(Inspired by this, on Lexa’s lovely blog, and what can best be called a courteous demand from same for my list.)
1. Sometimes, you need to let people tell you all the reasons why they can’t possibly do what you want so that then they can figure out how they can do what you want. In this, total silence is your greatest tool, no matter how uncomfortable it makes you feel.
2. There are few things in this life that can’t be fixed. It is always easier to fix them sooner rather than later.
3. There are, however, some things in this life that cannot be fixed, and carrying the shame of them with you for life will be awful but will make you better and kinder and smarter.
4. If your family hates your significant other for reasons other than biases against race, sex, religion, class, or other factors outside that person’s control, they’re probably on to something. Think twice.
5. Don’t mock anything your mother is wearing in old photos. Odds are you’ll be wearing it yourself in about three seasons and paying a pretty penny for the privilege.
6. I have yet to find anything in life that can’t be made better by the liberal application of cheese.
7. Have someone else read your cover letter and resume. Save yourself the mortification of finding errors yourself AFTER you’ve applied for the dream job.
8. Being comfortable alone is a great gift. There is no reason you can’t be comfortable alone in a bar, in a restaurant, in a movie theater, on a trip. The shit you will miss while waiting for THE RIGHT PERSON with whom to experience it would stun a team of oxen. Get over it.
9. Numbers are bullshit. Age, weight, salary, class rank, GPA, bank balance, house value, it’s all just a way to classify and quantify things that, in the end, aren’t very important.
And, to add my own little navel-gazing twist, here are the lessons I’m still working on:
1. Remember no one judges you as harshly as you judge yourself. They aren’t even looking at you. I swear. I swear. (Are they? No. They’re not.)
2. Everyone, everyone, everyone hates something about their appearance. The tall, thin, fashionable woman ahead of you on the Metro escalator doesn’t see herself the way you do. She sees flaws at which you would scoff, but they’re remarkably real to her.
3. Say “yes” as often as possible to as many things as possible. Don’t worry about the how or the why or the why not or the how much. Just. Say. Yes.
4. Accept compliments graciously. Don’t try to prove the compliment-er wrong.
What am I missing?