can do for yourself, and even possibly for them.
    3. Fuck it. Take care of yourself. You are your own home.
        If you don’t want to do something, if that something isn’t something which fulfills some sort of need in your life, you are under no obligation to do it. Cancel the dinner reservations or the party RSVP or whatever if you don’t feel like going. Stay home.
    4. Life is short. Buy the lipstick. Eat dessert first. Take a nap.
        You will feel better and perform better if you treat yourself kindly. Eat when you’re hungry, sleep when you’re tired, and indulge yourself every now and again. It’s good for you.
    5. There’s no helping some people. Realize when your effort is wasted.
        You cannot help those who do not want to be helped. Learn to recognize the difference between stubbornness and immobility.
    6. Treat things you love with care, unless you need force to get the job done.
        That new laptop, the plant in the windowsill, and people. Everything needs love, but when it’s in everyone’s best interest, sometimes you need to apply pressure.
    7. Guilt is never worth it. Be sorry, not guilty.
        Guilt is just a fancy word for being sorry for yourself, and being sorry for yourself makes you an asshole.
    8. Time really does heal all wounds, not just physical ones.
        With time comes perspective, or at least distraction. Let it.
    9. The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.
        The people you choose to spend time with say more about who you are than the ones you’re made to spend time with.
    10. Having a map isn’t the only way to get somewhere. Wanderers find wonders, too.
        You don’t need a plan for everything. Sometimes being aimless leads you to better things than you could’ve thought up by yourself.
    11. Confidence is two-thirds of proficiency. The other third is practice.
        And confidence comes with practice. Whatever it is, you’ll get there.
    12. There’s no such thing as lost or wasted time.
        Whatever you’re doing, wherever you are, you’re learning something and you’re growing from it, even if you don’t realize it.
    13. Own your weird.
        Self-awareness, self-confidence, and self-acceptance are priceless things. You’ll be much happier if you aren’t constantly beating yourself up over something you can’t change about yourself.
    14. The things you don’t say are sometimes more important than the things you do.
        There’s a reason that nurses are trained not to say things like, “Everything will be okay.” Don’t say things you don’t mean and don’t make promises you can’t keep.
    15. It’s your brain that keeps you alive, not your body.
        More people have survived more things by sheer willpower than by physical capability. If you have the drive to get something done, you can do it. If you have the knowledge to accomplish something, you can do it.
    16. Everything is subjective.
        There are innumerable ways to assess and perceive anything. You are not right just because you think you are. Rightness is, in fact, majority rules.
    17. Never be without a knife, a lighter, or a pen.
        You never know what might need jotting down, burning down, or cutting down. Be prepared.
    18. Some things can’t be rushed.
        Childbirth, love, and great food among them. If you’re expecting something good, sometimes you gotta wait.
    19. Everyone has a weakness. Wear Kevlar.
        While it’s handy to know the weaknesses of others, it’s vital to know  your own. If you know what they are, you can figure out how to defend yourself.
    20. The most powerful word in your vocabulary is NO.
        Learn how to use it, even if you don’t say it out loud. Walking away is the same thing as verbally refusing.
    21. Cry sometimes.
        Even if it’s only ever in your bed by yourself with the lights off, there are some things that just rot when they’re kept inside.
    22. Other people can do for you, even if you can’t do for yourself.
        You don’t have to like yourself for someone else to like you, and you don’t have to love yourself for someone else to love you, either. It’s your choice whether or not to listen to them, but it could sway your opinion.
    23. Most things are not about you. Don’t take it personally.
        Someone else’s bad mood, that company email, whatever it is, unless and until proven otherwise, is not your fault or purposely directed at you. If you think you’ve done something wrong, it’s because you’re not thinking critically enough. If you feel guilty, it’s because you are, and you should do something about it.
    24. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.
        Tact and flattery will get you everywhere. Choose your words carefully, and you’re much more likely to get the result you’re looking for.
    25. You do not always need to be kind.
        Instead, be considerate (2. carefully considered; deliberate). Consideration for your situation will serve you better than always defaulting to kindness. Kindness, can, in fact, lead you wrong if you’re not careful.

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