40 Things I've Learned in 40 Years

40 Things I've Learned in 40 Years
  1. If an idea scares you, like gives you deep down in your soul anxiety, you should probably do it. Waiting for a sign? This is it.
  2. Never make him tell you twice that he doesn’t want you. And when he comes back (and he WILL…again and again) don’t trust your lonely brain when it tells you he’s changed.me-with-mom-first-born
  3. Learn how to change a tire. Learn InDesign. Learn and re-learn the language you spent years studying. Learn to shoot pool. You hated school? Life is your school now.
  4. Stop overthinking about what you think other people think of you. Go read to shelter dogs. Take him off “see first.” The time you spend seeing if you can fit your hands around your thighs is better spent being of service to others. Get up. Find yourself in helping others. Now is a good time.
  5. Sobriety won’t make you any less fun or any less creative. If you’re wondering if you should get sober, you should. People that don’t need to, don’t wonder if they need to.
  6. After a lifetime of wishing you were living someone else’s life, one day you will wake up to spring with sun rays slicing through your blinds and you will realize: I am who I want to be.
  7. Hindsight is 20/20. It does you no good to obsess over what you could have done differently. What you should have said, all the tears you’ve cried, years wasted, wine stained sheets. You’ll make it. Your pain will one day be your greatest gift.
  8. Ask for help when you need it.
  9. Brush your teeth. Don’t forget to floss.
  10. Shiny happy people aren’t. They look to you to Tarn-x their dim edges. All that glitters is not gold. Let your own light shine your path.
  11. Heroin is not cool.
  12. Your (my) mother was right. When mid tantrum (yours, not hers) she tells you “your life would be so much easier if you would just listen to me,” believe her. Stop rolling your eyes.
  13. Sometimes hot fudge truly does fill deep needs.
  14. Friendship bracelets never go out of style.
  15. Don’t believe everything you think. Sometimes you truly cannot trust your thoughts. Euphoric recall IS. NOT. REAL. Always dream. Live in reality.
  16. Sometimes you have to stop clenching SOTIGHTLY to one dream in order to make room for a new one. This is not failure. This is not giving up. Allow yourself to have more than one dream. Allow yourself to go for the easier one. It’s not a cop out.
  17. Dress for the size you are. Throw out those too small jeans in case one day they’ll fit. That’s a setup for sickness, obsession and disappointment. Your body will change when you move to LA. Your body will change when you move back to Chicago. Be grateful for what you have. That includes your thighs.
  18. You will get your heart broken. America’s Funniest Videos will mend it. Wine for dinner, smoking yourself to sleep and ending up at 88 lbs will not. It will change the course of your life but it is not the end of your life. Mourn it. Move on. Don’t let someone else tell you when that time is.
  19. That free shirt you got by signing up for a credit card in undergrad was not free. Buy your own t-shirts. They’re on sale at Olimg_1516d Navy.
  20. No one else knows what they’re doing either.
  21. Be who you are. Own up to the dumb things you are doing. Sometimes the quickest way out of the pain is by slamming through it. It doesn’t have to be graceful. It just has to be done.
  22. Run because you want to. Not because you’re playing a game with the scale. Run because it feels good and is the best therapy you’ll find. Stop weighing yourself twice a day.
  23. Drink more water.
  24. Don’t work so much that your life passes you by. You are getting older. You are going to get wrinkles. No one cares how many marketing plans you’ve got sitting in your laptop. They care about what you have done for someone else who didn’t have the luxury of sitting around. Busy doesn’t equal successful.
  25. When your friend is suddenly diagnosed with stage four cancer stop complaining about your teeth and the bags under your eyes. Find gratitude. Don’t wait for something to happen to look at your lucky life.
  26. A spoonful of Nutella is not dinner.
  27. Put down your phone and pet your dog. Be that person he sees with his cloudy eyes. Remember when he was little and the time you can’t get back with him. Kiss his little leather nose and let the feelings of love wash over you. Squeeze him tightly while you can. Study his face, his smell, the feel of his warm body against yours.
  28. You are too old for shirts with funny sayings on them. Wear them anyway.
  29. Be kind with yourself. You don’t hang out with people who judge – stop being someone that wouldn’t hang out with themselves. Eat when you’re hungry. Sleep when you’re tired. Fuck the clock.
  30. Smoking cigarettes is stupid.
  31. Sometimes a song truly can save your life.
  32. That famous actor that picked you up on set and took you back to his trailer? That musician you can smirk about and smile knowingly every time someone mentions his name? No one cares. Living for the story is living as a punch line. It’s not cute. It’s not funny. One day you can write a book and it will be the paragraph everyone glosses over.
  33. When you’re under him, you can’t get over him.
  34. Dunkin Donuts coffee is better than Starbucks. Cream and sugar. Black coffee can, at times, equal self-hatred.
  35. When you do someone else’s work too often they will come to expect it. Stop taking advantage of yourself. When everyone else isn’t as stressed as you are, you will realize you’re taking on too much. Stop that. Don’t piss yourself off.img_8572
  36. The perfect chocolate chip cookies are the hardest to make yourself. Stick to what you’re good at.
  37. Read: Dante. Kerouac. Angelou. Morrison. Austen. Fitzgerald. Stephen King. Salinger. Wouk. Anne Lamott will save you in your mid-30s. Homer sucks, get the Cliff’s Notes and don’t repeat that class.
  38. Save your Doc Martens. That way you won’t have to rebuy them in your late thirties.
  39. Making your own soap is a great way to relieve stress.
  40. Contrary to what your mid-twenties intoxicated, runny eyeliner, up for four days self might think, you’re pretty cool.

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